14 Fun Facts About Myanmar’s Culture, Traditions and Beliefs

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Myanmar is one country that many backpackers are missing out on.

Bundled with exotic traditions, intriguing history, and Himalayan landscapes, Burma, or modern-day Myanmar, has everything the wanderlust soul needs.

Find out why these Myanmar facts will give you a reason to explore this mystical country.

1. Myanmar Has The Best Rubies In The World!

Love gems? From the best quality sapphire and jade to the mystical rubies, Myanmar has it all. The nation supplies 90% of the world’s rubies. These mystical red beauties are abundantly found in Mandalay, Myanmar.

The country has earned the title of Ruby Land, with many stones yet to be uncovered.

2. You Can Skip Carrying Sunscreen In Your Trip To Myanmar

Myanmar has a hot and tropical climate where you would usually need to pack some brand-name sunscreen. So why do I suggest otherwise?

Well in Myanmar, people use a yellow paste obtained from the barks of thanaka trees that act as a natural sun protectant, make up and medical ointment. And trust me, this is big business here:

Now I can’t guarantee it’ll be effective, but surely worth a try!

3. Know The Taron People Before They Disappear!

The Taron community is an indigenous Myanmar tribe native to the Himalayan foothill region. This group is on the verge of extinction, with just a handful of members who are choosing to be left alone.

The Asian pygmies are short, and due to inbreeding within the community, genetic disorders have become normal. The Tarons have chosen not to populate and will eventually disappear.

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4. Myanmar Does Not Use The Metric System

After independence, Burma became Myanmar and separated itself from the rest of the world, adopting the imperial measuring system during the process. North Americans will feel right at home here.

5. People in Myanmar Love Drinking And EATING Tea!

Yes, you will be welcome to drink a cup of hot brewed tea in Myanmar, and a plate of tea leaves salad.

Laphet is a salad made from fermented tea leaves. This Myanmar cuisine was a gesture of peace in ancient times and is now enjoyed as a traditional national dish.

6. Learn About Buddhism On The Stone Tablets In Kuthodaw Pagoda

Kuthodaw Pagoda is a temple of Gautam Buddha in Mandalay where you can read Buddhist scriptures on stone mounds. There are hundreds of such structures where Buddhist teachings are inscribed.

Stone Tablets In Kuthodaw Pagoda

It is well known as one of the largest books built in the golden Kuthodaw Pagoda, a Buddhist shrine. Kinda like Kindle but without the internet, hey?

7. A Major Illicit Drug Producer Serving Asia

While not so fun, Myanmar is the second-largest producer of opium after Afghanistan, and one of the largest producers of methamphetamines globally.

8. Myanmar People Celebrate New Year With A Splash

People in Myanmar celebrate New year in April rather than January, but that’s not the coolest part.

They welcome the year in a typical tradition of drenching in water. The water festival of Myanmar is quite famous, attracting many from other countries to be a part of this annual tradition.

9. People Kiss To Attract Waiters In Restaurants In Myanmar

Though not literally, people call waiters by making a sound similar to a kiss. It is strange to do it at first, but soon you’ll find everyone doing this as a way of life. Quite a fun way to attract attention!

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10. Bagan Is A City Of Thousands Of Temples

The ancient city of Bagan, where more than 10,000 temples were built before the 13th century, is one of Myanmar’s UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Bagan city

After years of destruction and conflict, the city has less than 2500 temples left. They’re an absolute treat to the eyes during sunset or sunrise.

11. Myanmar Is Home To World Famous Destinations

Myanmar has the world’s longest teakwood bridge known as the U Bien Bridge and is also the oldest bridge of its type still in use.

The Golden Rock is a pilgrimage site on the edge of Mt. Kyaiktiyo. This gravity-resisting rock has a pagoda on top and is one of the most important places of worship.

Mingun in Myanmar also has the second-largest bell in the world, constructed during the 19th century.

12. Women In Myanmar Wear Rings Around Their Neck

Even seen women with golden brass rings around their necks on the internet? They are the women of the Kayan tribe in Myanmar who wear brass rings around their necks from age of five.

The concept behind this ornament is to give the illusion of a longer neck that is considered a sign of beauty. Myanmar, which has more than 100 ethnic groups, still practices its contemporary beliefs and traditions.

13. Sea Gypsies In Myanmar

Moken is an ethnic group that has lived nomadically for centuries on the sea. This tribe is found in the islands of the Mergui Archipelago and also in parts of Thailand.

Moken Sea Gypsy village

While the world has progressed, this group still maintains its minimalist living philosophy.

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14. Myanmar People Believe In Finding Fault In The Stars

People in Myanmar look up to astrologers and fortune tellers in search of better destinies. The decisions are not limited to the personal affairs of an individual but also of the country.

The stars provide the people of Myanmar a direction forward.

Joshua Smith

Joshua has visited 10 countries and has another 110 to go! He plans to sail around the world over 5 years, and then spend the next 5 years driving around the world in a 4×4. He prefers to explore the more remote places without the tourists, and yet, doesn’t mind the ritzy feel of business class at 10,000 feet either.

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