11 Things Should Never Do For The First Time To Myanmar4 min read

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11 Things Should Never Do For The First Time To Myanmar

Myanmar is an ancient and mysterious country for tourists. However, in recent years, the country has emerged as a location that many visitors all around the world seek because of proximity and low cost. So if you do not want to be considered as an impolite person, when you come to this country, please avoid and note these following 11 things.

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Touching people head

According to Myanmar conception, head is the most sacred part of the body. Therefore, touching the head of others, even in the most friendly sense, is considered to be extremely offensive thing. Even with lovely kids, you should not rub their heads.

Look at the legs

If head is the most sacred part then legs are the most impolite. Acting of pointing on human legs or something, especially the Buddha statues in Myanmar is considered rude. Besides, visitors should not set foot on furniture.

Using the left hand to eat

In eating, the Myanmar people always eat with their right hand. In their conception, the left hand often performs daily personal hygiene tasks, so it is not used for eating. Therefore, visitors to Myanmar, when receiving food or delivery, must use the right hand not to use the left hand, using the left hand is a rude action, not clean.

Bad behaviors

Respect monks, the elders and children are traditions in Myanmar. This seems to be ingrained in the blood of every person in this country. Visitors when contacting to the monks, SHOULD NOT shake hands, but have to fold hands and show respect for them.

Wear shoes in the temple or pagoda

Myanmar is a Buddhist nation and its people are very religious, so walking shoes in the sanctuary place is considered a disrespectful action. Visitors to Myanmar temples and pagodas should remove shoes or slippers (including socks) when entering. This reflects the respect of spiritual destinations while keeping the space is sanctuary and clean.

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Climb up the temples

As mentioned above, temples are important places in Myanmar. Guests are not allowed to eat or sleep at temples, pagodas and other religious buildings.

However, because the sunset and sunrise in Bagan are so beautiful, many people are still defying the rules to climb to have a better view. There are also a number of temples that allow visitors to climb so you should find out informations before your visit.

Showing shoulder and knee when visiting religious buildings

Because the weather in Myanmar is quite dry and hot, many tourists here choose cool clothes. However, many religious buildings in this country do not allow visitors to visit if the guest’s clothes show shoulder and knee. So before visiting the religious sites in Myanmar, visitors should cover their knees and shoulders.

If you come to these places with showing knees and shoulders, you can rent Myanmar local clothes such as sarong, longyi before your visit. Bagan, where many temples and uninhabited temples are located, visitors should also follow this rule if you do not want people to look with discomfort or asking to leave the temple.

Stay at hotels and guest houses that are not registered

Guests travel to Myanmar for the first time must fill in the information about the hotel and the accommodation they are staying in. Because all the accommodation options must be allowed by the Myanmar Tourism Authority. You should book in advance to avoid the hassle and enjoy more good rates.

Ask Myanmar women about their families

Visitors to Myanmar should not ask about the issue of family, husband and children because of many reasons that about 30% of women in big cities do not build family,  and office workers up to 50%.

Expressing too many emotions in public

As a Buddhist country, Burmese also disagreed with excessive expression in public such as kiss, hug.

Use a fork to eat

Forks and spoons are two essential items when enjoying the food in Myanmar. People often put food with fork on spoon rather than directly from the fork into the mouth. Knives are rarely used in this country.

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