More then ever, it's important to travel the world responsibly, and this is especially the case in Myanmar. Making sure your money goes to the right individuals and benefits the local community as much as possible is a priority for Thahara. We've listed some simple things that you can do when visiting the country that will make your trip that little bit more special, while also ensuring you make a positive impact on the environment, society, and economy.
Spread your money around as widely as possible. Use different taxi drivers, eat in family-run restaurants and buy souvenirs from local shops rather than the boutiques back at your hotel. And remember – haggling may be fun and part of the culture, but a fair price is not the same as the cheapest one.
Interact at every opportunity with Burmese people you meet – but avoid discussing politics or any subject that could you feel they might be uncomfortable talking about. The consequences for talking out of place in Myanmar can be quite harsh.
Don’t take photographs of people without seeking their permission first. The Burmese are non-confrontational and may not object to being photographed – but this does not mean they are comfortable with it.
Wear appropriate clothing and behave respectfully when visiting religious sites. We've written a whole blog on what to wear in Myanmar, so check it out for some more in-depth information.
Make donations to social projects instead of individuals, where you money will go a lot further. And absolutely don't give money to children if they come asking. By doing so, you encourage them to skip school which is not helpful at all.
6. Book in Advance
As well as helping local businesses plan for the future and receive a constant income, you can save a lot of money by arranging your holiday in advance.
7. Myanmar's History
Educate yourself. There is plenty of literature about Myanmar's history that will help you understand the cultural, spiritual and political complexities of Burma’s 130 cultures.
Book a locally-owned hotel or guesthouse, and avoid the huge 5* hotels that contain over 200 rooms. All of the hotels on Thahara's website are locally owned, so have a look through our collection.
Litter and waste disposal is a surprisingly huge problem in Myanmar. At low tide, the riverbanks and estuaries can look like landfill sites, with children picking amongst the refuse to see what they can recycle or sell. Don’t contribute to the problem and take your rubbish with you.