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Travel tips for Myanmar-Burma - what to prepare in advance and what to obey

1. Tourists can visit some cities and territories in Myanmar only together with a guide. Before heading somewhere, it is better to ask at the hotel whether you can go alone or need to have a guide.
2. It is prohibited to take pictures of people in uniform (police, army), as well as state and military objects. A failure to follow this rule can result in deportation. Moreover, the police can confiscate “the instrument of crime” – the camera. Local laws allow this. Tourists are better to ask from the guide or at the hotel where they can take pictures and where they cannot.
3. Bargaining is not only allowed but also desirable in Myanmar. It is always possible to lower the initial price, and sometimes the final price can be several times lower than the original one.
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4. Buddha is sacred in Myanmar and so are his images. The export of goods with Buddha is limited. To escape potential problems at the customs, it is always a good idea to check the list of restricted items.
5. Buddhist monks are holy people because they are closer to Buddha than anyone else. This means that everyone needs to treat Buddhist monks with respect. If you want to talk to a monk, ask your guide about polite ways of doing that.
6. Women are not allowed touching Buddhist monks.
7. Only barefoot people can enter pagodas. Always follow all rules of visiting cult and religious objects if you do not plan to appear in Myanmar’s prison. According to local rules, everyone needs to take shoes and socks off before entering the temple. A female tourist refused to follow this rule in 2017. The court sentenced her to one month in prison. Copyright
8. Do not turn back upon Buddha’s statues regardless of their size. This is a sign of disrespect that can make locals furious.
9. Do not drink tap water as this can be dangerous. Use bottled water instead. If you are offered to make your drink colder with ice cubes, it is better to refuse because those ice cubes can be made from tap water.
10. Kissing in public areas is thrown upon. This concerns even newlyweds. Locals consider kissing people as ones who disrespect their traditions.
11. When making purchases, give money and take goods with your right hand only. The right hand has a special role in Buddhism. Actions with the left hand express insignificance, so it is better to refrain from them.
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12. Do not raise your voice when talking to locals and do not speak loudly. They will consider this an attempt to offend them. Always talk in a calm way and do not make your interlocutor an enemy.
13. Weeks in Myanmar have 8 days, not 7 like in the rest of the world. Wednesday is a special day that is separated into two parts. This information is important for tourists who plan any events connected with the traditional calendar.
Myanmar-Burma guide chapters 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

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