Bordered by Bangladesh and India in the west, China in the north, Laos in the east, and Thailand in the east and south, Myanmar (Burma) juts into the Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. Covering 262,227 sq miles (676,578 sq km), it has a population of around 60 million, the majority of whom live in the fertile Delta region in the south, and in the semi- arid plains of the interior, flanking the Ayeyarwady River and its major tributary, the Chindwin. Enfolding the central river valleys are forested moun tains, which grow higher and wilder as they approach the fron- tiers with India and China. In the far north, the eastern arm of the Himalayas forms the border with China, with peaks rising to 12,300 ft (5,900 m). The eastern third of the country consists of the Shan Plateau, a vast tract of largely denuded mountains and valleys.