Things you should never do in Myanmar

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Traveling to peaceful country, Myanmar, visitors will be enjoyed an amazing view of golden pagodas, leaning towers, stunning sunset, friendly and hospitable people,… In order to have the safe and perfect trip, there are some things you should never do in this country.

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Not point your feet at anyone

Pointing your feet at the others, especially Buddha statue is considered very rude in Myanmar. According to Burmese people, feet are the dirtiest part of the body so you need to notice this etiquette. When visiting a Burmese house, you also should not put your feet on their furniture such as chair, table,…

Not touch someone’s head

While feet are the dirtiest part, the head is seen as the “highest” point and sacred part of the body so touching a person’s head is an extremely impolite action.

Burmese family (via Al Jazeera)

Take your shoes off before entering the temple

Before entering the temples in Myanmar, you have to take your shoes or slipper, including socks. Local people very worship Buddhists so you enter inside the temple without take your shoes off is also seen as rude behavior.

Not climb up the temples

Travelers are not allowed to eat or sleep at the temples, pagodas and other religious buildings in Myanmar and climb up the temples, too.

Remember to wear clothes covering shoulders/knees when visiting temples

Knees and shoulders should be covered while visiting religious sites in Myanmar. Even in Bagan city where many temples and shires are unmanaged, visitors should also allow this rule. The weather in Myanmar is very hot so you should wear light-weight clothes but still cover your shoulders and knees.

Knees and shoulders should be covered while visiting religious sites in Myanmar (via TripSavvy)

Not stay at the hotels that you have not registered

Travelers who coming Myanmar for the first time have to fill in the information on the hotel and accommodation they are going to stay because all the accommodations must be allowed by Ministry of Tourism Myanmar. Therefore, you should book hotel in advance to avoid unexpected and get promotions.

Not give children money

Visitors to Myanmar can meet many poor children asking for money. Refusing children’s requests is very difficult, but you should avoid them if you can because this action can cause bad consequences such as encouraging more and more children to beg.

Avoid using your left hand

Using the left hand to receive or give something can be considered a disrespectful act. Instead, you should use your right hand or both hands.

Do not use your left hand to receive or give something (via Webjet Exclusives)

Not put food in your mouth with fork

Forks and spoons are two popular items used to enjoy meal in Myanmar but the food is put on the spoon by fork before put into the mouth. Knives are rarely used in this country.

Not eat street food without knowing about them

Street food is very popular in Southeast Asian countries, with reasonable prices, rich menu and delicious taste. However, visitors should not enjoy the food which you do not know about them because some dishes can get you poisoned.

Burmese people do not use crumpled and worn notes

Crumpled and worn notes will not be accepted at the international airports in Myanmar. Although some hotels or motels still accept these notes, you also need to make sure you have enough new money to pay at the airport or take a taxi.

Burmese people do not use crumpled and worn notes (via Gessato Blog)

Not drink tap water

Like many other Southeast Asian countries, tap water in Myanmar is not safe enough to drink directly. Bottled water is sold everywhere at reasonable prices and many of the hotels and inns in the country offer free purified water.

Not ask Myanmar women about marital status

Visitors traveling to Myanmar should not ask women about their marital status because of the many reasons, about 30% of women in big cities do not get marriage and up to 50% with officers.

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