Myanmar units of measurement

The traditional Burmese units of measurement are still in everyday use in Myanmar (also known as Burma). According to the CIA Factbook, Myanmar is one of three countries that have not adopted the International System of Units (SI) metric system as their official system of weights and measures.[1] However, in June 2011, the Burmese government's Ministry of Commerce began discussing proposals to reform the measurement system in Burma and adopt the metric system used by most of its trading partners,[2] and in October 2013, Dr. Pwint San, Deputy Minister for Commerce, announced that the country was preparing to adopt the metric system.[3]

Most of the nation uses Burmese units only, although Burmese government web pages in English use imperial and metric units inconsistently. For instance, the Ministry of Construction uses miles to describe the length of roads[4] and square feet for the size of houses,[5] but square kilometres for the total land area of new town developments in Yangon City.[5] The Ministry of Agriculture uses acres for land areas.[6] The Ministry of Foreign Affairs uses kilometres (with mile equivalents in parentheses) to describe the dimensions of the country.[7]


Table of length units
Unit Metric Imperial/US Ratio to
Burmese Romanized
ဆံချည် sanchi 79.375 μm 3 18 thou/mil
နှမ်း hnan 0.79375 mm 31 14 thou/mil 10
မုယော mayaw 4.7625 mm 316 in 6
လက်သစ် let thit 19.05 mm 34 in; one digit 4
မိုက် maik 152.4 mm 6 in; one shaftment 8
ထွာ htwa 228.6 mm 9 in; one span 1.5
တောင် taung 457.2 mm 1 12 ft; one cubit 2
လံ lan 1.8288 m 6 ft; one fathom 4
တာ ta 3.2004 m 10 12 ft 1.75
ဥသဘ out-thaba
(from Pali usaba)
64.008 m 70 yd 20
ကောသ kawtha
(from Pali kosa)
1.28016 km 0.795455 mi 20
ဂါ၀ုတ် ga-wout
(from Pali gavuta)
5.12064 km 3.18182 mi;
about one league
ယူဇနာ yuzana
(from Pali yojana)
20.48256 km 12.7273 mi 4


Table of mass units
Unit Metric Imperial/US Ratio to
Burmese Romanized
ရွေးလေး yway lay 136.078 mg 2.1 grain
ရွေးကြီး yway gyi 272.155 mg 4.2 grain 2
ပဲသား petha 1.02058 g 15.75 grain 3.75
မူးသား mutha 2.04117 g 31.5 grain 2
မတ်သား mattha 4.08233 g 63 grain 2
ငါးမူးသား nga mutha[N 1] 8.16466 g 0.288 oz 2
ကျပ်သား kyattha[N 2] 16.3293 g 0.576 oz 2
အဝက်သား awettha 204.117 g 7.2 oz 12.5
အစိတ်သား aseittha 408.233 g 14.4 oz 2
ငါးဆယ်သား ngase tha 816.466 g 1.8 lb 2
ပိဿာာ peittha[N 3] 1.63293 kg 3.6 lb 2
အချိန်တစ်ရာ achein taya 163.293 kg 360 lb 100
  1. Literally "five mutha", but in fact it is only four.
  2. Traditionally known as a tical in English.
  3. Traditionally known as a viss in English.


Table of volume units
Unit Metric Imperial US Ratio to
Burmese Romanized
လမု la myu 79.9118 mL 2 1316 fl oz 2.70214 fl oz
လမျက် la myet 159.824 mL 5 58 fl oz 5.40428 fl oz 2
လမယ် la me 319.647 mL 11 14 fl oz 10.8086 fl oz 2
စလယ် sa le 639.294 mL 1 18 pints 1.35107 pints 2
ခွက် hkwet 1.27859 L 1 18 qt 1.35107 qt 2
ပြည် pyi 2.55718 L 2 14 qt 2.70214 qt 2
စိတ် seit 10.2287 L 2 14 gallons
1 18 pecks
2.70214 gallons
1.16106 pecks
ခွဲ hkwe 20.4574 L 4 12 gallons
2 14 pecks
5.40428 gallons
2.32213 pecks
တင်း tin 40.9148 L 9 gallons
1 18 bushels
10.8086 gallons
1.16107 bushels


Table of money units
Unit Equivalent to
Burmese Romanized
ပြား 1 pya  
မတ် 1 mat 25 pya
ငါးမူး 5 mu 2 mat
ကျပ် 1 kyat 2 mu

Adoption of SI (metric) system

In October 2013, the Ministry of Commerce announced that Myanmar was preparing to adopt the International System of Units (SI) as the country's official system of measurement.[3]

Examples of metrication in Myanmar include weather forecasts by the Department of meteorology and Hydrology being given with temperatures in Celsius.[8] Petrol in Myanmar is sold with prices in Burmese kyat per litre (K/L).[9][10] Speed limits in Myanmar are given by law in kilometres per hour (km/h).[11][12] Speedometers and odometers on cars in Myanmar are also mostly metric, since most cars are imported from neighbouring countries using the metric system. Road signs in Myanmar have for long been poorly standardized, with for example the highway traffic signs of the Yangon–Mandalay Expressway not complying with international standards, and it is not uncommon to see dual unit speed and distance signs showing both kilometres and miles. However, new signs tend to be metric only and to follow the Vienna Convention. Most supermarket goods are now sold with prices in Burmese kyat per kilogram (K/kg), while traditional Burmese units of measurements still are being used in some local markets.


  1. "The World Factbook, Appendix G: Weights and Measures". Web Pages. Central Intelligence Agency. 2010. Archived from the original on 28 May 2010. Retrieved 10 May 2010.
  2. "[USMA:50911] RE: Ditch the viss, govt urges traders". The Myanmar Times. The Mail Archive. 24 July 2011. (At bottom of page). Archived from the original on 7 August 2011. Retrieved 19 September 2015 via The Internet Archive.
  3. "Myanmar to adopt metric system". Eleven Media Group. Archived from the original on 24 March 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  4. "Public Works, Fields Of Activities". Web Page. Ministry Of Construction. 2006. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  5. "Housing Development". web page. Ministry Of Construction. 2006. Archived from the original on 1 February 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  6. "Ministry of Agriculture and Information". Web Page. Myanmar Agriculture. 2009–2010. Archived from the original on 13 June 2013. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  7. "About Myanmar : Geography". web page. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Myanmar. 2009. Archived from the original on 5 August 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  9. Fuel prices on the rise | The Myanmar Times
  10. Petrol Prices March 2014 in Yangon, Myanmar
  11. Road Safety in Myanmar (Road Safety 2030 High level Action For Road Safety) - Recommendations of an Expert Mission invited by the Government of Myanmar and supported by the Suu Foundation. Paris, April 2017, page 13 of 21 "A national speed limit law featuring maximum speed limits on urban roads (48 km/h) and rural roads (80 km/h)"
  12. Strict speed limit enforcement begins in Mandalay | The Myanmar Times


  • "Myanmar, Metric and British equivalents in weights & measures". Myanmar–English Dictionary. Department of the Myanmar Language Commission, Ministry of Education, Union of Myanmar.

See also

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