Myanmar: 10 amazing facts about the country

1. The country’s official name was changed in 1989 from Burma to Myanmar. Traditionally Myanmar was the literary and Bamar the colloquial name.


2. The national sport of Myanmar is chinlone, a sort of six-a-side football in which the object is to keep a woven rattan ball in the air.

3. Burmese language has 33 letters and is written traditionally with no spaces between words.

4. One of Myanmar’s traditional dishes is lahpet thoke, a salad of fermented tea leaves.

5. Most cars in Myanmar have right-hand steering but are driven on the right hand side of the road.


6. The time in Myanmar is six-and-a-half hours ahead of GMT.


7. Women and children in Myanmar can often be seen with faces daubed with “thanaka” a white protective cosmetic paste made from tree bark.

8. Myanmar has competed at every Summer Olympics since 1948 but has not yet won a medal.


9. Myanmar, Bangladesh, East Timor, Guatemala, Israel, St Lucia and Yemen have all won more Nobel Prizes than Olympic medals.

10. Most Burmese cats descend from Wong Mau, a female, brought from Burma to America in 1930.