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10 things that (almost) only happen in Myanmar

  • By Easia Admin
  • August, 10, 2017

Cultures are in effect the culmination of many smaller features of everyday life, and these are what make them so complicated, but, at the same time, so diverse and interesting. When traveling, this is exactly what people look for, those little things that help them understand the host country and its people better. Here are some special curiosities that Myanmar hides;

  1. Sending a kiss can get anyone a beer. Technically, this is true, since the Burmese way to call a waiter is making the sound of a kiss two or three times. It is similar to the sound one makes to call a cat or a dog, but louder.
  2. Many locals have stained red teeth from chewing kwun-ya, or betel nut rolled together with lime paste, and, often, some tobacco. This is a common addiction among the people of the country, and, after a few minutes (or hours), they spit it out. This is why it’s common to see ominous looking red spots on the ground of the streets of Myanmar.
  3. Eating with the left hand is considered rude, since, theoretically, this hand should only be used for personal hygiene.
  4. Men (and women) wear the traditional Burmese skirt, or longyi, in their daily lives. It is a big piece of cloth that men tie in the front and wear without underwear.
  5. It is very common to see women with faintly yellow colored paint on their faces. This is Thanaka cream, and comes from the Thanaka Apart from being used as a beauty cosmetic, it provides protection against sunburn, and is said to remove acne. They apply it, mainly, on their cheeks, in circular shapes or stripes. It is less common to see men and boys using it.
  6. Chinlone, the main sport in Myanmar, is a beautiful mixture between football and dance. It is played, normally, by six people who stand in a circle and pass the ball with their feet, without using their hands. The idea is to keep the ball from touching the ground, and to do it as creatively as possible. The players play as a whole team, without competing between each other, and the result is a mesmerizing physical performance.
  7. Astrology is a very important part of Buddhist beliefs. They often count on astrologers’ advice to make decisions such as getting married or buying a house. This cult is known as Mahabote, and, according to it, the day of the week in which one was born strongly determines your life and personality. Also, the names of babies are given depending on the day on which the baby is born. Their names are composed of one part that is chosen by the a monk (and sometimes the parents), and a second part that marks the day in which they were born. For example, all girls and boys born on Saturday include Aung at the beginning of their name. The Mahabote calendar divides the week into 8 days. Wednesdays, the day in which Buddha was born, is divided in two: morning and afternoon.
  8. In Yangon, motorbikes and scooters are forbidden. The reason of this is not clear and there are many theories about it.
  9. The traffic is both left and right handed. During the British rule, cars drove on the left side of the road, and had steering on the right. But, in 1970, after Myanmar’s independence, the traffic law changed, and cars had to drive on the right side and had steering on the left. Currently, both types of vehicles are permitted.
  10. After Afghanistan (in the Golden Crescent), Myanmar (in the Golden Triangle) is the second-largest producer of opium in the world, providing more than 25% of it. During the colonial period the opium industry was a major contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
  11. Along with the United States and Liberia, Myanmar has not adopted the International Metric System of Units, and still uses Burmese units of measurement. However, in 2013, the Ministry of Commerce affirmed that Myanmar would start using the International Metric System of Units.

So, reading about it is interesting, but, why not dive right into a real Burmese experience? Easia Travel offers the opportunity to discover Myanmar according to the specific tastes of each traveler. To know all about the myriad of possibilities, please contact


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