Your guide to being an expatriate in Myanmar

Caffeinate Your Myanmar Expat Journey: Find Essential Info and Connect with Expatriates Today!

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country located in Southeast Asia. It shares borders with Bangladesh, India, China, Laos, and Thailand. Burma gained independence from the British in 1948, and the country has been ruled by various military juntas since a coup in 1962. The de facto leader of the country is State Counsellor Aung San Suu Kyi, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 for her pro-democracy efforts. Myanmar has been in a state of political turmoil, with ongoing tensions and violence between various ethnic groups and the central government.


Expat destinations in Myanmar

Demographics of Myanmar:

Ethnic groups

Wa: 0.5%

Mon: 1%

Chin: 1.5%

Shan: 9.2%

Bamar: 68%

Karen: 6.2%

Other: 7.8%

Kachin: 1.3%

Ta'ang: 1

Rakhine: 4%


Wa: 0.3%

Mon: 0.9%

Chin: 1%

Lahu: 0.1%

Lisu: 0.3%

Shan: 2%

Karen: 3%

Other: 4.4%

Kachin: 1%

Ta'ang: 0.1%

Burmese: 88%

Religion Overview

Buddhism dominates Myanmar's religious landscape, with over 80% of the population identifying as Buddhist. Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Mormons, and animists make up the remaining population. In Myanmar, religion plays a significant role in everyday life, shaping social, political, and cultural norms.

Major Religions


Myanmar has a tropical monsoon climate, with three distinct seasons: the hot season (February to May), the rainy season (June to September), and the cool season (October to January). The country experiences heavy rainfall during the rainy season, which can disrupt transportation and cause flooding in low-lying areas.

Economy Overview

Myanmar's economy is dominated by agriculture, which forms over 40% of the country's GDP. The country holds significant resources, including oil, gas, timber, and minerals, which have attracted foreign investment in recent years. The country's transition to a democratic government in 2011 has also spurred economic development, with Mark Mobius, an emerging markets investor, calling Myanmar the 'next China'.

Key Industries

  • Agriculture
  • Manufacturing
  • Construction
  • Forestry
  • Mining
  • Oil and Gas

Major Companies

    Culture and Language Overview

    Myanmar's culture is deeply rooted in Buddhism, which has shaped the country's art, literature, and traditional practices. The country is also known for its rich culinary heritage, with dishes such as mohinga (fish soup), laphet thok (pickled tea leaves), and mont let saung (grilled fish) being hallmarks of Burmese cuisine. Myanmar's literature, traditional music, and dance also offer a glimpse into the country's rich cultural heritage.

    Cultural Highlights

    • Take a cooking class in Yangon to learn how to prepare traditional Burmese dishes
    • Visit the Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, which is one of the most sacred religious sites in Myanmar
    • Experience traditional Burmese dance and music at a cultural performance in Mandalay
    • Explore the ancient city of Bagan, which once housed over 10,000 temples and pagodas
    • Visit the bustling markets of Yangon, such as the Bogyoke Aung San Market or Chinatown, to experience the vibrant and colorful culture of Myanmar

    Geography and Landmarks Overview

    Myanmar's landscape is diverse, ranging from mountainous regions in the north to flat plains in the south. The Ganges Delta, which forms the southwestern corner of the country, is also home to some of the world's most diverse and fragile ecosystems.

    Notable Landmarks

    • Shwedagon Pagoda (Yangon)
    • Bagan Archaeological Zone (Bagan)
    • Mandalay Palace (Mandalay)
    • Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (Mon State)
    • Inle Lake (Shan State)
    • Indein (Bagan)
    • Sa Pho Klon (Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand – shared border)

    National Holidays

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Union Day (February 12)
    • Peasants' Day (Februrary 22)
    • Armed Forces Day (March 27)
    • May Revolution Day (July 19)
    • Independence Day (January 4)
    • National Council Day (July 22)
    • Thingyan Festival (April 13-17)

    Political Stability

    Myanmar has been gripped by political instability in recent years, with ongoing tensions and violence between various ethnic groups and the central government. The country's democratic transition, which began in 2011, has been halted by a military coup in February 2021. The political situation remains fluid, and it is advised to stay up to date with current events and advice from local authorities.

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