Myanmar 2002

In 2002, Myanmar was a Southeast Asian nation located in the Bay of Bengal with a population of approximately 47 million people. The economy was largely based on agriculture, forestry, fishing, and mining. In terms of infrastructure, the country had relatively limited access to roads and telecommunications networks. Education was also relatively limited with only 40% of the population being literate. According to computerannals, Myanmar had been making progress in recent years in terms of economic growth and poverty reduction. The government had implemented several economic reform measures such as reducing trade tariffs and increasing foreign investment which had helped to boost the country’s economy. In addition, efforts were being made to improve health care services and access to education for all citizens. As a result of these initiatives, Myanmar had achieved a higher standard of living than many other developing countries in the region at that time. Additionally, efforts were being made to reduce corruption and increase transparency in government operations which had helped to foster an environment conducive to foreign investment. However, political tensions between various factions within the country still remained high which posed a risk to further development efforts.

Yearbook 2002

Burma. In January, Burma announced plans to build a nuclear research reactor with Russian help. Among other things, the US and the EU expressed concern that Burma would not comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency’s IAEA safety regulations.

In March, four close relatives of former dictator Ne Win were arrested. They were accused of planning to overthrow the military regime and were sentenced to death in September. The information on coup preparations was also said to have led to high-level purges in the police and military. More than 80 soldiers were sentenced to prison for 15 years each.

According to Countryaah website, national day of Myanmar is every January 4. Ne Win passed away in December at the age of 91 after being in house arrest since March. He ruled Burma in 1962-88 and was responsible for the country’s economic collapse through the isolationist and economically insane “Burmese Road to Socialism”.

Myanmar Border Countries Map

Information that Prime Minister Than Shwe had met with opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in January gave new hope of a thaw in relations between the military junta and the opposition. Suu Kyi was released in May from 20 months in house arrest and later was able to visit party friends outside the country without hindrance. During the summer, a large number of political prisoners were also released in rounds, but far from all the more than 1,000 people who, according to Amnesty International, among others, are imprisoned for political reasons.

An explanation for the softer line towards the opposition was believed to be the junta’s need for a solution to Burma’s precarious financial situation. The currency, cheated, lost significantly in value and the supply situation was described as very difficult. Every third child under five was estimated to be malnourished.

However, no solution to the country’s isolation was in sight since the United Nations Commission on Human Rights targeted fierce criticism of Burma in a report. Among the many “grave and systematic” violations of human rights in Burma were mentioned extrajudicial executions, forced labor, child labor, torture, rape, forced displacement, obstruction of freedom of speech, assembly and religion, and the absence of an independent judiciary.


Pyinmana, Burma’s administrative capital from 2005, approximately 400 km north of Rangoon; 1.34 million inbd (including Naypyidaw, 2011). The city has an agricultural university as well as the sugar and lumber industry. Astrologers who have great influence in Burma determined the timing of the move. On November 7, 2005 at 6.37 began the relocation of furniture from several ministries from Rangoon to Pyinmana. It is believed that the regime moved the capital because of predictions and fears of a new popular uprising and of an American invasion.

At the new government town just west of Pyinmana, a large underground facility, airport, hospital, military facility, offices and golf course have been built. In addition, a large parade system with statues of three Burmese kings has been erected. The government city has been named Naypyidaw ‘the city of kings’. The move has cost enormous sums for the poor country and hampered the government’s contacts with diplomacy. In World War II, during the Japanese occupation, the area was training camp for Burma Independent Army under Aung San. A transition in the 1950’s was the base for the Burma Communist Party.


Early voting for the elderly begins

October 29

Lots of polling stations are open to those entitled to vote who are 60 years or older. Among those voting early is 75-year-old Aung San Suu Kyi. The country’s elderly population is expected to follow her example to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus. Suu Kyi wears a mouth guard and gloves when she goes to the polls in Naypyidaw. Suu Kyi has been at the forefront of the fight against corona fighting in Myanmar, with almost daily statements about the importance of following the restrictions. At the same time, the NLD government has been criticized for not postponing the election due to the pandemic.

