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Sunday, December 15, 2013

Culture & Religion

Myanmar is predominantly Buddhist, followed by 6.2% Christians, 4.8% Muslims, 2.5% Spirit Worshippers and Animists, and 1.5% Hindus. Tourists are advised to observe the following ethics and practices:

Typical Character

Friendly, helpful, honest, humble but dignified.
Treat everyone with respect and you will be respected.

Speaking

When addressing people, don't leave out U (meaning Mr) or Daw (meaning Ms/Mrs) preceding their names
Speak slowly and clearly.

Manners

It is not always customary to shake hands.
It is advisable to avoid public showing of affection with the opposite sex (such as hugging or kissing)

Don't touch any adult on the head, as it is considered rude.
Don't step over any part of a person, as it is considered rude.
Always receive or present things with your right hand.

In Myanmar, nodding mean YES, and shaking head means NO.

Eating

For hygiene reasons, try to eat meals that are properly prepare in restaurants. Street vendors might not be the most hygienic in preparing food.
Avoid drinking tap water.
Drink only bottled water and soft drinks that haven't been opened yet.
It is customary for the oldest member to eat first.
Chinese food is common and suggested
Local Myanmar food is often considered “oily”
To try good Myanmar food, go to decent restaurants, where they cook Myanmar food according to international standards.

Shopping

When buying gems, sculptures, or any expensive souvenir, make sure it comes with an export permit.
Buy artwork from authorized dealers only and get a certified receipt.

Safety

Don't leave valuables in your room. Use safe deposit box.
Beware of fraudsters, swindlers, imposters.

Health

Completely avoid narcotics and excessive alcohol consumption.
Carry some medicines for common discomforts such as headache, diarrhea, travel sickness.
Do now be unduly worried about illness. All doctors are English-literate.
Visit only certified medical practitioners.
Health insurance is not available.

Traveling

Be realistic about the amenities here. They may not meet your expectations.
While travelling by train, keep the windows shut.
Speed or distance are measured in miles, not kilometers.
Carry toilet paper with you when travelling

Visiting

• Most Myanmar do not wear shoes in their homes. Please remove them when visiting.

Moving About

Jaywalking is discouraged. Be vigilant when walking and watch what you step on.
City driving speed limit is 30 mph. Drive on the right side.

Religion

At religious places, visitors are requested to remove footwear.
Avoid shouting, talking loudly, horseplay, jesting or laughing at religious places.
Avoid being a nuisance when taking photographs.
Treat Buddha images with respect.
Tuck away your feet. Pointing the soles of your feet towards religious artifacts is considered inappropriate. Avoid point your feettowards pagodas, monks, or images of the Buddha.
Avoid playing music in religious compounds. It is important to note that Buddhist monks are not allowed to listen to music.
Do not put Buddha statues or images on the floor or somewhere inappropriate.
Don't touch sacred objects with disrespect. Hold them in your right- hand, or with both hands.
Leave a donation when possible.
Show respect to monks, nuns, and novices (even if they are children).
Avoid offering your hand to shake hands with a monk.
Sit lower than a monk and elders.
Avoid offering food to a monk, nun, or a novice after noon. Monks, nuns, and novices practice fasting after lunch.
Woman should avoid touching monks.

Natural Gas

Myanmar has an abundance of natural gas especially in the offshore areas. With three main large offshore oil and gas fields and 19 onshore ones, Myanmar has proven recoverable a reserve of 510 billion cubic-meters out of 2.54 trillion cubic-meters of offshore and onshore gas, according to experts. The country has also an estimated 3.2 billion barrels of recoverable crude oil reserve.Natural gas topped Myanmar's exports in the fiscal year of 2007-08 at 2.594 billion U.S. dollars, according to latest statistics of the country's Customs Department.

Oil 

Myanmar is one of the world's oldest oil producers, exporting it's first barrel in 1853. Today, Myanmar's oil output is small and natural gas export exceeds that of oil.

Rice 

Once the world's top rice producer, Myanmar harvests 8.1 million hectare of rice annually, primarily in the Irrawaddy Delta area. In 2010, production stood at approximately 31 million metric tons, of which about 1 million tons are exported. 

Gold

In Myanmar, gold is regarded as a substance of royal stature. Devotees in Myanmar affix gold plates and gold foils to the surfaces of Pagodas and Buddha statues as an expression of reverence. The primary gold deposits are found in Kawlin Township, Sagaing Division, which holds an estimated 6.04 million tons of ores. 

Timber

Myanmar exported 890,000 tons of timber in 2009-2010. India was the major buyer purchasing about half of all exports followed by Japan, Thailand and Malaysia. 

Rubber

Myanmar ventured into rubber plantations, boosting its exports standing in the international community.Most of the natural rubber produced is consumed by the tyre industry. Rubber is grown extensively in Mudone, Thanbyuzayat and Ye Townships in Mon State. Moreover, Shan state and Tenasserim are developing rubber plantations as well.

Jade

With its beauty, versatility, and wide-range of expressions, jade has held a special allure for enthusiasts for ages. Hpakant, a major jade production area, is situated in the Myitkyina District of Kachin State, about 600 miles north of Yangon. There are also Jade markets in Hpakan, Lonkin and Mogaung.

Ruby

Mogok valley in upper Myanmar was for centuries the world's main source for ruby. Mogok produced some of the finest rubies ever mined, but in recent years very few good rubies have been found there. The very best color in Myanmar rubies is sometimes referred to as "pigeon's blood."

Pearl

Affectionately referred to as "Gold Pearls," Myanmar pearls are special and unique. Sizes range from 10mm to 16mm. They can be found at Myeik.

Beans

Myanmar is one of the major bean exporters in the world. Myanmar ranks fourth among the top ten dry bean producers in world.

Coal

Myanmar has numerous coal deposits around the country. They can be found along the Ayeyarwady and Chidwin river basins as well as in the southern part of the country. Myanmar has a total of 16 Major coal deposits throughout the country.

How to Apply Visa Myanmar

Fill up the secure online application form
Applicant is required to enter all the necessary information in the application.

Confirm and pay the processing fee
Applicant needs to recheck all the information is correct before proceed to the next step. Make the payment with Credit/Debit Card via eNETS. Acknowledgement email with application code will be sent to applicants.

Get approval letter within 3 days
Within 3 days, applicants will get visa approval letter via email. Print out the letter with barcode and bring along with passport, then show them to Immigration officer at Myanmar arrival checkpoints. 

Get visa stamped at arrival checkpoints
Upon arrival to Myanmar arrival checkpoints, present visa approval letter and passport to the Immigration officer to get passport stamped.