Myanmar is a diamond-shaped country extending 925km (575 miles) from east to west and 2,100km (1,300 miles) from north to south. It is bounded by China, Laos and Thailand to the east, by Bangladesh and India to the north and by the Indian Ocean in the west and south.
The Irrawaddy River runs through the centre of the country and fans out to form a delta on the south coast; Yangon stands bedside one of its many mouths. North of the delta lies the Irrawaddy basin and central Myanmar, which is protected by a horseshoe of mountains riding to over 3,000m (10,000ft), creating profound climatic effects.
To the west are the Arakan, Chin and Naga mountains and the Patkai Hills; the Kachin Hill are to the north to the east lie the Shan Plateau, which extends to the Tenasserim costal ranges. Intensive irrigated farming is practiced throughout central Myanmar, and fruit, vegetables and citrus crops thrive on the Shan Plateau, but much of the land and mountains are covered by subtropical forest.