Do's & Don'ts
- Friendly. Helpful. Honest. Smiling most of the times and ready to help others.
- Treat everyone with respect and you will be respected.
- When addressing people. Don’t leave out U (which stands for Mr) or Daw (which stands for Ms/Mrs).
- Speak slowly and clearly.
- Not always necessary to shake hands.
- Don’t hug or kiss in public.
- Don’t touch any adult on the head.
- Don’t 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.
- Don’t eat food purchased from street vendors.
- Don’t drink tap water.
- Drink only bottled water and soft drinks that haven’t been opened yet.
- Let the oldest be served first.
- Chinese food is common and suggested.
- Myanmar food is often complained as ‘oily’.
- 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 an export permit.
- Buy arts from authorized dealers only and get a certified receipt.
- Don’t 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. Don’t 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 does not wear shoes in their homes. Take off when visiting.
- Don’t 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. Don’t point it towards the pagoda or a monk.
- Don’t play loud music in these areas. Note that Buddhist monks are not allowed to listen to music.
- Do not put Buddha statues or images on the floor or somewhere inappropriate.
- Don’t 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).
- Don’t offer your hand to shake hands with a monk.
- Sit lower than a monk and elders.
- Don’t offer food to a monk. Nun. Or a novice after noon time.
- A woman should not touch a monk.