Myanmar Shopping Tips – Things to Buy When Visiting Myanmar
After each trip, the souvenirs featuring each country are the items many tourists seek the most. Here are the suggested products and some useful tips for tourists who are planning a trip to Myanmar.
1. What To Buy When Shopping In Myanmar?
Myanmar has a lot of gemstone mines (mainly jade, ruby, and sapphire), and gemstone products originating from Myanmar are always highly appreciated in the international market. Moreover, the price of gems here is also much cheaper than the other countries.
Gemstones sold in Myanmar
If you are looking for a prestigious place to buy gemstones, do not miss the Bogyoke Aung San Market in Yangon. This market was established from the years 1994 – 1995 when Myanmar started business operations abroad. As soon as entering the market, tourists will feel overwhelmed by many kinds of gemstones sold in the stores. Gemstone in this market includes a range of types from a few USD to thousands of USD. Although there are many stores, no competition is available here. Bogyoke Aung San market is one of the reputable places where many licensed stores are located.
However, you need to be careful when choosing the gem because the boundary between the fake and real is fragile.
1.2. Burmese Skirt: Longyi & Paso
Longyi and Paso are traditional costumes of the Myanmar people
Longyi (for women) and Paso (for men) is the traditional costume of the Myanmar people. It is simply a cloth wrapped from the waist down to the feet instead of trousers or skirts, but the wrap between the two sexes is completely different. And more interestingly, when necessary, this traditional costume is pulled up to be a raincoat, a sturdy hat for women to keep cargo (fruits, foods) without holding hands. Longyi and Paso are useful in many situations and are usually chosen to buy as a gift after the trip.
Longyi and Paso are made from a variety of silk fabrics, from the affordable to the high-level kinds, depending on your budget and preferences, you can choose the right product for you.
1.3. Lacquer painting
The lacquer painting is also engraved and painted on bowls, cups, vases, and the other items
Bagan, the ancient capital of Myanmar, is known for its thousands of ancient towers, temples, and pagodas. However, the mark of this land is made by another factor that comes from the traditional handmade lacquerware here.
In addition to painting on paper, or wood carving, the Myanmar lacquer painting is also engraved and painted on bowls, cups, vases, and other items. This product is available throughout the country but the most famous production center is in Bagan. You can buy yourself a lacquer painting in the village of Myinkaba (Bagan). However, before buying tourists should ask for the price then bargain, and also be careful not to buy the fake product.
1.4. Decorative Tapestry
Each pattern on a tapestry in Myanmar is made meticulously
Textile tapestry is a long-term tradition in Myanmar. The tapestry is made meticulously, and decorated with gold, silver, and sparkling sequins. The image on the tapestry often depicts the classic Buddhist stories or other non-mundane objects of Burmese Buddhism such as legendary animals, Hintha, Kalong, etc.
Today’s traditional tapestry is disappearing, instead of that, the tourism products are usually seen in Mandalay and Yangon.
Sand painting is always a beautiful souvenir that any tourist would love to have one
Many galleries in Bagan or Yangon usually display beautiful paintings, reflecting the Buddhist philosophy and human life of the Myanmar people.
Sand painting originates a long time ago in Myanmar's history. It was used to be considered as a tribute to the artisans of the major events in the palace. The artisans must create special and exotic paintings to the royal. If the royal members were interested in the painting, they will reward the artisans. Nowadays, Bagan sand paintings are sold to all classes in social life, especially Western visitors.
In Bagan, tourists can admire the artists creating many featured paintings: the peaceful ancient temples, bonzes begging for food in the early sunshine, daily life of local citizens, or the iconic leader of the Democrat Aung San Suu Kyi.
1.6. Local Sweets and Snacks
Myanmar's local sweets and snacks
Last but not least on our Myanmar shopping list are the local sweets. Not only art but the country's cuisine is also famous. You can bring home many sweet things, such as dried fruits, as a gift. We suggest you buy tamarind flakes, which you can't find anywhere else, except mostly in Bagan in Myanmar.
Besides all the items mentioned above, the wind chimes, paper umbrellas, and Buddha statues are also souvenirs the tourists would love to buy the most on your Myanmar trip.
2. The Best Tips For Myanmar Shopping
- Supermarkets, department stores, and duty-free shops are only available in big cities such as Mandalay and Yangon. However, small local shops and markets around Bagan and Inle Lake can also satisfy your Myanmar shopping journey with various choices and reasonable prices.
- Both cash and credit card are acceptable. Yet, for safety reasons, using cash is more recommended.
- It's ok to bargain while shopping in Myanmar. However, don't expect too many discounts. In some cases, sellers will just stick to their labeled price.
- Upper Burma (from Mandalay to Shan State and the border regions) is popular for silk, exquisite textiles, lacquerware, pottery, and wooden carvings. Meanwhile, if you are looking for handicrafts and precious stones, go to the major shopping areas in Lower Burma.
- You are not allowed to bring real old Buddha statues or archaeological artifacts out of the country.
- You need to have the official certificate of the jewel when you want to pass the custom.
- There's no authority controlling the trade standard; ensure you check the quality of the products carefully before buying.
- Most Myanmar markets usually open on Sunday but close on Monday. They will close for full moon days during the Buddhist Lent Festival (usually in August and October).
Myanmar is flooded with different forms of art, making shopping in Myanmar a second-to-none experience. You can easily grab a masterpiece of artwork as a gift to surprise your kith and kin. There are more interesting things to buy in Myanmar. If you don't know where to start, contact BestPrice Travel, we're always happy to help.
Read more: What is the best time to visit Myanmar?
(Images source: Internet)