ြမန်မာ – Myanmar
Capital city Naypyidaw
Surface 676,578 km²
Population 53,583,000
Road network length 27,000 km
Length of highway network 580 km
First highway 2010
Motorway name N/A
Traffic drives Right
License plate code MYA

Myanmar, also called Burma or Burma (Burmese: ပြည်ထောင်စု သမ္မတ မြန်မာနိုင်ငံတော်, Pyi-daung-zu Myan-mar Naing-ngan-taw) is a country in southeastern Asia. The country is more than 16 times the size of the Netherlands and has 53 million inhabitants. The capital is Naypyidaw, the largest city is Yangon.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Myanmar is the largest country in Southeast Asia. The country is located on the Indian Ocean and measures almost 2,100 kilometers north-south. East-west, the country measures a maximum of 950 kilometers, although large parts are (much) narrower. The southern part is located on the Malacca Peninsula and is sometimes only 40 kilometers wide.

The country is bordered to the northwest by Bangladesh and India, to the northeast by China, and to the east by Laos and Thailand. The country is quite mountainous, with the exception of a wide valley in the center of the country. The Hkakabo Razi on the border with China is the highest point at 5,881 meters. The mountain ranges in the north are foothills of the Himalayas. The Irrawaddy is the main river and has an extensive delta, most of the population lives along this river. Tropical forests cover large parts of the country.

Myanmar has a subtropical climate with a lot of precipitation, on the coast there is 5,000 mm of precipitation per year in some areas, which makes Myanmar one of the wettest areas in the world. The country has a monsoon climate, with a distinct dry and wet period. The wet period starts in May, peaks in July and ends in October. Outside that period there is almost no precipitation, so that the difference between the wet and dry season is very striking. The average maximum temperature in the capital Yangon varies between 30 and 36°C. Mandalay further inland has slightly higher temperatures, averaging up to 39°C in April, but temperatures well above 40°C are also common. The wet season in Mandalay has considerably less rainfall than Yangon.


The capital Naypyidaw is a new city and is centrally located in the country. Naypyidaw is Myanmar’s third largest city with a population of 925,000. Yangon (formerly: Rangoon) is the largest city and is located in the south near the sea. The city has 4.3 million inhabitants. Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and has 1.2 million inhabitants and is centrally located in the north. See Myanmar population density.

The number of inhabitants could not be determined with certainty until the beginning of the 21st century, the last reliable census for this was carried out during the colonial period in 1931. The population is estimated at approximately 61 million, but a census from 2014 gave a population of 51.5 million inhabitants. Burmese is spoken in Myanmar, with its own unique script. English is used by the government and taught in school.


Myanmar is a poor country, with a military dictatorship since 1962. The country is one of the poorest in Asia. The country has suffered from stagnation, mismanagement and isolation for years, although the country has become more open since 2010. The city of Yangon is the least developed major city in Southeast Asia. At the time of British rule, the country was still the most prosperous in Southeast Asia. There is hardly any tourism in Myanmar, although the country has a lot of potential. The country is one of the few countries that does not use the metric system. Although it is often thought that the imperial system is used, this only applies to a number of measures. Most sizes are specifically developed in Myanmar.


In the 9th century, the Bamar people in the valley of the Irrawaddy towns began to develop and over the centuries it became the dominant culture of the region. From the 16th to 18th centuries, the Toungoo dynasty was very powerful and at the time was the largest empire in Southeast Asia, stretching from the Himalayas to the border with Vietnam. In 1824 the area became a British colony. The colony’s raw materials were exploited by large British companies employing many workers from India. More than 3,200 kilometers of railway were built during the colonial period, but the colony received little other infrastructure. The colony was the scene of major battles with the Japanese during World War II, known as the Burma Campaign. Large parts of the area lay in ruins after the war.

The country became independent in 1948 and from then on was known as Burma or Burma. The country was initially democratic, but became a military dictatorship after a coup in 1962. Since independence, Myanmar has been faced with internal conflict, which has been called the longest civil war in the world. In 1989, the military regime changed the name of the country from Burma to Myanmar. After elections in 2010, the military government was dissolved and a civilian administration was established. After this, sanctions and trade blockades against Myanmar were partially lifted.

Road Network

In Myanmar there is hardly a paved road network, although the numbered network is fairly large. Of the 27,000 kilometers of road, only about 3,200 kilometers are paved, mainly in and around the cities. The many large rivers make road transport difficult and time-consuming, even in the flat center of the country. There are a number of modern bridges around Yangon, but in other areas bridges are often lacking over greater distances. Together with Laos, Myanmar has the least developed road network in Southeast Asia. Many new roads are being built around the new capital Naypyidaw, about 240 kilometers south of Mandalay and 330 kilometers north of Yangon.

In December 2010, Myanmar’s first expressway, the 580-kilometer-long Yangon – Mandalay Expressway, opened. However, this is designed sub- standard by Western standards and is considered a death road.

Yangon has a somewhat developed main road network of paved roads, regularly with 4 lanes. Route 1 has even been run in six lanes in Yangon. The newer neighborhoods of Yangon have an organized road network, partly built in a grid. The city is relatively suburban with large-scale neighborhoods with detached houses, but often with limited electricity connections and sewerage.

In 2020, funding of $484 million for a 64-kilometer highway between Bago and Kyaikto was approved.

Major Roads in Myanmar
Route 1 • Route 2 • Route 3 • Route 4 • Route 5 • Route 6 • Route 7 • Route 8Yangon – Mandalay Expressway

Asian Highways

Asian Highways in Myanmar
AH1 • AH2 • AH3 • AH14 • AH111 • AH112 • AH123

Road numbering

The single-digit roads are the major roads, with Route 1 and 2 being the main road from Yangon to Mandalay. Other single-digit roads branch off from here. Two-digit numbers are branches of the one-digit numbers. Three-digit numbers are again based on one-digit numbers. This creates a zoned system.

  • Route 1 Yangon – Meiktila – Mandalay
  • Route 2 Yangon – Prome – Minbu – Myingyan – Myittha (Route 1)
  • Route 3 Mandalay – Kyaukme – Chinese Border (Kunming)
  • Route 4 Meiktila (Route 1) – Taunggyi – Thai border (Chiang Rai)
  • Route 5 Toungoo (Route 1) – Ho-Pong (Route 4)
  • Route 8 Yangon – Maulamyaing – Tavoy


Since Myanmar is an isolated country, little is known about any signage.


Major roads in Myanmar are subject to tolls, not only on expressways, but also on some other major roads.

Myanmar Location Map