Brief History of Myanmar (Burma)

Between the 3rd and 11th century the Thaton Kingdom, one of many Mon Kingdoms ruled Lower Burma, and parts of Southern Myanmar. There was early trading with India and Sri Lanka. Theravada Buddhism was introduced into Burma at that time

1057 - Great King Anawrantha defeats the Thaton Kingdom to unite Burma for the first time in history what was know as the Pagan Empire.

About 200 years later the Pagan empire falls apart and another Mon Kingdom gains independence. 

1287 - 1539 Lower Burma was ruled by the Hanthawaddy Kingdom or the Pegu Empire. Nowadays Pegu is known as Bago. A city just 80 kilometers north east of Yangon. At this time Dawei and Myeik became part of the Sukhothai Kingdom and its successor Ayutthaya Kingdom (Siam). 

1519/1520 After a first contact with Portuguese traders the Portuguese Indian Governor sent an ambassador for official trading to the Pegu Empire. 

1539 marks the fall of the Pegu Empire as the great King Bayinnaung united Myanmar again and even took over the Kingdom of Siam about 1565 and therefore the southern part of today's Burma. His Taungoo Empire was the largest empire in South East Asia.

In 1581 Bayinnnaung died and with him the empire start to crumble. 1599 the most southern parts of Myanmar been taken by the Kingdom of Siam again, including Myeik.

1599 - 1752 the Restored Taungoo Kingdom ruled the country. The most southern point at this time was Dawei, known as Tavoy. 

1683 to 1687 an Englishmen called Samuel White becomes harbor master of Myeik under the rule of the King of Siam. He was an interloper and a pirate in unison. Read the Book: Siamese White

Around 1740 the Restored Hanthawaddy Kingdom (Pegu Empire) regained power with the help of French and Portugese. 

1756 - 1826 King Alaungpaya and his Kobaung Dynasty conquered the Hanthawaddy Kingdom and the Kingdom of Siam. Southern Myanmar is Burmese territory again.

1824-1826 The first Anglo-Burmese War brought out Mawlamyine  to be the first British Burmese capital.

1885 The British took over all of Myanmar until the Japanese ruled the country for 3 years in the Second World War (1942-1945).

1948 Burma becomes independent. Under British rule the Karen people had autonomy. The Burmese Government demanded to rule Karen areas. The result was one of the longest lasting civil wars in the world. From 1952 to 2006 there would be fighting in parts of Southern Myanmar. In 2012 the final ceasefire agreement has been signed. This is reason, why you are allowed to visit the deep south of Myanmar overland now.

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