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Typical Character

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  • Friendly, helpful, honest.
  • Relate everyone with respect and you will feel respect and frankly smile of them
  • Speak friendly and openly.
  • When addressing people, don't leave out U (which stands for Mr) or Daw (which stands for Mrs). Ma(which stands young lady not marriage yet or even had married But young age for Ms.)
  • Speak slowly and clearly.

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  • 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.

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  • 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 are 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • 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.

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  • Most Myanmar do not wear shoes in their homes. Take off when visiting. 

Moving About

  • Don't jay walk. Watch where you walk and what you step on.
  • If driving, city speed limit is 30 mph. Drive on the right side.

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  • 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 toward 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.


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