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Petit Futé

Behaving : Do & Don't in Myanmar (Burma), respect Burmese people

Please respect Burmese people and culture

It is a point on which we are very sensitive at Ananda Travel Yangon. Our team is French and Myanmar. We live from inside the feelings felt by our Burmese friends in front of the behaviours of some tourists.
Burmese (like most of the Asiatic people) are particularly patient with the Westerners. In Burma, the economic pressure and the embarrassment (" A NA DE" in Burmese) make that your guide will have much evil to say something directly to you, idem for the direction of a hotel.
It is easy to take advantage from it since nobody will say anything to you.
Things are changing and now at the Shwe-dagon pagoda, the Board of Trustee office will give you a longyi to wear if your clothes are not correct.
At Ananda Yangon Travel, we will always support our guides when they want to make respect their culture.

Red card :
We have seen, unfortunately too many times, women doing top less at Ngapali beach. Obvioulsy, this is a stupid behaviour, an insult for the Myanmar people that may also put in big trouble the hotel manager.
Pleaser do not.
Also, some people try to keep their socks visiting a pagoda. This is against the rules, it will only create problem to yourself or to your guide if you have it.

DO !!

- Remove your shoes before entering the enclosure of a pagoda, the enclosure external of the pagoda (the enclosing wall) or even a stone heap with the Buddhism flag.
- Remove your shoes before entering a private house except contrary remark of your host.
- If you wish to make a donation at a monastery, you can give the money to a " Kappiya ". The " Kappiya " ( pali word meaning : adapted, authorized) serves the monks and can receive money and keep it for the monks. The monastic code (Vinaya) is very clear, the monks cannot receive money.


- Kiss in public place and in particular in the enclosure of a pagoda.
- To wear shorts for the men as for the women.
- To wear tee-shirts too indented on the shoulders or the side.
- To touch a monk.
- To voluntarily walk on the shade of a monk.
- To touch the head of an adult.
- To sit down higher than a monk or than a statue of Buddha.
- To sit on a statue of Buddha to make a photograph.
- To turn the plant of the feet towards somebody, a monk or a statue of Buddha.
- To challenge themselves or shout in the pagodas.
- To keep its socks in a pagoda.
- To give an offering in food to a monk after midday.
- To give money to a monk (few follow this monastic rule).
- To ask a monk if he likes your present, his food (if answer is yes, he shows attachment, if he says no and he is likely to lie).
- Not sake the hand of a woman, except if she takes initiative of it.
- Keep your European bathing suit for the swimming pool in the hotel. At the beach, put shorts.
- In the same way not to put your body across a passage, Burmese people will not dare to pass above you (and to disturb you to tell you to move).
- Never not to show or nominate an object or a person with the point of the feet (for example to choose an article exposed on the ground.....we have seen this a lot of time).