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5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Myanmar

| Words by Ashley Diterlizzi |

Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a Southeast Asian country where the landscape is dotted with pagodas and tradition. Here are five things you probably didn’t know about Myanmar.

Myanmar countryside

1. It’s wine-o’clock

Myanmar’s increasingly popular and profitable industry is wine-making with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Sauvignon tempting tourists. You’ll find vineyards starting to appear alongside rice paddy fields across the country.

Fishermen in longyi

2. Men wear skirts too

You probably thought skirts on men were strictly a Scottish thing but men in Myanmar also don the colorful flowing fabric. The sheet of cloth is actually a longyi which resembles a long skirt. Men and women tie their longyi differently and also wear different colors and patterns. Try them for yourself!

Bus in Bagan

3. Right is right

Myanmar was a British colony until the late 1940s. Most of their cars therefore have right-side drive, just like in the UK and Australia. But in the 1970s, the Burmese government changed the traffic to the right-hand side which means people now drive and steer on the right side.

Long necked woman

4. Long-necked women

Many believe the Kayan people, or long-necked women, come from Thailand but the ethnic minority group are actually native to Myanmar. The tribes fled to Thailand in the 1980s and ‘90s to escape the Burmese military. Kayan women wear rings around their neck from childhood which create the illusion of a long neck.

Eating out in Myanmar

5. Getting a waiter’s attention

It’s not a word or a hand gesture they use to get the attention of a waiter in Myanmar but rather a kissing sound. Restaurant goers use two or three short kisses to call the waiter over when they are ready to order or pay the bill.

Experience the unique side of Myanmar on one of our small group journeys or check out our range of private tours.