Do's and Don'ts for traveling in Burma-

The Do’s and Don’s of Traveling in Burma

Myanmar has opened its doors to foreign visitors . Without a doubt ,  Burma is one of the must-visit country in Asia . As Myanmar is a Buddhist country, like its neighbors Cambodia and Thailand, its citizens follow norms and traditions closely associated with the local religion. Follow these simple rules, and you can make your way through Myanmar without offending the locals. Before you travel to Myanmar , firstly  you need to understand the Culture in Myanmar . So you need to learn a few words from the local language; use them when you can. The Burmese people are a generally open and friendly people, much more so when you can talk to them (however haltingly) in their own tongue. These two words go a long way in fostering goodwill as you travel in Myanmar:
  • Mengalaba (pronounced as Meng- Gah- Lah- Bar)= Hello
  • Kyae Zuu Bae  (pronounced as Tseh-Soo- Beh)= Thank you
Be Local ,The Burmese people appreciate the effort of your trying to observe their way of living. Try wearing Burmese clothes, like the Longyi (for women) and Pasu (for men). These are worn in place of pants or skirts, as they have plenty of ventilation compared to their Western counterparts. For more on the merits of wearing Myanmar’s national dress. In addition to that you should try some of the local customs like like wearing thanaka makeup and chewing Kun-ya, or betel nut. Thanaka is a paste made from thanaka tree bark, and is painted on the cheeks and nose. The Burmese say thanaka is an effective sunblock. Kun-ya is more of an acquired taste; the Burmese wrap areca nuts and dried herbs in betel leaves, then chew the wad; this is what stains and distorts their teeth.   Respecting Personal Space in Myanmar Be aware of what you are to shoot :Stupas and landscapes are common places for tourist photographers; people aren’t. If you want to shoot the people, you should always ask permission before taking a shot of locals. Just because women are bathing out in the open doesn’t make it OK to snap a picture; quite the opposite. Taking pictures of meditating monks is considered very disrespectful. Respect the local religious customs. Traditionally Burmese people  are devout Buddhists, and while they will not impose their beliefs on visitors, they will expect you to pay due respect to their traditional practices. So you should wear  appropriate clothes when visiting religious sites, and you are suggested not to violate their space. Furthermore avoid touching a monk’s robes, and don’t disturb praying or meditating people in temples. Mind your body language. The Burmese have strong feelings about the head and feet. The head is considered holy, while the feet are considered impure. So there are some suggestions to keep your hands off people’s heads and touch the other people’s head. What’s more, you are to be careful of what you do with your feet too. Because you should not point or touch any objects with your feet . Additionally pointing at a person or a pagoda is not considered a good manner in Burmese culture .   No affection in public : Showing over affection like hugging and kissing in public is not traditionally and culturally accepted in Myanmar . Don’t trade wildlife products : purchasing the wildlife products like items made from ivory or animal skin is strictly prohibited . The government is fighting a tough battle against Chinese demand in these illegal products; help them by not supporting this kind of trade. Take care when buying arts and crafts, particularly antiques. Authorized antique stores provide certificates of authenticity with every purchase, protecting you from counterfeit items. Remember that antiques of a religious nature cannot be taken out of Myanmar. Never visit restricted areas . Don’t visit restricted areas. There are still a lot of places in Myanmar to visit and also threre are some places that are strictly prohibited for tourist to go. The reasons may vary: But not going to any restricted areas in Myanmar will be your right decision and safe journey .  
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