The Strange Things That You Might Not Know about Myanmar – The Land of Golden Temples

As a country with a distinct cultural identity, there are certainly a lot of things to discover about people and this country, here are some strange things you may not know yet.

Towers are many more than schools



There are many towers, sometimes thousands of gold towers, up to several tens of tons, with thousands of diamonds and gems, thousands of Buddha statues (Shwedagon Pagoda). Many temples have relics of the Buddha and thousands of years old. The temple includes a very large campus, sometimes up to a few dozen samples. In the temple may be just a Buddha (Southern Buddhism) or the tower. There are merit boxes depending on the field, part work. Buddha statues and towers in the temple are getting bigger and bigger because they are constantly adding gold and silver to Buddhist monks. Many hundreds of meters long Buddha (Khaukhtatgyi Pagoda), a statue of nearly a thousand tons of precious stones should be carved (Kyauk Taw Gyee Temple). The Thone Wain Museum, with the relics of the relics, Buddhist monks can visit the temple often ... The festival is usually attached to the temple, especially on the full moon.

Monks are many more than the military



Although Myanmar is among the top of the list of countries with big army, the number of monks is higher than soldiers. Monks focus on tuition and study in the monastery, there are thousands of people like Kyat Khat Wine. They go out for alms every day and eat like the ordinary people. The only difference is; they do not eat after lunch (12 hours), not kill, not gather crowded, not use perfume cosmetics, not in close contact with women. The monastery is a place to teach life skills for children, where young men must enter the monastery before maturity. Summer is the entrance ceremony for boys.

Strange time zone 

Time zones of countries differ from one unit to another, while Myanmar is 0.5. Myanmar time zone is 30 minutes earlier than Vietnam. Myanmar's top national drink is milk tea, light tea mixed with fresh milk and honey. Ones can drink it until full without worrying of being drunk or insomnia. National electricity grid is very weak, so hotels and restaurants have to use their own generator. The markets open at 9 o'clock but close at 16 o'clock because the electricity is cut at 17pm. In the evening, they go to bed very early because there is nothing to entertain in the evening. There are only coffee shops, milk tea or snacks, no liquor pub or shopping.

Men are highly appreciated in social relationships

This is expressed everywhere: in the family, to the street and to the temple. In the house, women must serve men, the laundry is also separate.

Nuns are not allowed to be leader of the temple, only go out for alms once a week, but monks go out everyday. The wedding is held in the morning until noon. The reception department opens the envelope to count the money and write the sender's name in the book as soon as it is received. The groom and the bride only open the presents. Myanmar people follow the cremation customs but do not take ashes to worship or bring to the temple. When dying, use the common box, provided by mutual assistance, not leaving the day and only cremation, not buried. There is no anecdote because they think that "death is going to another world, no longer have any bond with the living" ...

Strange international airport in Yangoon


The airport is quite quiet, using less than a quarter of its capacity, but is being expanded to triple its expansion to catch up with the upcoming development. Guests do not have to squeeze or queue. Staff enthusiasticly help bring luggage to the ticket counter, help with the procedures. The souvenir shop is rich, sold as market prices. It is a bit difficult to understand that the declaration of entry which we are given on the plane is useless. We have to fill in anther declaration at the airport.

Remove your shoes and socks when entering the temple



The head of state is no exception. Police guard the temple during the holidays also "barefoot, head bare". You have to leave slippers/shoes at the shoe-keeper at 1,000 kyats (about 2,000 VND). If you take plastic bag (sponge) to carry shoes with you, it’s the same price. Visiting the temple in the early morning or evening is best because it is hot. Bring a wet towel to wipe your feet after each visit. The temple does not light incense but candles. Buddhists can eat and sleep in the temple. Guests wear short, too thin will not be allowed to visit the temples or have to buy additional clothing.

Myanmar's only current world heritage is Pyu



Pyu town is the only world heritage in Myanmar, including the ruins of Kanbawza Thadi in Bago (1st century BC - 9th century), recognized by UNESCO in 2014. Due to the embargo, Many Burmese Buddhist relics are not internationally recognized such as Shwedagon Pagoda in Yangon, Kyaithtiyo Temple in Bago, Mahamuni Pagoda (also known as Payagi or Big Paya), Emperor's Palace, the longest wooden bridge in the world on theTaungthaman Lake and Kuthodaw Pagoda in Mandalay ... Kuthodaw Temple carved the Tripitaka on 730 marble slabs, 1.5 m high, 1 m wide, 0.3 m thick, engraved on both sides, 80 - 100 words, which is extremely sharp and beautiful.

It is easy to differentiate people here with Asean countries



First of all is the habit of eating betel nuts, from the elderly to the young, they eat betel buts all day long, water from betel nut is everywhere. Everyone likes to apply some yellow powder from the thanaka tree on the face to protect their skin. Men wear sandals all year round, whether in a vest or attend a wedding. Only officials and troops wear shoes. People are free to visit all the attractions of the country. The people are very gentle, they like to visit temples and offerings, live very slowly and honestly.

No cable car, although there are many pagodas on high mountain



Instead, there are all-terrain vehicles. There are also palanquins, one for every four people. It is made of bamboo stem, diameter from 10 to 15 cm, there is a seat in the middle for guest to sit on. The furniture and the children were carried on the back or on the porters' heads. The back-basket are sometimes a few meters high. Each weighs more than a hundred kilograms, while basket on the head weighs only 30 kilograms.

Only car on the streets of Yangon



Most cars are right-hand drive vehicles, but all run on the right. Taxis only run the trip according to agreed price because no meter. The cars for tourists have doors on the left, so it is very inconvenient for people to get in and out of the car on the road. Hence, the car and guide in Myanmar always have to stand at the door, taking care of the guests’ safety. Although newly developed, Yangon began to have some traffic jam but they are always in order, no whistle and always give way to those who walk. Highway is wide but not good, motorcycles do not run in the middle of the road, only run on two side. Myanmar law does not oblige motorcyclists to wear helmets. There is also a trisaw, an improved bicycle for extra passengers, by adding a bucket, two back seats, two extra passengers and a right side wheel. The vehicles look slim but can carry over 300kg.


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