It is not clear to me whether Myanmar is the most remote country in the world. In any case, and after our experience there, it would be among the most isolated on the planet.
Some curiosities we have collected from Myanmar
There are countless aspects that call the attention of ancient Burma. We have chosen the 10 curiosities that will surely dislocate you when you arrive:
#1. – They impregnate their faces with Thanakha
Virtually the entire population, especially women and children, have faces and arms impregnated with a cream that, according to them, serves as sunscreen and at the same time makeup. Its name is Thanakha and is obtained from the tree with the same name, mixing the bark with water to obtain it. Doubting its purpose, it is probably the product most bought by the locals. It is so widespread that after a few days you feel that you are the rare one not to use it.
#2. – Chewing tobacco or Betel
There goes the second, this time for men: the Betel. Tobacco mixed with lime and wrapped in leaves of paan. All locals chew this all the time. The result of this is a red liquid that they have to spit out at all times. They tell you that it is perfect for digestion but the truth is that it is a very potent and very, very addictive drug. That’s why everyone needs their digestive all the time.
#3. – They greet each other with kisses
From the moment you step into the country, you realise that something different is happening. You pay attention and you think that everyone is kissing you. But you soon realise that it’s the way they call each other. Funny and friendly, you can’t help but smile every time you hear it, and you’re quick to practice it yourself.
#4. – You don’t wear pants, but longy
Myanmar may not sell a single pair of pants. Everyone wears the famous longy, a fabric sewn in the shape of a tube that they knot around their waist very skillfully. But don’t try to do it yourself if you don’t want to be the centre of all eyes and laughter.
#5. – It is forbidden to ride a motorcycle
In Yangon it’s forbidden to ride a motorcycle. Being Asia is something very strange but inquiring we are told that, a few years ago, an officer of the army was hit by accident and died. Following his fame, the government decided to censor the use of motorcycles throughout the city. We all know how the government spends them…
#6. – They circulate on the right
The cars. Possibly the most ridiculous point of all. The direction of traffic is on the right, as in most European countries. On the other hand, the driver also sits on the right, as in England and other Asian countries. This makes driving complicated and especially overtaking, so in buses is necessary the assistance of a second man who indicates when it is possible to overtake.
#7. – There are very few automatic teller machines
It’s really hard to find ATMs in Myanmar. In Yangon and Mandalay there are some but in the rest it can become an impossible mission. For your travel to Myanmar remember to change at the airport most but save dollars to pay for some tickets where only dollars are accepted.
#8. – The kindness of its people
The people of Myanmar are by far the kindest in all of Asia. We have to assume that in a few years, with the arrival of mass tourism, the money will affect the character in the same way as most countries in the area. For the moment we are left with the selfless kindness of all of them.
#9. – There are few hostels
There are areas where it is really difficult to find accommodation. Monywa, for example, has only one hostel for foreigners and it is impossible to negotiate the price. In most destinations it is very easy to come to a good agreement for the room.
#10. – Curious telephone booths
Finding a small table in the middle of the street with several phones plugged into the rear lamp is a common occurrence. Remember that not everyone has access to a mobile phone. For this reason, it is very useful to find these street “locutorios”. It is very curious to see 4 or 5 telephones used by our grandparents on a camping table waiting to receive clients.
On top of all this, the most surprising thing about the country is its people. We have no words to describe the kindness, generosity and sympathy of the Burmese. Just great. At the end of the journey, it is what is most marked. And there are impressive places that leave you speechless… their people the best!
So much for our curiosities of Myanmar, Burma, Burma, or whatever you want to call it. You can also see the tips we recommend for Myanmar and get more conclusions.
If you have any questions or need assistance for your next trip to Myanmar, write us a comment and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
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