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SMU Libraries

Understanding Myanmar: Home

This guide provides useful information and links to resources on Myanmar.

At A Glance

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KYAOSOPARTAAL!

The following information have been carefully selected for your reference. Some resources may have bias perspectives. Please approach the SMU Libraries (library@smu.edu.sg ) should you have any doubts or need clarifications.

This video gives a brief introduction and the top things to do while you are in Myanmar.

 

Learn more about Myanmar history, geographical historyand even culture through this educational video.

Need To Know

This section provides information about Myanmar's cultural etiquette, basic conversational phrases, and useful local contact numbers.

Cultural Dos and Don’ts

Myanmar has its own customs, traditions, and rules for manners. Observe the following etiquette for a great experience:

  • DO cover your shoulders and knees when visiting religious sites.
  • DON’T go where you’re not allowed. There are still many restricted areas that require tourists to obtain a permit from the Ministry of Home Affairs and/or Ministry of Tourism before they are allowed to enter.
  • DON’T touch a monk. Monks are deeply revered in Myanmar society, you will notice that the highest seats on a table or bus are usually reserved for them. You should never touch the robe of a monk, not even when there is a worm crawling up his robe.
  • DO mind your feet. At the lowest point of the body, the feet is considered to be “dirty”. It is rude to point at people and things using your feet. When sitting in front of a Buddha statue, do not stretch your legs out with the soles of your feet facing Buddha. Instead, sit cross-legged with your feet tucked in.
  • DON’T touch anyone on the head. As opposed to the feet, the head is the most esteemed part of the body. Touching someone’s head is taken as a sign of aggression. Patting a child on the head is believed to be dangerous to the child’s wellbeing.
  • DON’T buy wildlife products or antiques. The sale of wildlife products is both illegal and a threat to the environment. On top of that, Myanmar loses its heritage every time antique items are taken out of the country. Help protect Myanmar’s wildlife and heritage by ending the demand for wildlife products and antiques.

Basic Conversational Language

Some phrases in Burmese that are handy to know when visiting Myanmar.

  • Mingalaba (Hello/Goodbye)
  • Cezu tin ba deh (Thank you)
  • Nah meh be lou kor d’le? (What’s your name?)
  • (Male) Ja nor na meh ____ ba / (Female) Ja ma nau na meh ____ ba (My Name is _____)
  • Neh kaun la? (How are you?)
  • Neh kaun ba deh (I’m well)
  • Nout ma thway mae (See you again)

Phone Apps

  • DUOLINGO
    Lessons are broken down into bite-sized chunks and it feels like you’re playing a game. Duolingo is a great introduction, but it can feel like you’re learning a random mix of information, often through repetition. The more you do, the more robust your vocabulary will be.
       
     
  • TANDEM
    The only way to become fluent in a new language is to speak it. Tandem is geared toward conversations with native speakers. The idea is that you can help one another learn new languages via text, audio, and video chat. The app vets you and then helps you to find a partner who shares your interests. They teach you and you teach them.
       

Currency

Kyats (MMK)

More details on the exchange rate.

Dialing Code

+95

Useful Numbers

  • Ambulance: 192
  • Fire: 191
  • Police: 199
  • International SOS Yangon: +951 657 939
  • Tourist Police in Nay Pyi Taw (HQ): +959 448 539 518
  • Tourist Police in Yangon: +959 448 539 519
  • Myanmar Information Counters
  • Singapore Embassy in Myanmar (Yangon): +95-1-9-559-001
    • Emergency Tel (after hours): 09-250-863-840

Local Media Source

This section links to the various local news media in Myanmar.

What To Look Out

This section informs the common scams and crimes to look out for when visiting Myanmar.


Scams

  • Common Tourist Scams
    Learn how to protect yourself from these common scams and crimes when visiting Myanmar.

Crime & Security

  • Overall Crime and Safety Report
    Find out more information on the common crime threats, areas of concerns, transportation-road safety, and even terrorism threat.

Books

This section lists some recommended readings about Myanmar.

Databases

Useful Links

This section provides useful links to the Myanmar social media.


Social Media

Let Myanmar inspire you with its magical beauty

   

Acceptable Use Policy

Electronic resources (e.g., databases, datasets, e-journals, e-books and streaming audio/video) provided by the SMU Libraries are governed by license agreements that restrict use to current students, faculty and staff of SMU and the Singapore Copyright Act.

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy