Dos & don'ts in Myanmar

Myanmar has only recently opened its doors to foreign travelers and Burmese are well known as friendly. The country is not completely opaque as far as customs and traditions go. As a result, to have a happy time for your trip to Myanmar, you should glance at dos and don’ts in Myanmar:

Dos in Myanmar: 

- Travel with reputed travel agents (Tripadvisor is a good source). If you don’t check the reputation of travel agents you chose, you may get low-quality service. In the worse case, you will find yourself in bad condition: dirty hotel, uncomfortable car, bad food, etc.

- Say “Mingalarbar” when meeting someone, use “U” in front of men names and “Daw” in front of women names;

- Spread your wealth, use your money wisely.

- Sit lower than a monk and old nuns and elders.

- Let the oldest be served first

- Go to decent recommended restaurants in Yangon, where they cook Myanmar food according to international standards to try good Myanmar food.

- Offer articles with both hands and keep both feet on the ground;

- Bend slightly in front of the elders;

- Dress and act decently, speak slowly and clearly;

- Ask permission before taking photographs, the Burmese can be very shy

- Wear polite dress code (long and body covering clothes), cover your head, remove shoes and socks before entering religious sites to show your respect to the local religious customs

- Help protect Myanmar wildlife by refusing purchase wildlife products.

- Show respect to monks, novices, and nuns

Avoid these don’ts below and you can make your way through Myanmar without offending the locals.

Don’ts In Myanmar

- Don't touch the robe of the monk, anyone’s head and women.

- Don't disturb people praying or meditating.

- Don't play loud music in these areas. Note that Buddhist monks are not allowed to listen to music.

- Don’t handle Buddha images or sacred objects with disrespect or keep them in inappropriate places (on the floor for example)

- Don't touch sacred objects with disrespect. Hold them in your right-hand or with both hands.

- Don't offer your hand to shake hands with a monk.

- Don’t show affection in public. Myanmar is still a conservative country and the locals may be offended by public displays of affection.

- Don’t change your money at the black market. Authorized money changers are places to go.

- Don’t wear shorts, tank top to the pagodas, temples or other religious places. You will be considered rude and sometimes you will not be allowed to be in.

- Don’t sit down higher than a monk or than a statue of Buddha.

- Don’t sit with back against a statue of Buddha.

- Don’t put Buddha statues or images on the floor or somewhere inappropriate.

- Don’t step over any part of a person, but if you must, always ask to be excused first.

- Don’t turn the plant of the feet towards a monk or a statue of Buddha.

- Don’t point a finger straight in the face.

Wish you have a great journey in Myanmar!

Do not point finger straight in the face

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