Due to the countries conservative nature there are some things that you should know about Myanmar and its customs and expected behaviors. A key concept for Myanmar people is "Cetana". Although the word has no exact translation in English, it is generally employed in the sense of goodwill, good intention or benevolence. Cetena is manifested in a thousand ways.It is practiced in both his religious duties and daily dealings with others. Any act performed out of true Cetana is greatly appreciated in Myanmar society. Also never hesitate to ask for help whenever needed as locals would be happy to help you without harboring any selfish desire for material gains. Thus, gift of money or things should, if at all, be given courteously to any local who helps you(but know it is not required). Generally, tipping is not very big in Myanmar, however it is okay to tip waiters, taxi driver, etc. out of gratitude for their services.
In Myanmar, respect is mutual in any form of engagement and given spontaneously in almost any situation. The 'Yadanar Thone Par' which translates to 'The Three Gems', refers to the venerable trinity of Buddha, Dhamma [his Teachings] and Sangha [members of the Buddhist Order]. Among the Three Gems, Buddha is the most exalted. Each Buddha image must be treated as reverently as a living Buddha himself. Shrines, stupas, temples, monasteries and any other religious edifices are considered to be extremely holy; in these places women are requried to wear clothes that cover their knees, and footwear is strictly prohibited on sacred religious grounds(sleeveless clothing is also not allowed).
Like other Buddhist Asian countries, Myanmar adheres to a set of acknowledged cultural rules. Here's a guide to what you should not do on your trip to Myanmar :
The most common greeting in Myanmar is 'Mingalarbar' which means 'an auspicious occasion', and it is probably is the first word that you will hear upon arriving to Myanmar. Shaking hands is a common action when greeting, however this applies only to men. If you were introduced to monks, you would bow or bring your palms together. If a man is introduced to a Myanmar lady, you should not stretch out your hand to shake hers unless she does so first. As demure and shy as a Myanmar lady might appear at first to a foreigner, she is the upholder of centuries-old traditions that makes up the fabric of Myanmar's society. Thus a proper Myanmar woman will most certainly be reluctant to have any sort of social intercourse with a man who is not intimately related to her. In urban areas, once again, better-educated, well-exposed ladies are less likely to adhere rigidly to such a conservative code of behavior.
I'd like to tell you that we had a wonderful time in Myanmar and all travel arrangements were perfect...
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