Myanmar is singularly the most forested country in South-East Asia and is actively pursuing the prevention of the deforestation of rainforests which has occurred and is still occurring in most parts of the region. Rainforest and Destruction are two words which go hand in hand in most parts of Asia but this is not so in Myanmar: one only has to do a trip across the Rakhine Yoma or around the mountains of Dawei to see the plentiful abundance of the rainforest in Myanmar.
Take a trip to Myitkyina to see the world in the wild, or climb Mount Victoria in the mountainous Chin State which has recently been opened up to eco-tourism. Visit Moeyongyi Lake - a 40 square mile Bird Sanctuary - the best time to visit is from November to February when you can expect to see at least 10,000 birds!! Even in the dry zone there are Nature Reserves such as Lokananda a small reserve in Bagan.
Then there is the Myaing Hay Won Elephant Camp at the end of the Bago Yoma not far from Yangon on the road to Pyay (Prome). Or the newly-created Elephant Reserve in the Rakhine Yoma between Thandwe and Gwa with an area of 678 square miles.
And a few years ago the Nature Reserve of Hukawng Valley was extended to 20,000 square kilometres and is the largest Tiger Reserve in the world.
the list goes on and on...
Most of the population live in the Central Belt, (Sagaing, Magway and Mandalay Divisions), the Lower Myanmar Delta and the Shan Plateau. Seven other nationalities have States of their own. The Kachins live in the Kachin State and the Northern Shan State; the Kayahs live mainly in the Kayah State. The Kayins have mostly become intermingled with the Bamars and the Mons, while the rest live in the delta region and the lowland Sittoung Valley. The Chins live in the Chin Hills and also in the dry zone west of the Ayeyarwady; the Mons live mainly in the South-East of Myanmar while the Rakhines, who speak and write Myanmar but with a different tone and accent, have their own State which lies in the coastal region of the Rakhine Yoma. The Shans live mainly in the Shan Plateau area. Yangon is very cosmopolitan and most races can be seen there.
About 90 per cent of the population, mainly Bamars, Shans, Mons, Rakhines, and some Kayins, are Buddhists, while the remainder are Christians, Muslims, Hindus and Animists. The Christian population is composed mainly of Kayins, Kachins and Chins. Islam and Hinduism are practiced mainly by people of Indian origin.