By Nina Ornstein
Myanmar has an absolutely amazing flora, with about 7000 plant species, that varies by geographical area, of which 1071 are endemic. About 43% of Myanmar’s total land area is under closed forests and another 30% under woodland. The forests of Myanmar are highly diverse and they go from the scrubby and thorny vegetation of central Myanmar to the candlestick-like stands of evergreen forest trees.
The forests of Myanmar are very important to not only the people but also the wildlife. The coastal mangrove forests are important breeding grounds for many aquatic species. These forests also support local fishing industries and provide food, shelter, small-scale timber, fuel wood and other forest products to coastal communities. The two basic types of tropical forests are the monsoon forest (with a distinctive dry season of three months or more) and the rainforest (where rain falls more than nine months per year).
The forests have an equal importance to the animals and people with their rich vegetation and many sources of energy. Thankfully there are preservation tactics in place, including the Forest Research Institute (FRI) of Myanmar. This has a focus on the flora and fauna maintenance because it is a highly complex system that everyone is dependent on in Myanmar.
The environment felt very similar to Baja, that high desert extremes from day to night. The damp morning air, and scent of eucalyptus really made it feel like home. Inle’s flora and fauna were very different from that of Bagan given the entire region is built on stilts and floats. The striking difference between Myanmar’s regions is one of the very things that makes this destination such an allure. Everything is stunning in its own way. If you haven’t already, its time to experience this unique beauty for yourself!