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Do’s and Don’ts in Myanmar

do's and don'ts in myanmar

Traveling to a new country means approaching a brand new culture with completely different customs. It is advisable for you to find some information about the things you should and should not do in a country before heading for it to avoid troubles. If you are about to visit Myanmar, here are some Do’s and Don’ts in Myanmar that need to be taken into consideration.

Do:
• Say ‘Mingalarbar’ whenever you meet someone for the first time
• Be honest, friendly and helpful
• Remember to put ‘U’ before the names of the men and ‘Daw’ before the names of the women whenever you address someone (‘U’ and ‘Daw’ act as ‘Mr’ and ‘Ms’ in English)
• When you want to offer something, remember to do it with your both hands
• Bow when you meet an old person
• Speak clearly and slowly
• Follow the signs at tourist sites
• Bring with you toilet paper
• Dress conservatively when visiting monasteries, pagodas or temples. Don’t ever wear shorts or bare shoulder dresses when going to these places. Also, before entering, take your shoes off.
• Show respect for the others and you will be treated with respect
• Make sure that you get an export permit when buying gems, jewelries or any expensive souvenir
• Use your right hand to receive and give things
• Only eat food at decent restaurants. If you cannot find a decent restaurant, always ask for well – cooked food.
• Bring with you some drugs for diarrhea in case your digestive system is not used to the food here
• Watch out for swindlers and pickepocket
• Drink only bottled water

Don’t:
• Pat anybody’s head. This is considered to be serious offense in Myanmar
• Eat food sold by the street vendors since it is not sure if food safety is guaranteed.
• Drink water from the taps
• Point your finger towards someone’s face. They believe that it is rude to do so.
• Use illegal drug
• Touch the monks if you are a woman
• Step on the shadow of the monk
• Offer a handshake to the monks or the nuns
• Turn your back at a Buddha’s image
• Leave your expensive stuffs at the hotel without putting it in locked suitcases. If your suitcases don’t have lockers, use the safe deposit boxes.
• In the western countries, it would be normal to kiss or hug in the public. However, you are not encouraged to do the same things in Myanmar

Some notes:
• In Myanmar, nodding your head means YES and shaking it means NO
• To some travelers’ taste, the food here is quite oily
• Almost every doctor in Myanmar can speak English so don’t worry if you get sick
• When driving, bear in mind that speed limit in the city is 30mph and remember to drive on the right side.

Remember this list of Do’s and Don’ts in Myanmar and you are bound to have the most interesting trip ever.

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