Category: Burma



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Taungoo (Burmese:  MLCTS: taung ngu mrui., pronounced: [tàʊɴŋù mjo̰]; also spelled Toungoo) is a city in the Bago Region of Myanmar, 220 km from Yangon, towards the northeastern end of the division, with mountain ranges to the east and west.

The city Burmese history was the Taungoo Dynasty which ruled the country for over 200 years between the 16th and 18th centuries.

The main industry is in forestry products, with teak and other hardwoods extracted from the mountains.

The city is known for its areca palms, to the extent that a Burmese proverb for
unexpected good fortune is equated to a “betel lover winning a trip to Taungoo”.

The best-known member of the areca palms genus is A. catechu, the areca nut palm.
Several species of areca nuts, known for their bitter and tangy taste, raw or dried, are routinely used for chewing, especially in combination with the leaves of betel, and dried leaves of tobacco which is root cause of oral cancer being carcinogenic, and calcium hydroxide (lime).

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The Shwedagon Pagoda (IPA: [ʃwèdəɡòʊɴ pʰəjá]); Mon: [tɕaɪʔ təkɜ̀ŋ], officially named Shwedagon Zedi Daw ([ʃwèdəɡòʊɴ zèdìdɔ̀]) and also known in English as the Great Dagon Pagoda and the Golden Pagoda, is a gilded pagoda and stupa 99 metres (325 ft) in height in Yangon. The pagoda lies to the west of Kandawgyi Lake, on Singuttara Hill. It is the most sacred Buddhist pagoda for the Burmese with relics of four past Buddhas enshrined within: the staff of Kakusandha, the water filter of Koṇāgamana, a piece of the robe of Kassapa and eight strands of hair from Gautama.


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Inle Lake (Burmese: pronounced: [ʔɪ́ɴlé kàɴ]) is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi District of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar (Burma). It is the second largest lake in Myanmar with an estimated surface area of 44.9 square miles (116 km2), and one of the highest at an altitude of 2,900 feet (880 m). During the dry season, the average water depth is 7 feet (2.1 m), with the deepest point being 12 feet (3.7 m), but during the rainy season this can increase by 5 feet (1.5 m).

The people of Inle Lake (called Intha), some 70,000 of them, live in four cities bordering the lake, in numerous small villages along the lake’s shores, and on the lake itself. The entire lake area is in Nyaung Shwe township. The population consists predominantly of Intha, with a mix of other Shan, Taungyo, Pa-O (Taungthu), Danu, Kayah, Danaw and Bamar ethnicities. Most are devout Buddhists, and live in simple houses of wood and woven bamboo on stilts; they are largely self-sufficient farmers.

Local fishermen are known for practicing a distinctive rowing style which involves standing at the stern on one leg and wrapping the other leg around the oar. This unique style evolved for the reason that the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see above them while sitting. Standing provides the rower with a view beyond the reeds. However, the leg rowing style is only practiced by the men. Women row in the customary style, using the oar with their hands, sitting cross legged at the stern.

In addition to fishing, locals grow vegetables and fruit in large gardens that float on the surface of the lake. The floating garden beds are formed by extensive manual labor. The farmers gather up lake-bottom weeds from the deeper parts of the lake, bring them back in boats and make them into floating beds in their garden areas, anchored by bamboo poles. These gardens rise and fall with changes in the water level, and so are resistant to flooding. The constant availability of nutrient-laden water results in these gardens being incredibly fertile. Rice cultivation is also significant.

Hand-made goods for local use and trading are another source of commerce. Typical products include tools, carvings and other ornamental objects, textiles, and cheroots. A local market serves most common shopping needs and is held daily but the location of the event rotates through five different sites around the lake area, thus each of them hosting an itinerant market every fifth day.

The Inle lake area is renowned for its weaving industry. The Shan-bags, used daily by many Burmese as a tote-bag, are produced in large quantities here. Silk-weaving is another very important industry, producing high-quality hand-woven silk fabrics of distinctive design called Inle longyi.

An unique fabric from the lotus plant fibers is produced only at Inle lake and is used for weaving special robes for Buddha images called kya thingahn (lotus robe).


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Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Burma.
From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. Over the course of 250 years, Bagan’s rulers and their wealthy subjects constructed over 10,000 religious monuments (approximately 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples and 3000 monasteries) in an area of 104 square kilometres (40 sq mi) in the Bagan plains.
Bagan, located in an active earthquake zone, had suffered from many earthquakes over the ages, with over 400 recorded earthquakes between 1904 and 1975. The last major earthquake came on 8 July 1975, reaching 8 MM in Bagan and Myinkaba, and 7 MM in Nyaung-U. The quake damaged many temples such as the Bupaya. Today, 2229 temples and pagodas remain.


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