Geography of Myanmar

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Geography of Burma
Burma topo en.jpg
Continent Asia
Region Southeast Asia
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Area Ranked 40th
 • Total 676,578 km2 (261,228 sq mi)
 • Land 96.94%
 • Water 3.06%
Coastline 1,930 km (1,200 mi)
Borders Total land borders:
6,522 km (4,053 mi)
271 km (168 mi)
People's Republic of China:
2,129 km (1,323 mi)
1,468 km (912 mi)
238 km (148 mi)
2,416 km (1,501 mi)
Highest point Hkakabo Razi
5881 m (19,294.62 ft)
Lowest point Andaman Sea
0 m (0 ft)
(sea level)
Longest river Ayeyarwady River
Largest lake Indawgyi Lake
Hundreds of active fires burning across the hills and valleys of Myanmar Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam (labelled with red dots).

Myanmar (also known as Burma) is the northwestern-most country on the mainland of southeast Asia. It is strategically located near major Indian Ocean shipping lanes.


Tropical monsoon in the lowlands below 2,000 m (6,562 ft); cloudy, rainy, hot, humid summers (southwest monsoon, June to September); less cloudy, scant rainfall, mild temperatures, lower humidity during winter (northeast monsoon, December to April). Climate varies in the highlands depending on elevation; subtropical temperate climate at around 2,500 m (8,202 ft), temperate at 3,000 m (9,843 ft), cool, alpine at 3,500 m (11,483 ft) and above the alpine zone, cold, harsh tundra and Arctic climate. The higher elevations are subject to heavy snowfall and bad weather.


Burma is characterised by its central lowlands with the Sittaung Valley and Chindwin Valley and the small mountain ranges of Zeebyu Taungdan, Min-wun Taungdan, Hman-kin Taungdan and Gangaw Taungdan as well as the Bago Yoma.[1] The Central Valley Region is ringed by steep, rugged highlands, with the country's highest point at the 5,881 m (19,295 ft) Hkakabo Razi located in the northern end of the country. This mountain is part of a series of parallel ranges that run from the foothills of the Himalaya through the border areas with Assam, Nagaland and Mizoram. The Arakan Mountains in the west run from Manipur into western Burma southwards through Rakhine State almost to Cape Negrais in the shores of the Bay of Bengal. The Arakan Range includes the Naga Hills, the Chin Hills, and the Patkai range which includes the Lushai Hills.[2] Mountain ranges in the southern end of the Hengduan System form the border between Burma and China.

The Pegu Range is a relatively low mountain chain between the Irrawaddy and the Sittaung River in central Burma. In Eastern Burma the highest point of the Shan Hills is 2,563 m high Loi Pangnao, one of the ultra prominent peaks of Southeast Asia.[3] The Shan Hills form, together with the Karen Hills, Dawna Range and Tenasserim Hills, a natural border with Thailand as well as the Kayah-Karen/Tenasserim moist forests ecoregion[4] which is included in the Global 200 list of ecoregions identified by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) as priorities for conservation.[5] Southern Burma consists largely of the western slopes of the Bilauktaung, the highest part of the Tenasserim Range, which extends southwards forming the central range of the Malay Peninsula.[6]

Main peaks


The Irrawaddy, the main river of Burma, flows from north to south through the Central Burma Basin and ends in a wide delta. The Mekong runs from the Tibetan Plateau through China's Yunnan province entering Northeastern Burma into Laos.

In the east the Salween and the Sittaung River run along the western side of the Shan Hills and the northern end of the Dawna Range. In the narrow southeastern part of Burma, the Ye, Heinze, Dawei (Tavoy), Great Tenasserim (Tanintharyi) and the Lenya rivers are relatively short and flow into the Andaman Sea. Further south the Kraburi River forms the southern border between Thailand and Burma.[7]

Maritime claims

contiguous zone: 24 nmi (27.6 mi; 44.4 km)
continental shelf: 200 nmi (230.2 mi; 370.4 km) or to the edge of the continental margin
exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (230.2 mi; 370.4 km)


Land use and natural resources

Natural resources in Myanmar are petroleum, timber, tin, antimony, zinc, copper, tungsten, lead, coal, marble, limestone, precious stones, natural gas, and hydropower.

Arable land 16.56%
Permanent crops 2.25%
Other land 81.20% (2012)
Irrigated land 21,100 km² (2004)
Total renewable water resources: 1,168 km3 (280 cu mi) (2011)
Freshwater withdrawal, total (domestic/industrial/agricultural) 33.23 km3/a (7.97 cu mi/a) (10%/1%/89%)
Freshwater withdrawal, per capita 728.6 km3/a (175 cu mi/a) (2005)

Natural hazards

Destructive earthquakes and cyclones; flooding and landslides common during rainy season (June to September); periodic droughts


Deforestation; industrial pollution of air, soil, and water; inadequate sanitation and water treatment contribute to disease

Environment - international agreements

party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Law of the Sea, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

See also


  1. Myanmar in brief
  2. "Rakhine Mountains" Encyclopædia Britannica
  3. Loi Pangnao (mountain) - Region: Shan State, Myanmar
  4. Kayah Karen Tenasserim Ecoregion
  5. "Tenasserim-South Thailand semi-evergreen rain forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. An Introduction to Burma (Myanmar)
  7. Avijit Gupta, The Physical Geography of Southeast Asia, Oxford University Press, 2005. ISBN 978-0-19-924802-5

 This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the CIA World Factbook.

External links