Tuesday, April 30, 2013


Myanmar has proved to be unlike any of the other SE Asian countries I've visited. There are many things I've noticed that seem to make this country unique.


Most people in Myanmar, both men and women, wear what they call a longyi, a skirt that goes down to the ankles. The men knot theirs in a special way at the front, whereas women tie theirs to the side. They come in every colour and pattern imaginable.

Men in longyis

Women in longyis (can you spot the foreigner?)

My all-time favourite: COUPLES in longyis!


I'd seen a bit of this in Thailand but nowhere near as much as in Myanmar. Thanaka is made from the sandalwood tree and is used primarily by women and children as sunscreen. Some people use it solely on their cheeks, others cover their entire faces and some even put it on their arms.

Thanaka, waiting to be purchased at the market

How it looks once applied (once again, can you spot the foreigner?)


One of the first things you will notice upon arriving in Myanmar is the red-stained teeth many people have. Their teeth get this way from chewing betel, a kind of nut (with narcotic effects) wrapped in a vine leaf. It's definitely a more common habit amongst men but some women chew it too.  So many people do it that walking around town becomes somewhat of a hazard - watch for spitters!

Rolling the leaves

A monk with reddish teeth

Is there anything more fascinating than seeing and learning about the customs and cultural differences around the world?!


Anonymous said...

The longhi looks like the ideal hot weather garment! Maybe we should all wear them in the summer. Besides covering up some (ahem) problems, they look so comfy!

Anonymous said...

Alex, I love your curiosity, you wonder about and ask the questions that I want to know about. It makes for such interesting reading. Now, did you discover what is worn under the longhi? Lesley Mussett.

Wondering and Wandering said...

Deanna - pretty comfy but tricky to walk in if you're not used to long skirts! I have to take baby steps when I'm wearing mine.

Lesley - Thank you, glad you're finding it so interesting! Don't think they wear anything underneath... I've seen a few people who have the cloth stuck in their bums, ha!