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15 Curiosities About Myanmar

Few Things To Know Before Your Trip

Yangon

1. Myanmar is one of the poorest country in the world but it is gradually improving its economy.

2. It is very hard to find people who can speak English, except in the touristy areas, hotels and hostels.

Mandalay Mandalay

3. If you are walking in the street and you see people spitting something that looks like blood, don’t be afraid.

Most people, especially men, are used to chew the so called KUN-YA, a combination of tobacco, Betel leaves and areca nuts, all wrapped in lime leaves. This sort of chew-gum, definitely carcinogenic, it is normally chewed and then spat up several times, leaving a red mark on the floor.

To be honest it is not nice to see, but it seems like an old habit which is hard to get rid of. Why do they do it? Apparently it helps to keep the body's energy level high and bear the heat.

Bagan Bagan

4. If in Scotland men are proud of their kilts, in Myanmar men of all ages and social backgrounds, wear the so-called LONGYI, a skirt that can be tied up in various ways. Each region of Myanmar has got a longyi with specific patterns and colors. Women wear longyi too. Who wants to try it?

5. Since people like longyi so much, they even wear it when they have a shower!! A lot of Myanmar people don’t shower naked. The tradition of the "shower with clothes" was born as a necessity, as in the villages people take their bath outdoors. Even in the city where people live in apartments and have indoor bathroom, the tradition is still observed!

Inle Lake Inle Lake

6. If you are in Yangon and getting around during the peak hours, keep in mind that traffic jam will swallow you up. Once, my bus took 2 hours and 15 minutes for only 25 km.

7. One of the typical dishes is MOHINGA, a fish soup with noodles that people normally have for breakfast; they don’t certainly start the day with croissants and cappuccino!

8-.Myanmar food, in fact, has a very decisive and spicy taste, but still very delicious. Desserts lovers might be a bit disappointed though, since sweet dishes are not that much popular within the traditional Myanmar cousine. Dont’ worry you can still get chocolate from the super market!

Coconut chicken soup Coconut chicken soup

9. It took me a week to understand what everybody had on their faces: a sort of dry, yellowish cream, which, at first glance, looked almost like dirt, accumulated for a month. Later on, I found out what it was: the popular Thanaka, a cream extracted from a tree, used to protect the skin from the sun. Apparently Thanaka is also Myanmar secret for a long-lasting beauty!

Baby monk Baby monk

10. Naypyidaw, was proclaimed the capital of the country in 2005. Today it is an immense city with important infrastructures, hundreds of building, but practically uninhabited. Naypyidaw is four time the size of London, but people are not willing to go to live there.

11. In many local restaurants, people are used to share their dishes. For this reason the portions are absolutely massive. Make sure of the size of your dish before ordering, otherwise you will get a huge amount of food!

Street food in Yangon Street food in Yangon

12. If you are looking for volunteering opportunities, you can find them among the hundreds of Buddhist monasteries schools, which are spread all over the country.

13. Alcohol in the supermarkets is the cheapest ever. You can buy a bottle of whiskey for 60 cents.

14. In Myanmar it is easy to find bugs as street food.

15. Myanmar is a very religious country. You will see lots of monks wearing their orange or red robe, but also nuns, wearing a pink version of the same clothing.

Baby nuns at a Buddhist Monastery Baby nuns at a Buddhist Monastery

#myanmar, #yangon, #pagodas, #buddhism, #buddhist_monks, #burmese_food