Myanmar souvenirs – What are the best items to buy when travelling?

Every time we travel to a novel destination, which makes each trip so special is not only the beauty witnessed, the lessons learned, or the experience encountered but also the meaningful items we bring home. They are the souvenirs that are characterized and unique, not similar from regions to regions. If you intend to travel to Myanmar, this blog will give you a hint of the best Myanmar souvenirs to purchase.

Being a small country in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is such a quiet and calm destination, unlike its neighbor, Thailand. The country is also well – known for the golden spirituals sites and rich cultural identity. In addition, there are plenty of supermarkets, outdoor local markets, department stores that are always open to welcome visitors to come at any time.

Here are the top 6 best souvenirs in Myanmar for you:

Jewelry

It might be a surprise to many people that Myanmar has a huge and rich source of gemstone mines which include rubies, jade, sapphire stones. As a matter of fact, Hong Kong, Thailand, or India, the key gem trading centers of Asia, import colored gemstones from Myanmar.

 

Jewelry in Myanmar
A wide selection of jewelry in a local shop in Myanmar

Averagely, the price you can get for jewelry in Myanmar is lower comparing to those countries. The jewelry made from these valuable materials and sold in Myanmar are not of good quality equally, so as the price. It means that there is a high chance that you buy a very beautiful and looks sophisticated piece of jewelry at a reasonable or even cheap price but it will contain gold inside. But the contrary is not always true neither, not all more expensive products are of ensured quality though.

If you long buy jewelry in Myanmar, it is advised that you have a basic knowledge of them, such as how to check the quality by their appearances or the quick techniques to examine the real quality. If you do not have the knowledge, you should search for some government-guaranteed centers or stores to buy jewelry from.

Longyi

Longyi is the name of Myanmar’s traditional skirt. It is a long and wrap-around skirt, worn comfortably by both women and men. When it is worn by men, Longyi is referred to as “Pasu”; while by women, Longyi is called “Htamein”. This costume is not only a traditional item but it is also helpful. Local people wear it in order to protect their bodies from the intolerant heat of the weather. Thus, during your trip, you can buy Longyi and use it just like the local people do.

 

Longyi
A typical shop selling Longyi with numerous styles

Longyi skirts are sold at different colors, patterns, and sizes so it will be easy for you to choose. The most common material used to tailor the Longyi is silk, hence you should find them in silk shops in Myanmar.

Sand paintings

Sand painting is said to be an art in Myanmar. It has been around since 1975 and gradually develops as time goes by. This art has its root in Bagan, following a serious earthquake which caused a number of pagodas to be destroyed. Then, many artists in Bagan were inspired by this aftermath to start depicting and painting the religious scenes, monks, and Buddhist symbols by sand.

Nowadays, sand paintings are not only about religious contents but also about daily life and objects. The paintings are intriguing to travelers by both the special material and the great virtuosity of the artists when creating them. You can find them from the vendors on the street at a cheap price to the galleries at a higher price.

 

Sand painting
An artist is concentrating on painting a sand painting to sell

Puppets

Just like many countries in Asia, puppets in Myanmar play an integral part in their culture. Here, puppets are known under other names: Marionettes or Yoke Thé. Marionettes, the string puppetry, has been the traditional form of puppet performance in Myanmar since the 15th century. Through these puppets, morals, victories, tales of wonder are told and passed from generation to generation.

Marionettes are too pretty to miss buying as a souvenir and it is certainly a lovely item to display at your house. Besides that, if you are keen on watching a puppet show in Myanmar, you should come to some famous tourist attractions. For instance, in Yangon, this kind of art is performed in the National Museum and Htwe Oo Myanmar Puppetry Home.

 

Puppets in Myanmar
Puppets are displayed at a local market in Myanmar

Tea

Why is tea a popular item to buy in Myanmar? To your concern, a major part of Myanmar’s agriculture is attached to cultivating tea leaves. Furthermore, tea became a close friend to all of the Burmese people a long time ago; and it presents in their daily life. If you travel to this country, you can easily catch the sight of local people sitting on the sidewalk, in a vendor to drink tea at any time in a day. Because of this reason, the Burmese want to share this tasty drink with foreign friends and produce tea as presents.

You can purchase the dried tea leaves to make tea at home; however, it might be of a little strange taste to foreigners, especially those who come from Europe, American, or Australia. Hence, you should buy the tea powder mix sold in small sachet instead.

 

Tea mix in Myanmar
The tasty tea mix brand to buy in Myanmar

Suggested Myanmar tours

 

In summary, buying Myanmar souvenirs will not be challenging if you follow this blog. I am sure these presents will be meaningful and also great gifts for your friends and family back home.

 

Minh Vu – Travel Specialist

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