You have just had your visa to Myanmar, waiting day by day to start your journey. But do you really find out carefully about this country? Each country has its own culture and taboos. This list can name some things should and should not do to help you have a great private Myanmar tour.
I. Should do list
Myanmar people are strict in changing USD. They consider new banknotes have more value than dirty ones. For any Burma tours, visitors should keep their money flat, don’t fold or put money in the pocket. It is difficult to change USD banknotes so be careful to get no troubles.
More cash is better
In Myanmar, you can get difficulty in changing money. Should prepare much cash instead of using a credit card and cheque. You can exchange money at the airport. There are 3 to 4 money exchange offices to choose. It is a very important thing to do if you want to have a great “private tour” in “Myanmar”. One more thing to remember: bigger one is better, such as 100 USD -1000Kyats/1USD but 80 USD – 800Kyats/1 USD. So prepare spotless and big USD banknotes together with your visa to start your tour to Myanmar.
1000, 5000 Kyats
You should exchange these rates: 1000 and 5000 banknotes are used popularly. Tourists should also prepare 100, 200, 500 Kyats to tip some time. 10.000 banknote is quite similar to 1000 one, so be careful!
Book in advance
Many Myanmar travel companies can help you book all things in advance. The price is better. You should book bus ticket, hotels, boats,… JJ ticket is such a great suggestion. In Bagan, you can use an OK bus instead. Agoda and Booking.com are great websites to book in advance. For flights, booking on gmairline.com website is a good choice because it is much cheaper than other brands.
Do not wait until you have your first step in this country to find means of transport, will get confused.
Sandals all the time
It is a must to take off your socks and shoes whenever visiting pagodas. To save time and be convenient, travelers should not wear high heels or shoes like normal. Flip flops and sandals are popular. That is why during any Myanmar tours, you can see handsome men in a suite with sandals instead of shining shoes.
Right-hand says “Yes”
To Burma people, using a right hand is polite. They use the left hand for personal hygiene, so if you use left hand when eating is considered vulgar. To be polite in any situations, please remember to use the right hand when you are” in Myanmar”, especially when you shake hands with somebody, or pay money for food, give a gift,…If you are not sure, ask the guide from your “tour company” for help.
II. Should not do list
Top of the head is considered where to express respect. You are advised not to touch other’s vertex. It is normal to touch or rub children’s heads, but in this country, it is quite different. This is a very important culture to remember for any tourists.
You should read this carefully to avoid forgetting anything.
Some pagodas in Myanmar do not allow women to visit. In Myanmar, gender prejudice is still a big problem. Many believe that women can’t come closer to sacred places. Like Inle Phaung Daw Oo, this pagoda is just for men. You should check information and read the instruction carefully before spending holidays in Myanmar just to visit pagodas.
Don’t hug me!
Can’t stop you from expressing special feelings to your lover. But how to express it is a sensitive topic. In Myanmar, visitors should not hug or kiss each other. It is impolite in public places. They can’t accept such behaviors. If you plan to spend your “holidays” in “Myanmar” with your lover, should consider this!
Remember that you are not advised to ask women about marital status because almost 30% Myanmar women in big cities do not get married.
Not easy to know everything about a country, but to behave like a local, travel like a local, you can’t miss these notes. Your private Myanmar tour will bring you more experiences with strange things. Always remember to behave like a smart tourist and get interesting time in Myanmar.