Think you know all about Myanmar facts? Think again. Myanmar is a mysterious land and there are a lot of things and facts that are still unknown about it. The chaotic governmental conditions and downfall of monarchy had quite a lot of disastrous effects on nearly each of the country’s sector. Luckily, things are changing now and as more and more travelers are making Burma their preferred traveling destination, the country’s previously hidden information and facts are coming out.
If your next travel destination is Myanmar then you should know the rare Myanmar facts that will help you in having a great stay and a head up in gathering more information. You can also read about best things to do in Myanmar to make most of your trip to this ancient land.
Top 10 Myanmar Facts you did not Know
While there is no other way to know about a land or culture than actually visiting it, it is still highly advisable that you do your research and collect as many facts about your destination as possible.
Below are the top 10 unknown Myanmar facts that you should know before planning a visit:
1. They like to have Crisp US Dollars
Bid farewell to all of your crumbled and creased dollar notes, as they are most likely to be rejected at many money exchange stations. Based on the previous, and still, the economic turmoil of the country, it is quite understandable that the people now want to safeguard their conditions by storing their wealth in the form of dollars. Still, their insistence on accepting only the perfect notes can be quite agitating, but if you want to travel the land with peace, then have crispy perfect US dollars with you.
2. The Week has 8 Days
The traditional Burmese week has 8 days instead of the standard 7 days, what is more interesting is that each day is associated with an animal and you are must to know the day you were born on. The monks split Wednesday into two days, the one from midnight to afternoon and the other from afternoon to midnight. The temples have separate corners for each day and people go to the corners, to worship, according to their day of birth.
3. Buddhist People are highly Superstitious
Superstition is in full swing in Myanmar and people like astronomers, fortune tellers, palmists and numerologists are regarded with great respect. People consult them in matters like naming their children, starting a new business, changing the house and marriage. The astrologists suggest the number of cups to pour at the corner of birthday to receive good luck and success. The same goes for government generals and rulers also.
4. Kissing Sounds are Common
No, this doesn’t mean that the Burmese people are into kissing at open public places, they are too conservative for it, but the locals use this sound to gain attention of the waiter at restaurants and other eating places. The practice is not observed in high-class restaurants, but it is common on streets and in many restaurants. You are more likely to hear all these ‘kissing sounds’ at Chinatown, one of the busiest spots in Yangon.
5. Women can Travel Alone … at Night too
Now this is our personal favorite, the crime rate in Myanmar is very low and females can easily and safely travels alone at night also. However, it is always good to take precautions by dressing the way Burmese women do, sleeved tops with longyis or anything that is conservative and covers you up nicely.
6. People are surprisingly… Educated
Yes, Burmese people are more educated than others, actually think or know. They love to read and bookstores and stalls at nearly every corner is enough to prove this point. Many of the people of Myanmar know English and other languages like French and German and very eager to learn about new cultures. While visiting a pagoda or temple, you may come across some locals that just walk up to you and start a conversation. However, they are friendly and will not bother you if you are not comfortable.
7. People have Red Teeth
And it is not because they have some dental problems, but because they chew betel nut, a famous and Burmese favorite pastime activity. A leaf of betel nut is spiced with limestone paste, spices and tobacco and rolled into a small packet. After chewing it for some time, it produced red colored saliva that could be seen all over the streets and corners, yes, they spit it out. People that have long held this habit usually have red stained teeth.
8. Their Cosmetic is Different
Unlike us, they do not use manufactured cosmetics, but they’re only cosmetic is the Thanaka paste made from the bark of a tree and mixed with water to form a yellowish white paste that the Burmese women apply on their face and body. Thanaka is good as a sunscreen and to prevent sunburn and skin inflammation.
9. There is no Credit Card Culture
When traveling in Myanmar, be sure that you have plenty of cash at hand, as they do not accept credit cards. The country is in its rudimentary stages of development, there is not a widespread culture of credit cards, online banking and ATMs. Talking of ATMs, there are some of them in the country but don’t depend on them as there is scarce electricity availability.
10. You will not find your Favorite International Businesses
There are no international brands and chain restaurants in Myanmar; the reason is that Western countries like US are reluctant to invest in the country mainly due to its unstable economical and commercial infrastructure. There are no reliable transportation and sufficient electricity to manage and preserve frozen and fresh food and dairy items. The upside, you will not miss McDonald’s, KFC or Starbucks here because of its very own delicious cuisine.
Have we missed some significant Myanmar facts? What other facts travelers should know before visiting the Myanmar? Please help the community by commenting below.