Great tips for expats and people traveling to Myanmar

Bordered by India, China and Thailand, Myanmar is a fascinating county located in South East Asia. It is a country rich in natural resources such as jade, gold and oil, but also in cultural terms with beautiful temples, friendly people & excellent food. The capital city is Naypyidaw. Due to the religion influence of Buddhism, Myanmar has many temples through out the country. Myanmar was previously known as Burma and was considered a rogue country during the oppressive rule of a military junta from 1962 to 2011. Luckily the country has transitioned to a democracy with the help of Aung San Suu Kyi. Note that civil strife and riots can often occur in the capital, so take adequate precautions and stay up to date on the situation there.

The climate is overall very pleasant. Myanmar is becoming a popular travel destination today. Under the development of the government, Myanmar is attracting more arrivals in the next few years. Due to the conservative culture there, you should know its customs and expected behaviours before departure. In this article, we will provide some tips for living and traveling in Myanmar.

Things You Should Do

  • When visiting religious sites such as temples, make sure that you are wearing conservative clothes.
  • Myanmar people are friendly. Try to smile often.
  • Learn some Burmese language before leaving. At least some basic words.
  • Try traditional Myanmar transportation tools: city buses, horse cart, vintage taxis, three wheelers carts, etc.
  • Use both hands when delivering and receiving something to religious people or an elderly person.
  • Shaking hands only applies to men, but this may be different depending on the persons you are meeting
  • Bow body in front of elderly people.
  • Follow instructions. If there’s a sign advised not to go, please stay away from it.

Things You Should Avoid 

  • Don’t show too intimate behaviour in front of the public.
  • Don’t wear shoes and socks inside a pagoda or temple.
  • If there is a civil disturbance or demonstration, leave the area immediately as the situation can turn violent very quickly.
  • Avoid wearing sleeveless tops or short skirt when visiting religious sights.
  • Indoor mats and carpets might meant to be sat upon. Avoid walking on them with shoes.
  • Don’t pose and take picture in front of Buddha statues because they viewed as sacred.
  • If you are a man, you should not offer to shake hands with a Myanmar lady.
  • Don’t point anybody with your foot. Especially in temples.
  • Don’t go to places where you are advised not to go.
  • Don’t take pictures of people unless you asked for their permission.

Obtaining the Right Coverage of International Health Insurance While Residing in Myanmar 

Make sure that you obtain travel medical insurance if your are visiting Myanmar for business or pleasure. If you are living in Myanmar, a tailored international health insurance plan should provide flexible and world-wide service. The medical facilities in the country are often quite basic and may not be able to handle more serious illnesses or injuries, so medical evacuation cover is recommended. It will not only let you select the hospital, medical providers and doctors, but also provide you with direct payment so that you do not need to worry about any out-of-pocket medical expenses.

The cost of international health insurance will vary depending on the insurer, policy and options you choose. The bigger the deductible, the lower the premium. Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates across most parts of the globe, including expats and even some local nationals in Myanmar. We can even offer international group insurance plans for employers with expat employees in Myanmar. If you have questions about our international medical insurance plans or you wish to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the expat insurance quote form.