The Union of Myanmar has an area of 676 580 km2 and is situated between latitudes 10° N and 29° N and longitudes 92° E and 101° E. It is bordered on the south by the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea and has land borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos and Thailand. It is roughly diamond shaped and about 2 092 km from north to south and about 933 km from east to west.
The Bilauktaung Range, the southern extension of the Shan Plateau, lies along the boundary between south-western Thailand and south-eastern Lower Myanmar. The plateau, originating in China, has an average elevation of about 1200 m. To the south is the long, narrow Tenasserim Coast bordering the Andaman Sea.
The Arakan Yoma range, with peaks mostly between 915 and 1 525 m, forms a barrier between Myanmar and the subcontinent of India. A narrow plain of rich farmland borders the Bay of Bengal.
The mountains of the northern margin rise to 5 881 m atop Hkakabo Razi, and form a barrier between the country and China. The central region consists chiefly of the Irrawaddy and Sittang river valleys, the most fertile agricultural region.
The most important river is the Irrawaddy, which runs through the middle of the country to the sea in the south. It is navigable for about 1 500 km. The 563-km Sittang River lies east of the Irrawaddy. The hills of the Pegu Yoma, which lie between the Irrawaddy and Sittang plains and contain some of the most extensive and finest teak forests in Myanmar, do not exceed 900 m.
Over most parts of Myanmar there are three well-defined seasons-the rainy season, the cold season and the hot season. The rainy season starts about mid-May and ends in October. It is followed by cold weather from November to January. The hot season is from February to mid-May with the hottest period occurring before the rains.
The annual rainfall varies according to locality. The heaviest rainfall occurs in the coastal region and ranges from 3 000 mm to over 5 000 mm a year. Rainfalls of up to 3 000 mm occur in the hill tracts. The rainfall gradually decreases to about 760 mm a year in the middle of the country.
The average range of temperature in most parts of the country is from 21° to 32° C in the rainy season, 10° to 30° C in the cold season and 32° to 38° C in the hot season. In central Myanmar, the temperature can reach 43° C in the hottest months.
The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.