Myanmar is a republic in Southeast Asia with approximately 48 million inhabitants. The country was known as Burma until 1989. It has a coastline with the Gulf of Bengal, the Gulf of Martaban and the Andaman Sea. Neighboring countries are India, Bangladesh, China, Laos and Thailand. The landscape of Myanmar is very varied. Half of the country is covered by monsoon and bamboo forests, pine forests, deciduous forests and coastal mangrove forests. Furthermore, grass steppes, mountain ranges, rivers, deltas, coastal plains and coral islands. There is a tropical monsoon climate with three seasons. In the north a desert climate. Naypyidaw has been the capital since 2005. In the capital is the fort where Generalissimo Than Shwe lives. Earlier capitals are Rangoon, Bagan, Bago and Mandalay. Other cities are Ava, Pegu, Marapura, port city Sittwe and Prome. Sights in Myanmar: The teak U Bein bridge over Lake Taungthman, the beautiful flora and fauna and the 32 km long Inle lake. The lake lies on the vast Shan plateau. People live here on the lake in pile-built villages and floating gardens. Myanmar is also known for its festivals: the pwes and the pagoda festivals.

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