Guide Moving to Myanmar: An expat guide to Yangon with resources and friendly advice

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Expatriate Health Insurance Get a quote for expat health insurance in Burma. International Moving Quotes Moving to Burma? Get a moving quote. Join Today free Join Expat Exchange to meet expats in your area or get advice before your move. Best Places to Live in Medellin, Colombia Here are the best places to live in Medellin, Colombia, based on the recommendations of expats that already live there. These are worn in place of pants or skirts, as they have plenty of ventilation compared to their Western counterparts.

For more on the merits of wearing Myanmar's national dress, read about the longyi and why it's good manners to wear it. Try some of the local customs, too, like wearing thanaka makeup and chewing Kun-ya, or betel nut. Thanaka is a paste made from thanaka tree bark and is painted on the cheeks and nose.

The Burmese say thanaka is an effective sunblock. Kun-ya is more of an acquired taste; the Burmese wrap areca nuts and dried herbs in betel leaves, then chew the wad; this is what stains and distorts their teeth. Participate in local festivals.

So long as they do not disrespect the proceedings, tourists are allowed to participate in any traditional celebrations going on at the time of their visit. Watch where you point that camera. Stupas and landscapes are fair game for tourist photographers; people aren't.


Always ask permission before taking a shot of locals. Just because women are bathing out in the open doesn't make it OK to snap a picture; quite the opposite. Taking pictures of meditating monks is considered very disrespectful. Certain far-flung tribes in Myanmar also frown on tourists taking pictures of pregnant women. Respect the local religious customs.

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Most Burmese are devout Buddhists, and while they will not impose their beliefs on visitors, they will expect you to pay due respect to their traditional practices. Wear appropriate clothes when visiting religious sites, and don't violate their space: avoid touching a monk's robes, and don't disturb praying or meditating people in temples. What not to wear: For appropriate clothing in temples and other important tips, read about Do's and Don'ts for Buddhist Temples.

Mind your body language. The Burmese, like their religious compatriots around Southeast Asia, have strong feelings about the head and feet. The country director had so many suggestions the last time I spoke with him. We talked about you for at least 20 minutes. I had to get home and sit down. The world was spinning beneath my feet. It would truly be starting from scratch. Not only have I never been to Myanmar, I knew zero words of… what do they speak?

Dos and Don'ts in Myanmar

I had never even MET anyone from there. And for me, that was saying something. I even shook hands with a North Korean student once. Nice guy too!

Eating My Way Through Yangon - Heart My Backpack

Friday night I somehow found an indispensable expatriate guide to Myanmar for my Kindle. We watched a few Myanmar videos Saturday and Sunday night highlighting the pros and cons of being in the recently troubled and still fairly isolated country in Southeast Asia. Yangon formerly called Rangoon , the city we will soon call home, has a tight-knit expat community. Golden Buddhist temples tower over the city and the people of Myanmar are described as kind, generous, and respectful.

Bustling markets abound and unspoiled turquoise beaches wait patiently for our visit just outside the city. No matter how we find the place on arrival, our unique services and skills will be needed and most likely appreciated.

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There is much good we can do in this part of the world. Who are we meant to meet? Who are we supposed to help?

  • Expat advice: moving to Yangon, Myanmar!
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For the moment I am still digesting and also gathering information. My mood floats from cautious optimism, exhilaration, to sheer terror. I DO love working in developing countries and I am no stranger to the mix of emotions I often feel before and upon arrival.


My recent visit to teach for two weeks in Ethiopia is a prime example. But moving somewhere feels a whole lot more permanent and irreversible. Anyway — be excited! It is a great life you have as a family — great — unpredictable and wonderful………Much love Heather. Thanks so much Heather.