Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, is in southeast Asia. To the north and northeast is China, to the east are Laos and Thailand, to the west are Bangladesh and India. The Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea lie to the south. The Tropic of Cancer crosses the country.

 Myanmar can be divided into five geographic regions: the northern mountains, the western highlands, the eastern plateau, the central basin and the coastal areas.

  Did you know?
The world's largest piece of jade, weighing 33 tons, was discovered in Myanmar in 1982.
The snow-capped Kumon mountains, part of the Himalayan mountain range, rise in the north. The highest peak is Hkakabo Razi, in the far north. At 5,889 metres, it is the highest mountain in southeast Asia. The valleys have subtropical vegetation and terraced rice fields. The western highlands form the border with India.

 In the east, where the Thanlwin (Salween) river flows between deep gorges, is the Shan plateau. The climate is suitable for growing citrus fruits, vegetables and timber. Tea, coffee, rice, cotton and opium are also grown in this area. The central basin is a semi-arid area, where cacti and acacia trees grow. The cities of Mandalay and Pakokku are situated in the central basin.

The coastal areas include the fertile delta of the Irrawaddy River. The river rises in the Himalayas and crosses the country from north to south before emptying into the Andaman Sea. Many varieties of fish and shrimp are found in the river. It is also used for irrigation and transportation. Myanmar's capital, Yangon (formerly known as Rangoon), is east of the delta. The Tenasserim coast to the southwest and the Arakan coast to the northwest are rocky. More than a thousand islands lie off the coast.

 Myanmar has three seasons. The dry season is from March to May. The monsoon season begins in May or June and lasts for several months. The weather is hot and humid, especially in the coastal and delta regions. Between November and February, the weather is cooler and very pleasant.

Tigers inhabit Myanmar's forested areas. Elephants are commonly seen in logging and agricultural areas. Both tigers and elephants are endangered species. Snakes include poisonous kraits and vipers. Although Myanmar has three national parks and seventeen wildlife sanctuaries, wildlife protection laws are not very strict. Tigers are hunted and killed for the Chinese pharmaceutical industry. Tiger parts are illegally exported because they are believed to impart strength and power.
  Did you know?
Three-quarters of the world's reserves of teak wood can be found in Myanmar. Teak is a major export. Bamboo, cane and rattan are also grown.