It's always nice to bring back some memories and gifts from your travels. This is especially the case in Myanmar, where you will find incredible artwork, wonderful sculptures and much more besides. We've listed some of our favourite gifts below so read on to plan out your mum's next birthday present.
Paintings / Sand Paintings
Paintings are one of the more common souvenirs purchased in Myanmar as they are readily available and stunning. So stunning, in fact, that Myanmar art is often resold abroad for an extravagant mark-up. Sand paintings are perhaps the most popular style on offer. Sand paintings are copies of Bagan’s temple murals, and are unique to the area. The process of sand-painting is very laborious, and culminates in hours or days of sprinkling sand through a sieve to recreate the mural. These make an inexpensive and extremely well-received gift. Check out our Guide to Yangon's Art Scene Experience and explore some of Yangon's most important art galleries to find out more.
Myanmar lacquerware takes its root in Chinese tradition, and has a history dating back to about the 12th century. Using resin made from the Thit-si tree, bamboo is repeatedly lacquered in such a manner as to improve both its appearance and durability. As the process is entirely by hand, good lacquerware can be a little expensive, but there is a very good chance you’ll fall in love with a beautiful piece and buy it anyway!
A Jar of honey
From social enterprises such as Haven Honey and Plan Bee, honey is a great little gift for your to bring back from Myanmar. Flavours include sunflower honey and pigeon pea honey and can be bought in little jars of 50g from shops including Hla Day, Sharky’s and Yangon Teahouse in Yangon. Seriously tastey!
A smaller gift, but just as welcome. These straws are made from 100% bamboo which is grown in Myanmar and then handmade into straws by craftsmen. They are the perfect replacement for plastic straws which we hope you’ll agree, should be quickly dispensed of. You’ll find this gift in local gift shops such as Hla Day in Yangon.
Parasols / Umbrellas
Traditional Burmese parasols are a common sight in Myanmar, most frequently in the hands of monks. Traditionally, a bamboo frame is covered in paper made from the fibre of the Mulberry tree, which has a lengthy and complicated manufacturing process itself. Dyed, lacquered and painted, these are beautiful, fragile gifts that if cared for will nonetheless last a lifetime
Myanmar is a riot of colour and the fabrics you can buy are no exception – think rich tapestries of every shade imaginable. While the tailoring isn’t quite up to the same standard as some of Myanmar’s neighbouring countries, it’s possible to find incredible material that you can then take back home to get made into whatever you want. Silk made from lotus roots makes a particularly fine dress; the only limits are your finances and imagination.