Myanmar, a tropical country in continental South East Asia, is situated north of the Equator within latitudes 9 53' to 28 25' North and longitudes 92 10' to 101 10' East. It has a common border with Bangladesh in the west, with India in the north-west, and in the north-east is a long common border with People's Republic of China with Laos PDR in the east. Along the south-east of the country is another long common border with Thailand which stretches far down south. To the south-west is the bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea which give the country a long coastline. With a total area of 676,553 km2 the length from north to south is approximately 2,090 km and the maximum width from east to west is about 805 km.
The elevation of the land surface ranges from sea level along the coastal lines to about 6,000 m in the rugged north bordering with China. The western Rakhine mountain ranges and north-western Chin hills stretch between 1,300 m to 1,500 m in elevation, while the eastern Shan plateau rises to about 1,000 m. In the Central and Lower Myanmar, the topography is generally undulating. The country is traversed by four major river systems, all flowing in the north-south direction, of which the Ayeyarwady river, navigable for about 1,450 km, is the most important.
As it lies mainly in the tropics, Myanmar's climate is greatly influenced by the tropical monsoon circulating system and its topography. There are three well defined seasons; namely, the rainy, cold and dry seasons. The raining season begins in mid May to mid October followed by the cold season up to February, and the ensuing period till May is the dry and hot season. The rainfall ranges from 500 mm in the Central Dry Zone to a maximum of 5,000 mm in the coastal regions. Myanmar also has a very wide range of temperature which varies from less than 0 C in the northern highlands to over 40 C in the Central Dry Zone. The average temperature ranges, in most part of the country, between 25 C and 33 C in the cold season and between 32 C and 43 C in the dry season.