Blog Words : I wish I'd known... | 06 February

5 things I wish I’d known before visiting Burma

Martin Symington travelled to Burma for the upcoming issue of Wanderlust. Here he imparts advice on things to know before you visit

1. Religious beliefs

For most Burmese, Buddhism is all-pervasive with its rituals and observances followed unselfconsciously.  To arrive with some understanding of  the underlying philosophy is viewed as a mark of deep respect.

2. Smile for the camera

Burmese people not only love to be photographed, but will greatly appreciate being shown pictures you have brought from home.

3. They're being friendly!

People who approach you and start a conversation are not necessarily trying to sell something. After so many years of isolation, meeting foreigners is still a novelty.

4. Tip at will

Official tourist guides are professionals trained to an exceptionally high standard. The gratuities they receive are a large part of their earnings.

5. UK mobiles don’t work here

Voicemail, however urgent, will just have to wait.