Three NLD members are kidnapped by the AA guerrillas

19 October

The armed group AA in Rakhine admits that five days earlier it attacked an NLD election rally in southern Rakhine and abducted three of the party’s candidates in the November 8 election. During the attack, other NLD members are said to have been beaten and called traitors by the rebels who also accused them of concealing human rights violations committed by the military.

The selection is set in certain areas

October 16

The Election Authority announces that the general elections on November 8 will not be able to be held in all parts of the country. The reason is lack of security. This applies to areas in the conflict-affected states of Rakhine, Shan and Kachin. Virtually all around 300,000 Rohingya who are of voting age must not participate in the election. In total, there are about two million (out of 37 million) eligible voters who are unable to participate.

Myanmar (Burma) Country Overview

Note! Visa policy has changed. The price of a visa is 50 usd / person. The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after leaving the country. Ask more from our office.

Everyone participating in the trip must have a valid travel insurance that covers medical expenses in the event of illness or other similar need. Please check the validity of your own insurance and the terms and conditions of the insurance cancellation cover.

Please pay attention to the special nature of your trip and check the coverage of the insurance in that respect as well. In many locations, the insurance must also be valid when moving at an altitude of more than 3,000 meters, in which case it also covers mountain sickness.

Many hiking or diving trips require more extensive insurance, which covers, for example, diving or moving on a glacier. Please check the contents of your insurance with your insurance company.

Recommended vaccinations
There are no mandatory vaccinations. In addition to the basic vaccinations (tetanus, diphtheria and polio), hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for the trip. Please always check the vaccination requirements at your health center or the vaccination advice of the tourist clinic

Currency: Myanmar’s currency is the Myanmar Kyat (MMK), 1 € = approx. 1000 MMK. USD is valid and is the desired currency throughout the country. Prices are quoted to foreigners usually in dollars. You can also change euros. Credit cards are already accepted in some hotels and the first ATMs have entered the country. Note! Dollars must be new and in good condition, dirty or broken banknotes will not be accepted. The larger the banknote (e.g. 100USD) the better the exchange rate.

Time difference to Finland
+4.5 hours in winter and +3.5 hours in summer.

Electricity in Myanmar 230V. An adapter is required.

Mobile phones
Finnish subscriptions are generally not included in the country. Most hotels have wireless internet and for example therefore watsapp messaging works well.

The area has a subtropical climate. From March to May the climate is hot and dry. The rainy season is from June to early October (off the Andaman coast) and the cool season is from November to February. In Yangon, the temperature stays between 30 and 35 degrees all year round, while the coast and mountains are again much cooler. The average temperature is between 20 and 30 degrees during the day and between 10 and 20 degrees at night. During the cool season in winter, you will need a warm jacket or sweater for evenings in Bagan and Lake Inle.

Food & beverage
The basis of the diet is rice, except in mountainous areas. The main meals of the day are breakfast and dinner before dark. Food is usually eaten with the fingers. Tea is a common beverage. Alcohol is only used for secular parties. Burmese cuisine uses quite a lot of oil, which is reflected in the dishes on offer. Local curries are not as freshly fiery as Thai curries, but mostly oily. Burmese staples include tea leaf salad and mohinga chicken noodle soup made with fish broth, which is often served for breakfast. Water and beverages must be industrially bottled. It is also a good idea to rinse fruits and vegetables with bottled water. Heated or tablet-purified water can be drunk. Reheated foods should be avoided.

Travel seasons
The most popular tourist season is November-February. The days are usually sunny at this time and the air pleasantly warm. The evenings may be cooler.

Religion: The conquest religion of the earth is Buddhism, which is present in the street scene everywhere. Pagodas, temples, monks and nuns can be seen everywhere. Many Myanmarians also believe in life and the local religion is a mixture of Buddhism as well as spiritual religion.

Valuables Valuables
do not need to be reported to the authorities upon arrival in the country. Mobile phones are allowed but will not work in Myanmar. Expensive jewelry and watches should be left at home.