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Do's & Don'ts in Myanmar
Do’s & Don’ts in Myanmar
Below guide lines are about the customs and beliefs of
Myanmar people that will go a long way toward making your stay
more pleasant with them. Please read them carefully and be
mindful of some important suggestions while traveling.
- Try to speak Myanmar language: a simple “hello”,
“goodbye” and “thank you” is always greatly appreciated!
- When addressing people, don't leave out
U (which stands
for Mr) or Daw (which stands for Ms/Mrs).
- Try to speak slowly and clearly.
- Men do not shake hands with woman or a lady, although
handshaking is the normal form of greeting and appreciated.
Men should not touch a woman or a lady even in friendliness.
- Do not show affection in public.
- Accept or give things with your right hand. However,
when you offer something to a monk or nun or an elderly
person, use both hands.
- Do not offer your hand to shake hands with a monk.
- A woman should not to let any part of her body touch a
- In Myanmar, nodding means YES, and shaking head means
- While eating, let the oldest be served first.
- Do not touch any adult on the head.
- Do not step over any part of a person, but if you must,
always ask to be excused first.
- Keep the feet on the ground; and bend a bit when crossing
close in front of the elders.
- Do not turn the plant of the feet towards a monk or a
statue of Buddha.
- Seek permission on retrieving an article above a person's
- Do not point a finger straight in the face.
- Never not to show or nominate an object or a person with
the point of the feet.
- Do not sit down higher than a monk or than a statue of
- Do not sit with back against a statue of Buddha.
- Do not sit on a statue of Buddha to make a photograph.
- Do not put Buddha statues or images on the floor or
- Try to show respect to monks, nuns, and novices (even if
they are children).
- Sit lower than a monk and old nuns and elders.
- Do not give an offering in food to a monk, nun, or a
novice after midday.
- Do not give directly money to a monk.
- Do not step voluntarily on a monk's shadow.
- Remove your shoes including socks before entering the
enclosure of a Buddhist religious precinct such as pagoda,
temple, and monastery, enclosing wall of such monuments or
even a stone heap with Buddhist flag.
- Remove your shoes before entering a private house.
- Dress up decently, especially within the precincts of
religious buildings. Never do not wear shorts or bra-less T
shirts in such places; shoulders and knees should be
covered. Disregard of these customs causes serious cultural
and religious offence to Buddhist Myanmar people.
- Avoid being a nuisance when taking photographs.
- Keep your European bathing suit for the swimming pool in
the hotel. At the beach, put shorts.
- Penalties for drug-trafficking range from five years’
imprisonment to a death sentence.
- And Homosexuality is illegal.
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