Like most of Southeast Asia's countries, Myanmar's people and history is a glorious mishmash of settlers and invaders from all fronts. The Mon and the Pyu are thought to have come from India, while the now dominant Bamar (Burmese) migrated through Tibet and, by 849, had founded a powerful kingdom centered on Bagan. For the next millennium, the Burmese empire grew through conquests of Thailand (Ayutthaya) and India (Manipur), and shrank under attacks from China and internal rebellions. Today Myanmar is a resource-rich country, suffers from pervasive government controls, inefficient economic policies, and rural poverty. What was once one of the richest and most developed countries in Asia has since slumped into poverty due to widespread corruption. Myanmar's culture is largely a result of heavy Indian influences intertwined with local traditions and some Chinese influences. This can be seen in the various stupas and temples throughout the country, which bear a distinct resemblance to those in northern India. Like neighboring Thailand, Theravada Buddhism is the single largest religion, and even some of the most remote villages will have a village temple for many to pray. Other religions which exist in smaller numbers include Christianity, Islam and Hinduism.
Top Destinations in Myanmar (Burma)