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Travel Info & Tips - Do and Don't

Do and Don't

Like in every foreign country, it is necessary to know the customs of the land and the "do's and don't" while travelling.  As well as in Myanmar, Respect is the main word.

Greetings

Normally men do not shake hands with woman, although handshaking is the normal form of greeting and appreciated. To Accept or give things with your right hand.

Religion:

Myanmar’s national religion is Buddhism. Dress up the proper way especially within the precincts of religious buildings such as Pagodas, temple or religious shrine. Never wear topless, bikinis, hot pants, shorts, tops that show your bare arms, skirts that show your legs, open-toed sandals and generally dirty or unkempt attire. Disregard of these customs causes serious cultural and religious offence to Buddhist Myanmar People.
In some religious areas, woman are not allow to enter certain areas, please follow the advice from your guide or if you do not see a woman in a particular area, make sure it is all right to enter as a female.

Buddha Images
Buddha images are sacred, large or small, ruined or not. Never sit or climb on a Buddha image or anything religious as this might indicate a lack of respect. Do not sit with your back against a Buddha statue or either turn the plant of the feet towards a Buddha statue and make sure you never sit high than a statue or monk.

Monks
Do not offer your hand to shake hands with a Monk. A woman should never let any part of her body touch a monk's robes. Accept or offer things to a monk always with both hands. Do not give an offering in food to a monk, nun or a novice after midday. Also do not give directly money to a monk, they are not allowed to touch money, so en envelop will be fine.

Respect the elders
The Myanmar people give their elders a lot of respect and we as visitors should follow this custom by keeping the feet on the ground and bend a bit when crossing close in front of an elders.

leave your shoes outside

Shoes
To wear shoes around the compound of a temple is acceptable but take your shoes and socks off before going inside the hall of worship. Also remove your shoes before you entering a private house. It is a good idea to have easily removable footwear to facilities.

 

Shouting and Shows of Annoyance
Myanmar people are generally a quite, calm people. Shouting and shows of annoyance are signs of lack of discipline. Simply do not get angry - things will work out much better if you can stay calm even in frustrated situation. Loud behavior is unacceptable and it is best to keep voices at a low level when conversing in a restaurant or other public places.

Intimacies between man and woman are frowned upon in public.

Head & Feet
In Myanmar the Head regard as the highest part of the body. Touching someone's head is not acceptable. The feet are the lowest part of the body; therefore never show the palms of your feet at anyone.

Topless on the beach?
Keep your European bathing suit for the swimming pool in the hotel. At the beach wear shorts and of course topless sunbathing for the ladies is a big NO NO. .

Photos
It is okay usually to take photos, but there some sites or person, which it will be inappropriate.  Myanmar people are generally friendly and accepting of having their picture taken, but it is polite to ask first before taken.  Refer to your guide if you not sure.

Drugs

Illegal drugs are a serious offence in Myanmar. Penalties range from five years' imprisonment to a death sentence.

General

Do not engage in purchase of wild animals whether protected or not. Aside from the moral issues, punishments are very harsh.

Please do not encourage begging or children work by handing out money or gifts to anyone.

All above remember that people are pretty much the same everywhere; curious, friendly, eager to meet others and making friends. Small efforts to be understanding and polite go a long way whatever country you visit, and people are forgiving of small mistakes as long as the effort for respect is made.