Known as a Buddhist country with distinctive cultural features, there are definitely a lot of interesting things to discover about Burmese people and their cultural. Here are some of strangest facts you may not know about Myanmar.
There are more temples and pagodas than schools
There are a lot of temples in this country, many of which have thousands of gold plated towers, beautifully decorated with diamonds, gems and thousands of Buddha statues. Some temples have a wide campus which can up to several dozen acres but some only have Buddha statue and several towers. The Buddha statues in the temple are getting thicker due to gold leafs from prayers donations. Thone Wain Museum features a lot of Buddhist relics so that the monks and people can visit to pray.
The national drink of Burmese people is milk tea – a kind of light tea mixed with fresh milk and honey that tourists can drink as much as possible without being drunk or insomnia. The electrical grid is very weak so most of hotels or restaurants have to use their own generator. Markets often open at 9am and close at 4pm because the electricity will be cut off at 5pm. The nightlife is very quiet, there is nothing to entertain except some coffee shops and street vendors.
There are more monks than army supporters
Although Myanmar is considered as one of the top countries having the largest number of troops, the number of monks is even higher. The monks do not stay in the temple but focus on learning Buddhist. They go begging every day and eat like normal people but after 12pm, they are not allowed to kill animals, gather in crowded places, use cosmetics and have sex. The monastery is the place used to touch life skills for children, young monks learn Buddhist before becoming adults.
Strange Yangon International Airport
The airport is not very crowded like other countries but it was built very large to catch up with future developments. Visitors do not need to queue, staffs are always ready to help passengers carry luggage to the ticket counter or make procedures. There are many souvenirs shops in the airport, offering the affordable price like at the markets.
Easy to distinguish local people with foreigners
Burmese people have the habit of eating betel, from elderly to young people all can chew betel. They also like to apply “thanakha” powder on the face to protect the skin from the damaging rays of the sun. Men usually take sandals, especially slippers even they are wearing vest to attend the wedding. Only officials and soldiers wear shoes. Local people are free to visit all the attractions in the country. They are friendly and prefer to visit pagodas and offerings.
Take your shoes off when entering the temples
There is no exception even the heads of state. The fee for keeping your shoes is about 1,000 kyats per person. The temples do not burn incense but candles. Buddhists can eat and even organize music performances in the temples. Travelers who do not wear politely are not allowed to enter in the temple.
Motorcycles are banned in Yangon
Motorcycles are totally banned in Yangon. You would not find even a single motorbike on the roads. It’s rumored that a motorbike rider showed some offensive gestures to a military general and since then the ban was applied.
The general rule is that, cars with steering on right should be driven to the left side of the road and cars with steering on left should be driven to the right side. Being under the British rule, the cars in Myanmar had steering on the right and drive on the left. All was well and good until 1970, when the government surprisingly moved the traffic to the right. What’s more surprising is the reason beyond this move. It’s rumored that the General then, had a dream, that changing the direction of the traffic would also change the direction in which the country was progressing. Pretty intelligent, isn’t it.
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