Dos and Don’ts in Myanmar
by Kate Le Jul 17, 2017
Before traveling to a certain country, tourists need to bear in mind that each country has its own custom and traditions, especially in South Eastern Countries. Therefore, we are here to give you some tips on how to responsibly behave in Myanmar for your best comfort during your trip.
1. Be kind and polite
The Myanmar people are very friendly, helpful and polite. Typical characteristics of Burmese is kind and trustworthy. Whether you do not know how to find the way or where to find the restaurants, they are always willing to offer you a help.
2. Respect the Burmese and their unique traditions
Burmese people would never want you to abandon your ways of living and behaving, but they expect you to adapt to the Myanmar environment while staying there.
Burmese people respect the adaptation of tourists.
3. Don’t take offended photos
Sometimes, tourists might accidentally take some photos that may make people feel embarrassed. For example, it is considered disrespectful when tourists take pictures of women taking a shower.
It is considered disrespectful when tourists take pictures of women taking a shower.
4. Do Smile
A smile can do you no harm. A smile from international tourists might brighten up both their and the locals’ day.
A smile can do you no harm.
5. Don’t point with your foot
For Burmese, the head is the most sacred part of the human body while feet are the most inferior part. Being the lowest part, they are not only under every part of the body but also the dirtiest part. Thus, pointing with your feet means disrespect to others.
Pointing with your feet means disrespect to others.
6. Do wear decent clothes when visiting religious sites
Myanmar is the country of pagodas and temples. Hence, traveling to Myanmar tourists will definitely take a tour around those temples and pagodas. However, it is an essential factor that tourists need to cover their shoulders and knees. When entering a religious site, remember to take off your shoes and socks.
Wear decent clothes when visiting religious sites.
7. Do tuck away your feet
You need to be careful with your legs and feet when sitting in temples and pagodas. When you are at the praying area, your legs should not be stretched out and your feet should never face the Buddha.
Tuck away your feet.
8. Don’t touch anyone on the head
The head is the most esteemed part of the body. Touching somebody on their heads means you are acting aggressive and would want to start a fight.
Don’t touch anyone on the head
9. Learn basic words in Burmese
Burmese people will absolutely be delighted when you can speak some words or phrase in their language. They considered the act of adapting the language from the foreign travelers as the enthusiasm in their culture.
Learn basic words in Burmese
10. Travel in safety
Myanmar is a safe place to travel for women and children. Nevertheless, it is recommended that women should dress decently.
Myanmar is a safe place to travel for women and children
11. Don’t kiss in public
Close physical contact will cause awkwardness and unpleasantness in front of Burmese. Therefore, tourists should avoid displaying physical closeness in public areas.
Don’t kiss in public
12. Don’t disturb people praying or meditating
It is vital to conscious of other people when they are praying or meditating. Talking loudly and touching them might inflict discomfort.
Don’t disturb people praying or meditating
13. Don’t call others with your fingers up
When calling someone you know in Myanmar, remember to face your palm down to show politeness.
Don’t call others with your fingers up
14. Do learn local customs before visiting ethnic minority villages
The people in Myanmar are very diverse, each ethnic minor community has its own local customs. For example, in Akha village, tourists should not take photos of pregnant women.
Do learn local customs before visiting ethnic minority villages
15. Do try traditional transport facilities
Riding traditional transports benefits the locals and brings about an adventurous experience during your trips.
Try traditional transport facilities
16. Visitors might experience electricity outages.
Tourists are urged to be understanding about the electricity situation in Myanmar. But not to worry, this situation does not happen regularly.
Visitors might experience electricity outages.
17. Don’t touch the robe of a monk
Monks are very revered. They observe many rules, study the Dhama, practice meditation, and are highly respected in Myanmar society. Visitors should never touch the robe of a monk, not even if they see something is crawling up his robe.
Don’t touch the robe of a monk
18. Do use your money wisely
For non-precious items, tourists should buy them in the local market. If you want to purchase a valuable item, you should buy it in a licensed stores which will include certificates that guarantee the authenticity of the item.
Use your money wisely
19. Enjoy the culture
Myanmar is a cultural destination. Visitors are encouraged to learn about Myanmar’s traditional festival s and ceremonies.
Myanmar is a cultural destination
20. Exchange currency at official banks
Don’t exchange your money with strangers in black market, it could cause you problems. If you need to exchange your money, you are advised to do it at official exchange counters and banks.
Exchange currency at official banks
21. Do some voluntary work
If tourists wish to help the people Myanmar, it would be much appreciated and there are many creative ways to contribute to the community such as doing voluntary work at the local schools, local health facilities, NGOs or monasteries that take care of orphans.
Do some voluntary work
22. Don’t give money and sweets to children
It is nice to give gifts to children to show that you care for them. However, giving money and sweets to children will create dependency on tourism of the children.
Don’t give money and sweets to children
23. Do participate in festivals
Myanmar people are delighted when tourist take part in their festivals. It makes them feel happy and proud of their traditions.
Myanmar people are delighted when tourist take part in their festivals.
24. Don’t use drugs
Using drugs is against the law as well as destroy your life.
Don’t use drugs
25. Refuse to purchase wildlife products
Tourist should say no to consuming and trading wildlife endangered species.
Refuse to purchase wildlife products
26. Do not buy antiques, buy arts and crafts instead.
Myanmar would want to retain the unique heritage values of the country. That is why tourists should buy arts and crafts instead.
Do not buy antiques, buy arts and crafts instead.
27. Do keep Myanmar clean
Burmese people will be happy if international tourists join hands in educating the locals by collecting the rubbish as well as keeping the environment clean and fresh.
Do keep Myanmar clean
28. Do practice safe sex
Prostitution is illegal in Myanmar, thus Burmese people do not encourage visitors to involve in this kind of business.
Do practice safe sex
29. Do not go where you are advised not to go.
Myanmar’s government has put a restriction on international tourists in some areas. In the future, the local people hope that more destination will be opened up to tourists for a more sustainable tourism industry.
Do not go where you are advised not to go.
30. Relax and Enjoy your holiday
In this last tip, we would like to wish you a happy holiday and enjoy your best as well as try to be a responsible tourist as much as you can.
Relax and Enjoy your holiday