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Myanmar is located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Bangladesh on the west, India on the northwest, China on the northeast, Laos and Thailand on the east, the Andaman Sea on the south, and the Bay of Bengal on the southwest. It has a land area of 678, 500 square kilometers and, as such, is the largest mainland Southeast Asian country and the second largest in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) after Indonesia.
There are two ecological niches in the country: (1) the lowland central plains, which lie between the Irrawaddy and Salween Rivers in the center of the country and are occupied by the dominant Burmans and (2) the highlands surrounding the plains, which are primarily inhabited by minority groups such as the Shans, Kachin, Karen, and Chin. The lowland plains are dominated by a monsoon climate of rain from June to October, a cool interlude for a month or two, and then a hot, dry period lasting until the rains return. The mountainous regions experience the same general seasonal fluctuations with slightly cooler temperatures. Temperature could reach 38°C between May and October and fall to 20°C between December and February.
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