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Typical Character

  • Friendly, helpful, honest but proud.
  • Treat everyone with respect and you will be respected.


  • When addressing people, donít leave out U (which stands for Mr) or Daw (which stands for Ms/Mrs).
  • Speak slowly and clearly.


  • Not always necessary to shake hands.
  • Donít hug or kiss in public.
  • Donít touch any adult on the head.
  • Donít step over any part of a person, as it is considered rude.
  • Accept or give things with your right hand.
  • In Myanmar, unlike the Indian continent, nodding means YES, and shaking head means NO.


  • For hygiene reasons, eat only in decent restaurants.  When not available, always eat heated food.
  • Donít eat food purchased form street vendors.
  • Donít drink tap water.
  • Drink only bottle d water and soft drinks that havenít been opened yet.
  • Let the oldest be served first.
  • Chinese food is common and suggested.
  • Myanmar food are often complained as Ďoilyí
  • To try good Myanmar food, go to decent restaurants in Yangon area, where they cook Myanmar food according to international standards.


  • When buying gems, sculptures, or any expensive souvenir, make sure it comes with and export permit.
  • Buy arts from authorized dealers only and get a certified receipt.


  • Donít  leave expensive items in your room.  Use safe deposit box.
  • Beware of cheats, swindlers, imposters.


  • Stay away from narcotic drugs.
  • Carry some medicines for diarrhea.
  • If sick, donít worry.  All doctors are English literate.
  • Health insurance is not available.


  • Accept that facilities may not be the best.
  • On trains, keep windows shut.
  • Speed or distance descriptions are in miles, not kilometers.
  • Carry toilet paper in your bag.


  • Most Myanmar do not wear shoes in their homes.  Take off when visiting.

Moving About

  • Donít jays walk?  Watch where you walk and what you step on.
  • If driving, city speed limit is 30 mph.  Drive on the right side.


  • At religious places, remove footwear, but to remove headwear is not necessary.
  • Avoid shouting or laughing.
  • Avoid being a nuisance when taking photographs.
  • Treat Buddha images with respect.
  • Tuck away your feet.  Donít point it toward the pagoda or a monk.
  • Donít play loud music in these areas.  Note that Buddhist monks are not allowed to listen to music.
  • Do not put Buddha status or images on the floor or somewhere in appropriate.
  • Donít touch sacred objects with disrespect.
  • Hold them in your right-hand, or with both hands.
  • Leave a donation when possible.
  • Show respect to monks, nuns, and novices (even if they are children).
  • Donít offer your hand to shake hands with a monk.
  • Sit lower than a monk and elders.
  • Donít offer food to a monk, nun, or a novice after noon time.
  • A woman should not touch a monk.
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