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7 incredible things you never knew about Myanmar

Few places are as captivating and mysterious as Myanmar. As the traveler community continues to hear more of what fascinates Burmese culture, the “Golden Land” remains a treasure to be discovered. Here are 11 extraordinary things you should learn about Myanmar before you go.

1. Most people in Myanmar will become monks or nuns at some point in their lives

Since Buddhism is by far the predominant religion in Myanmar, local monasteries and convents see a lot of action, especially during important festivals like Thingyan. Most people in Myanmar temporarily become monks or nuns for a few days at least once in their lives. It is treated as a very important event. Family members and neighbors gather for special ceremonies such as shaving the head.

2. Actually, there is a religious site with more than 2,000 stupas tightly packed in less than a square mile

Located approximately 30 miles from Taunggyi in Shan State, the stupas in Kakku are a marvel of ancient architecture and religious devotion. The narrow corridors invite visitors to get lost in the midst of what appears to be an illusion of elaborately crafted needles.

3. Birthdays are not so egocentric in Burmese culture

Several cultures adhere to a birthday celebration that revolves around the person who is on birthday. This is not usually the case in Myanmar. Birthdays are a time for people to visit pagodas, offer donations and treat friends and family instead of being treated.

4. The rowers on one leg of Inle Lake impress with their act, which challenges the balance

Perhaps the greatest attraction of Inle Lake in Shan State are these single-leg rowers. The members of the Intha community (lake people) make a living by growing floating gardens and fishing. Doing balance on one leg in the back of a small wooden boat while paddling with the other leg to move is more than a spectacle. It’s an art.

5. The dolphins of the Irrawaddy River help people to fish in Myanmar

Small groups of Irrawaddy river dolphins, in danger of extinction, are found in some parts of the world, but those of Myanmar are really special. They are the only group of Irrawaddy dolphins that are known to associate with humans in an effort to attract fish to the nets. It is estimated that only 60-70 remain in an increasingly smaller section of the Irrawaddy River in Myanmar.

6. Releasing birds in cages is a way to gain merit in Myanmar

Many people in Myanmar believe that the better they are in life, the better their lives will be or their “life” after life. Releasing animals is one way to achieve this. Birds can be purchased for a minimum price from a street vendor walking with a cage full of them.

7. Traditional tea shops are the best part of waking up in Myanmar

Egg McMuffins, the traditional tea shop still reigns as the place to go for quick breakfast in Myanmar. The local way is to order a bowl of steamed mohingya or pieces of fried dough served along with a sweet and milky coffee or tea.

Ready to pick up a chair at a corner tea shop, walk among thousands of ancient stupas or become familiar with the familiar sounds of street vendors that harmonize in the neighborhoods of the city? There are incredible things to experience in Myanmar! Experience them with Asia Eyes Travel this summer!


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