10 Interesting Facts You Need to Know Before Travelling to Myanmar

10 Interesting Facts You Need to Know Before Travelling to Myanmar

Myanmar offers it visitors a lot of surprises when they get into its uninfluenced lifestyle. If you are planning a trip to Myanmar, make sure that you remember all top 10 interesting facts as below.

1. Burmese Have Only First Name, No Last Name

It’s very interesting that Burmese names lack the serial quality of most modern names. The Burmese people have no customary patronymic or metronymic system and thus there is no surname at all. They are normally named after the day they were born in the week, that’s why many Burmese have a same name because there are only 7 days in a week. In Burmese culture, people can also change their names at will to reflect a change in their lives.

2. The Whole Country Chew Betel

The first time travelling to Myanmar, I was really really surprised by the “red teeth” of local peoples. They smile as “sunshine” literally and everybody is very generous in smiles. Chewing betel turns out to be a favorite habit of the whole country. It’s easy to find betel shops every street corner. From the taxi drivers to the waitresses in local restaurant are chewing betel. It’s such an interesting “national habit”, isn’t it?

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

3. No Seat Number On Domestic Flights

Yes! It sounds strange but true. You are sitting on a plane but feel as if you are on a bus! There’s no seat number in your ticket, you will find your favorite seat you want, next to windows or next to exits. In this case, first come first served for nice seats. But don’t worry, apart from this point, domestic flights in Myanmar are safe and convenient as in other countries. It’s must be an interesting experience in your trip to Myanmar.

4. Eat By Right Hand Only

It’s recommended to eat by right hands even when you are only a visitor in Myanmar, as eating by left hands is considered impolite. The left hand is only used for personal hygiene, according to Burmese. Thus when you give food or money to somebody, remember to use your right hand.

5. Magazines Are Still Very Popular

While nowadays online magazines almost occupy the media system in the world, magazines are still very popular in Myanmar. Every street stands a magazines store. After many years existing isolated, reading paper magazines and newspapers is the only way this country know about outsiders. However it will be very different in several years as Myanmar is developing day by day.

6. Traditional White Face Women 

A woman on Inle Lake, Myanmar, Burmese society is one of the most traditional communities in Asia; locals live in their own way that maintains a lot of unique traditional customs till today.

On the streets, you will encounter many women whose faces are painted a white powder. That white powder is called Thanaka, a yellowish-white natural cosmetic made from ground bark. Burmese ladies rarely use other cosmetic except from Thanaka. The creamy paste is not only applied to the face in attractive designs as a cosmetic beauty, but also gives a cooling sensation and provides protection from sunburn.

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

7. Internet Is Available But Very Slow

It doesn’t seem good news for internet lovers, internet is not forbidden anymore but still very slow. It has been improved much so far; however it’s better to prepare for the worst case that there will be an internet error during your trip.

In some ways, it makes your trip to Myanmar is truly a getaway to a special country, where people live more slowly and independently from technology. The days in Myanmar would be a serene pause for your busy life which you hardly find in many places.

8. Women Are Not Allowed To Access Some Sacred Places

In some religious place, women are restricted from entering certain areas. In your Myanmar tours, you will see a lot of shrines, we suggest you observe if there are woman in the area before coming in if you are female. Also, like in other Buddhism countries women are not allowed to touch a monk. If introduced to a monk, a bow of the head instead of a handshake is appropriate.

9. Strange Right Hand Traffic

It’s really strange when watching the traffic in Myanmar. This is right hand traffic but most of current vehicles in Myanmar are right hand drive. Moreover, some new imported vehicles are left hand drive. So, both left and right hand drive cars are running on Myanmar’s streets. We could grant Burmese the awards for “the best driver in the world”!

Keterangan Gambar (© Pemilik Gambar)

10. Men Wear “Skirts”

It’s not a traditional story in Scotland; it is contemporary story in Myanmar.  Both Burmese males and females wear Longyi in daily life. It’s a sheet of cloth, worn around the waist, running to the feet, and looks like a long “skirt”. Burmese males don’t feel it inconvenient at all when wearing this Myanmar traditional clothing; they even feel it’s a good way to protect them from the heat all year around. In the peaceful pace of Burmese lifestyle, the figures of people in longyi are nice images of the Buddhist country.


Now, don't let these 10 interesting facts for traveling to Myanmar get out of your mind, bookmark or share it to your travel-mates in your next  Myanmar travel.

Source : Exotic Voyages

Indah Gilang Pusparani

Indah is a researcher at Badan Perencanaan Pembangunan Penelitian dan Pengembangan Daerah Kota Cirebon (Regional Development Planning and Research Agency of Cirebon Municipality). She covers More international relations, tourism, and startups in Southeast Asia region and beyond. Indah graduated from MSc Development Administration and Planning from University College London, United Kingdom in 2015. She finished bachelor degree from International Relations from University of Indonesia in 2014, with two exchange programs in Political Science at National University of Singapore and New Media in Journalism at Ball State University, USA. She was awarded Diplomacy Award at Harvard World Model United Nations and named as Indonesian Gifted Researcher by Australian National University. She is Researcher at Regional Planning Board in Cirebon, West Java. She previously worked as Editor in Bening Communication, the Commonwealth Parliament Association UK, and diplomacy consulting firm Best Delegate LLC in USA. Less
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