Burmese - Settlements

Villages are the predominant form of human settlement. Over 65,000 villages make Myanmar a mainly rural country. Villages are of three kinds. In Upper Burma the village surrounded by a palisade or a fence is common. Ingress and egress are through a village gate, and the fence or palisade is often manned by village guards. There are also clustered villages without a boundary fence. These villages do not have regular plans and usually lack public buildings. The only major difference between houses is that some have one story, others two. Monasteries are always placed outside the bounds of the village. Fields lie beyond the village, usually within walking distance, but houses are set among trees and fruit crops. The third settlement type is a line village strung out along a road or river bank. Towns and cities are found near or on major rivers and waterways, indicating both irrigation centers and transport networks. Yangon (formerly Rangoon) is now a major Burmese city and the nation's capital; Mandalay is the home of former kings and the cultural capital.

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