Today's last card is quite a treat - Myanmar is one of those countries I never thought I'd ever receive a written and stamped postcard from! ..and then I had two through a great swap last year! :O I might post the second card here at some point but for now, here's a pretty sunset view.
Bagan is an ancient city located in the Mandalay Region of Myanmar. From the 9th to 13th centuries, the city was the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify the regions that would later constitute modern Myanmar. During the kingdom's height between the 11th and 13th centuries, over 10,000 Buddhist temples, pagodas and monasteries were constructed in the Bagan plains alone, of which the remains of over 2200 temples and pagodas still survive to the present day.
Myanmar (Burma) is a sovereign state in Southeast Asia bordered by China, Thailand, India, Laos and Bangladesh. One-third of Myanmar's total perimeter of 1,930 kilometres forms an uninterrupted coastline along the Bay of Bengal and the Andaman Sea. Its population of over 60 million makes it the world's 24th most populous country and, at 676,578 km2, it is the world's 40th largest country and the second largest in Southeast Asia.
The country has been under military control since a coup d'état in 1962. During this time, the United Nations and several other organizations have reported consistent and systematic human rights violations in the country, including genocide, the use of child soldiers, systematic rape, child labour, slavery, human trafficking and a lack of freedom of speech. Since the military began relinquishing more of its control over the government, however – coupled with its release in 2011 of Myanmar's most prominent human rights activist, Aung San Suu Kyi – the country's foreign relationships have improved rapidly, especially with major powers such as the European Union, Japan, and the United States. Trade and other economic sanctions, for example, imposed by the European Union and the United States, have now been eased.
Myanmar is a country rich in precious stones, oil, natural gas and other mineral resources. In 2011, its GDP stood at US$82.7 billion and was estimated as growing at an annual rate of 5.5%.