We love the energy, vibrant colors, and friendliness of Myanmar. When traveling through this verdant and ethnically diverse country, you won’t fail to notice the warmth with which locals treat foreign visitors. After more than 50 years in political isolation, Myanmar only opened up some regions to tourism in the past few years. Now that many young or rural Burmese are interacting with foreigners for the first time, they are sure to be as curious about you as you are of them! Here are some of the friends we’ve made in Myanmar, and some insight into what their lives are like:
A laughing Burmese woman holds up a handcrafted umbrella. Traditional Myanmar umbrellas are famous for their delicate workmanship and distinctive raw materials, such as teak handles and waterproof coating made of the resin of palm-tree seeds.
Two young girls laugh, sporting thanaka on their faces. Thanaka is a cosmetic believed to protect the skin from the sun. Made from ground bark, fine thanaka powder is mixed with water to form a paste that is applied to the face. It has an elegant floral smell that’s lovely to encounter!
Local Myanmar homes are always abuzz with domestic life and neighborhood news. You’ll see many locals wearing longyi, the traditional cloth worn around the waist—some of them with beautiful patterns, and all of them in arresting colors.
Thanaka is more often worn by women, girls, and babies than by men and boys. Sometimes small children will wear their thanaka in Mickey Mouse or teddy bear designs. You many also notice different thanaka styles as you travel through Myanmar.
This woman selling pineapples encapsulates a typical way of life for many in Myanmar. When traveling through Myanmar, you’ll no doubt encounter many vendors who carry their wares on large platters balanced on their head.
A woman carrying a pot stands in front of a scenic view in Bagan, a city in central Myanmar that lies along the west bank of mighty Irrawaddy River. At one time, Bagan was the capital city of the ancient Kingdom of Pagan. Today, its 2,000-plus ruins of temples and pagodas harken back to a different time.
You’ll undoubtedly see novice monks all over Myanmar, where many young boys are sent to monasteries to be educated, or in fact to dedicate their lives to Buddhism. Their striking robes of a deep russet color stand out among the crowd and are beautiful to see both in urban and rural areas.
If these friendly faces inspire you to see Myanmar for yourself, contact one of our locally based Travel Specialists. They’ll be happy to give travel suggestions for Myanmar or craft a tailor made Myanmar tour to your specifications.