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    Post Things to remember when visiting temples in Myanmar

    Myanmar people are very devout and take high respect to religious works. Therefore, travelers should be aware of some certain rules when visiting temples in the country.

    Take off shoes before entering temple area

    Normally, you have to take off your shoes and socks at the gate, except some places allowing to go to the door of the temple. As being occupied by the British, Myanmar people were angry when the British did not take off their shoes when going to the temple area.

    Similar rules are also applied in the monasteries, but some sites allow visitors not to go barefoot. Pay attention to local people and follow them.

    Dress proper clothes when entering temples and monasteries

    Do not wear shorts and sleeveless shirts when going to the sacred religious areas of Myanmar. This rule is applied to both women and men. Women must not wear short skirts above knees, legging or strapless dress.

    Keep silent

    When visiting religious works, visitors should avoid playing, screaming or teasing each other. At the Shwedagon Pagoda, you are not allowed to play music when getting onto the campus of the pagoda or bring musical instruments onto the foot of the stupa.

    Avoid disturbing others when taking photos

    Some temples require travelers to pay fee if they want to take pictures, some do not permit to take pictures to avoid affecting the sacred atmosphere. Therefore, it is necessary to pay attention to signposts to know whether taking photos are allowed or not.

    In addition, travelers should avoid non-serious poses with temples or statues, do not lean on or use Buddha images as tools. The monks do not want to be photographed; if you want you should ask for permission in advance.

    Do not sit with your back opposite to the Buddha Images

    If sitting for a rest in a place where there are Buddha images, tourists need to avoid sitting with the back opposite to the images, because this is considered a sacrilegious action.

    Pay attention to your foot

    When sitting on the ground of temples, you also need to pay attention not to stretch your legs or point your food towards Buddha statues or stupas.

    Do not express your emotion outrageously

    The religious works is for making rituals and expressing one’s respects, so you are not allowed to express feelings excessively such as hugging, teasing or kissing, even kissing on the cheek. Holding hands can be accepted, but it is better to avoid.

    Do not disturb others praying or taking meditation

    When you see others praying or meditating, you should avoid talking loudly and laughing as reaching closer. You also should not cross through their face or touch them.

    Respect the monks

    The hermits in Myanmar are well-respected. Tourists should not try to shake their hands. Women are not allowed to touch monks. When giving gifts or offerings, you need to use both hands, reach close enough for them to get offerings without leaning forward.

    Do not sit in front or equal to a monk. If you want to dedicate money, you need to take it into an envelope or a folded piece of paper, and ask the monk to see who can get the money.

    Besides, visitors should avoid stepping on the shadow of the monks while they are standing, especially of the head part, because it is regarded as an act of disrespect.

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