Asia, Culture, Destinations, Do's and Don'ts, Travel Tips

Do’s and Don’ts of Myanmar

December 15, 2014 • By

I had to share….A book of Do’s and Don’ts in each of my hotels so far.

The Do’s and Don’ts for Tourists (so you can visit Myanmar responsibly)

The Myanmar people are friendly, helpful and polite.

Respect the Myanmar people and their unique traditions. (Visitors are not asked to abandon their ways, they are asked to adapt to the Myanmar environment)

Don’t’ take any photos that may make people feel embarrassed. (That means no tourists should take photos of women showering)

Do Smile. (A smile will lighten up everyone’s day)

Don’t point with your foot. (The feet convey messages and this would be disrespectful)

Wear decent clothes when visiting religious sites.  (Cover your shoulders and knees and take off your shoes AND socks when entering pagoda areas) (there is a picture of a woman in a bathing suit and a man in fishing tanks for this one)

Do tuck away your feet.  (When you sit, your legs should not be stretched out and your feet should never face the Buddha)

Don’t touch anyone on the head. (The head is the most esteemed part of the body. To be touched on the head is considered aggressive)

Learn the basic words in Myanmar language. (I learned thank you 🙂 )

Women travelers are safe in Myanmar. (But it is recommended women dress decently–no hoochie here and so far so good)

Don’t kiss in public. (Displaying any public affection is frowned upon in Myanmar)

Don’t disturb people praying or meditating. (Visitors should avoid loud talk and should take care not to touch people meditating)

Calling with your finger up means calling for a challenge. (Fingers down are ok).  (I wondered why everyone was hailing a cab waving at the ground)

Visitors may experience electricity outages. (Yes that happens)

Don’t touch the robe of a monk. (Monks are revered. One should never touch them even if a warm is crawling on them) (I really just wanted to know if he was wearing underwear)

Spread your wealth, use your money wisely. (Tourists should purchase non-precious items at the local market. Licensed stores will give certificates that guarantee the authenticity of items. I have one. I bought Longyi’s early and often)

Myanmar is a cultural destination. (Visitors are encouraged to learn about Myanmar traditional festivals and ceremonies and now how the government is corrupt and people are poor)

Using drugs is illegal in Myanmar. (The use of drugs is against the law, and will destroy your life)

Help protect Myanmar wildlife by refusing to purchase wildlife products.

To maintain Myanmar’s unique heritage, do not buy antiques. Buy arts and crafts instead.

Practice safe sex.(Prostitution is illegal in Myanmar – and so is premarital sex)