Food in Myanmar is normally spicy and hot. Rice, fish, noodles
and vegetables spiced with the staple ingredients of ginger, onions
and chillies. Regional dishes include lethok son (a kind of
spicy vegetarian rice salad), mohinga (fish with noodles
soup) and oh-no khauk swe (rice noodles, chicken and coconut
The avocados by Inle Lake are particularly good. Delicious fruits
are sold in the markets. Food stalls appear on the street corners
of most main towns. Indian and Chinese cuisine is served in a number of
hotels and restaurants.
Tea is a favoured drink; the spices, added to it, tend to
make the tongue turn bright red. Soft drinks, locally produced
are usually not very good and a bit high-priced. Coffee is not very
normal. There are
alcoholic drinks such as beer, rum, gin and whisky produced in Myanmar.
Western-style nightlife is practically non-existent; however,
there are some performances in Yangon’s 3 theatres including many rock and pop groups which are becoming increasingly
popular. Cinemas are popular and 7 of Yangon’s 50 cinemas
show English-language movies.
Souvenirs include jewellery and handicrafts. A nice place
to go shopping in Yangon is Bogyoke Aung San Market, which offers
luxury goods, handicrafts, clothing, foodstuffs and consumer
products. It is open from 8.00 am to 6.00 pm, close on Sunday and public
holidays and the ideal time to visit is about 10.00 am. Mandalay
is a great place for traditional handicrafts, which can be bought
at Zegyo Market while Buddhist articles of worship are sold
at Phatahe Bazaar.
Shopping hours: Monday to Sunday 8.00 am to 10.00 pm.
The Buddhist calendar is filled with festivals; often coinciding
with the full moon. Any visitors would be unlucky not to enjoy
at least one during their visit.
Annual events include:
||Amanda Pagoda Festival
||Indawgyi Festival, Hopin; Pindaya
||Maha Thingyan (New Year)
||Thihoshin Pagoda Festival, Pakkoku
||Taung Byone Festival, Matara
||Thadingyat Festival (Festival of
Light); Elephant Dance Festival, Kyaukse
||Tazaaungdaing Festival; Fire Balloon
||Golden Spectacle Pagoda Festival,
hands is the common form of greeting.
names are always used, preceded by U (pronounced oo) when greeting older
or high-respected male people. Aung is used for younger males and Ko for
male adults; a woman’s name is preceded by Daw.
and courtesy for tradition and religion is expected; for example,
shoes and socks are taken off prior to entering any religious places.
It is also a custom to take off shoes prior to entering a traditional
home (in most modern homes this is no longer observed except in
It is considered offensive to show the soles of the feet. Small
gifts are acceptable and appreciated, however never expected.
Mini-skirts and shorts should not be worn.
A 5 to 10 percent tip on hotel and restaurant bills is usual. Taxi
drivers don't expect to receive a tip.