Shan State

Location: Shan State, lying in the eastern sector of the country is situated between latitude 19 00'and 22 15' north and 96 26'and 98 47' cast longitudes. It is bordered by Kachin State on the North, the People's Republic of China on the North and East, the Lao People's Democratic Republic on the East. Thailand and Kayah and Kayin States on the South and Mandalay and Sagaing Divisions on the West. Its total land area is 60.15t sq-miles. Of the states in the country. Shan State is the biggest with the largest population.

According to the latitude location except the northern sector, other sectors of the Shan State have a tropical climate with low temperature as they arc hill regions. In the coldest months of December and January, the average temperature of the region is 70F (21C) to 8()F (2GC). The highest temperature in Konglung, Lashio, Hsipaw and Nyaungshwe towns in low valleys, is 100F (37C) at daylight. Rainfalls arc over 60 inches at the 11ill and over 40 inches in the valleys. Not only South-west Monsoon brings rainfalls into the state but also waves of whirlwind from South China Sea produces rainfalls in late monsoon.

Population, inhabitants, religion and languages: The estimated population Of Shan State in 1996 is over 4.7 million with average density of 7t per sq mile. The population is dense in Valleys and areas along railroad and motor roads and sparse in hill regions where agriculture and communications are difficult.

Inlay Lake region is an area with a strange life style. People in the region live at houses built on the edge of the lake. There are many national races residing in Shan State. Shan nationals reside in river valleys and valleys throughout the state while Danu. Taungyoe, Inn-thar (Inn-hsa) and Bamar nationals live in the west of Shan State. Palaung (Ta-aung) lives in the northern Shan State, especially in Namhsan, and Pindayas Lawksawk and Mongkai townships in the southern sector. Pa-O nationals are seen in the south of the State. Kachin and Lisu (Lishaw) in the north, Kokang in Kokang region. Wa (Lwela) in Hopang Township on the east of Thanlwin River and Eikaw (Arkha) and Lahu in Kengtung region.

Most of the inhabitants believe in Buddhism. There are also many Muslims. Christians and Hindus in the region. Myanmar is the mainly used language in the region where national races also speak different dialects.

Formation of districts, townships and villages and wards: District of the State are Taunggyi, Loilem, Lashio, Muse, Kyaukme, Kunlong, Laukkai, Kengtung Mongsan, Monhpyak and Tachileik. Shan State is formed with 54 townships and 193 wards and village-tracts. The capital of Shan State is Taunggyi.

Forest: There are dried mixed deciduous forests in the areas with an altitude of under 3,000 feet above sea level in Shan State, hill forests in the areas with an altitude of above 3,000 feet and pine woods in the areas with an altitude of above 4,000 feet. Bamboo grows in the forests with trees. Kyun (teak), Pyingadoe, Padauk, in, Kanyin and other hardwood trees grow in the forest in low areas. Turf is seen in the areas where were deforested due to farming work. Shan State has over 2000,000 acres of forest reserve.

Sown acreage and crops produced: Shan State has over 1.5 million acres of cultivated areas consisting of over 500,000 acres  each for paddy and crops cultivation, about 200,000 acres for hill-side cultivation over 8,000 acres of land formed by the process of silting for cultivation and over 200,000 acres for gardens. There are about 450,000 acres for hill-side cultivation over 8,000 acres of land formed by the process of silting for cultivation and over 200,000 acres for gardens. There are about 450,000 acres of irrigated areas for cultivation in the state. Terrace-fields are seen in Shweli Valley and other valleys and on smooth hill-sides. Crops cultivated in the state are paddy, wheat, maize, sugarcane, beans and pulses, onion, garlic, sesame, groundnut, sunflower, sebesten tree leaf, Virginia tobacco, tea plant, coffee, pear, orange and damson. Crops, edible oil crops, kitchen crops and perennial crops are cultivated in the south of Shan State and tomato, other vegetables and flowers on floating islands in Inlay Lake region.


Mongla, Shan State

Significant products: Shan State is rich in natural resources. Tungsten is found in the west of the state, silver, lead, zinc and minerals at old rocks in Bawdwin region, the northern sector. The minerals are also found in Yadana-theingi and Bawhsaing areas. Iron is found in Pinpet, Hopong, east of Taunggyi, and between Taunggyi and Hopeng, manganese is found. Shan State produces coal. Diamond is found in the environs of Momeik and gems in Namhkan Township. Logs of timber are floated to the Ayeyawady through using Shweli and Namtu (Myitnge) rivers. Pine is produced a little in the state for regional use and for turpentine. Minerals from Bawdwin Mines are refined in Bawdwin and Namtu to produce silver, lead, zine, antimony and copper. Yadana-theingi Mine produces silver and lead sent to Namtu to be refined. Gems are produced in Pyinlonnawarat Gems Land in Namhkam and Monghsu Township Gems Land.

Bawdwin and Namtu have refineries and lead and silver melting plants. Langkho has factories producing Virginia tobacco for pine smoking. There is a turpentine mill in Kalaw where Mongkai paper industry has been seen. Inlay Lake region has silversmith, blacksmith and textile industry. Textile products of Inlay Lake region is the public favourite. Green tea is the significant product of Shan State. Orange from Aungban  is well-known.
 

Geographical, historic and interesting places: Padalin Cave in Ywangan Township is  an interesting place because of evidences which say human beings lived there over 10,000  years ago. The Inlay Lake. 14 miles in length and seven miles in width, is well-known and called " Small Mountain Sea" as a metaphor.


Developing Pangsan, Shan State

Cultural and social festivals: February 7 is Shan State Day. Festivals of Inlay Phaungdaw U Buddha Image, Pindaya Shwe Uhmin Pagoda, Taunggyi balloon. Moebye Pagoda, Pa-O Meehsyu, Hsipaw Bawgyo Pagoda and Pindaya Pagoda are famous.

February 7 is Shan State Day. Festivals of Inlay Phaungdaw U Buddha Image, Pindaya Shwe Uhmin Pagoda, Taunggyi balloon. Moebye Pagoda, Pa-O Meehsyu, Hsipaw Bawgyo Pagoda and Pindaya Pagoda are famous.

Radio/ TV relay stations and microwave stations: There are TV relay stations in 55 towns of Shan State. Residents in 49 townships of Shan State and Mandalay Divisions enjoy  TV programmes through those relay stations.


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Prepared by THAN TUN WIN, Embassy of the Union of Myanmar , Brussels