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The best souvenirs to bring home from Myanmar

Myanmar is a land of vibrant cultures, peoples and colours. The array of souvenirs and mementos a tourist can take home is so diverse it can be a little overwhelming; subsequently, buying great quality goods for a reasonable price can be difficult. The good news, however, is that market sellers in Myanmar are not as pushy as those in some south-Asian countries, which takes the pressure off buying something you don’t necessarily want. Below is our guide to the best souvenirs you can buy in Myanmar.

Myanmar Souvenirs: Parasols

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 fiber 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

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Umbrella factory

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Umbrella factory

Myanmar Souvenirs: Longyi

The Longyi is the native dress of the Myanmar people and makes for a great gift. We can attest to their comfort (especially in the heat!) and while you may find the recipient a little unwilling to wear it outdoors back in Europe, it will undoubtedly make them smile. Longyi come in a variety of styles from utilitarian to ornately ceremonial, yet tend to cost very little and look incredible – a perfect gift.

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Longyi

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Longyi


Myanmar Souvenirs: Lacquerware

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!

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Laquerware

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Laquerware

Myanmar Souvenirs: Silverware

Our favourite area for purchasing silverware in Myanmar is Inle Lake. Here you will find local silversmiths forging and polishing the products you buy before your very eyes; thus ensuring they are of the high quality they say they are! Popular purchases include articulated silver Inle Lake fish with ruby eyes, and silver rings and necklaces studded with jade and other precious stones. Similar products can be found in markets across the country, but be sure you are buying a genuine silver product and not a cheap imitation.

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Silverware

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Silverware

Myanmar Souvenirs: Gemstones

Gemstones and jade are eternally desirable gifts and are subsequently one of, if not the, largest industries in Myanmar, with some reports estimating their worth at nearly 50% of the country’s GDP. Considering the dubious ethics of the mining industry, and the abundance of fakes sold to tourists, it is extremely important to ensure you are buying from a reliable source. A good guide will be extremely helpful in this case – please get in touch and we will be happy to arrange this for you.

Myanmar Souvenirs: Cigars

Myanmar cigars (cheroots) make a cheap, unique and very tasty souvenir. Handmade all across the country – but particularly in Shan state – they comprise a tobacco leaf rolled around a mix of tobacco, stems, wood chips and spices, and are extremely pleasant to smoke. The best quality cigars are found in tobacco shops on Inle Lake, but they can be bought for very little money in markets all over Myanmar.

Cheeroot (cigar) making, Myanmar

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Cigars

Myanmar Souvenirs: Paintings / sand paintings

Paintings are one of the more common souvenirs purchased in Myanmar as they are cheap, readily available and invariably stunning. So stunning, in fact, that Myanmar art is often resold abroad, particularly in Thailand, 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.

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Paint

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Paintings


Myanmar Souvenirs: Teak products

Teak products, while not unique to Myanmar, are produced here in much larger quantities than anywhere else in the world and the quality of this remarkable wood really shines through. Used in almost every conceivable industry, for the average tourist the best teak pieces are furniture. Beds, armchairs and tables are all extremely common, and if you have the chance to pick up any of this wonder-wood you won’t regret it.


Myanmar Souvenirs: Marionettes

Marionettes or puppets are an unusual gift yet one you will see for sale regularly, particularly in Bagan and Inle Lake. These puppets are a traditional form of Myanmar entertainment that can still be seen around the country. Beautifully hand-crafted, these make a wonderful memento of you time here (particularly if you managed to catch a show!).

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Myanmar Doll Puppet

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Myanmar Doll Puppet

Myanmar Souvenirs: Fabrics / clothes

Myanmar is a riot of colour and the clothes and fabrics you can buy are no exception – think rich tapestries of every shade imaginable. Tailors and seamstresses are abundant in Myanmar, so find a material you like and you can have a shirt or dress made from it in no time at all. Silk made from lotus roots makes a particularly fine dress; the only limits are your finances and imagination.

Best souvenir from Myanmar - Fabric and clothes

Best souvenir from Myanmar – Fabric and clothes


Myanmar Souvenirs: Bells, gongs

Usually struck to announce the presence of monks or summon them, beautifully ornate bells and gongs are visible all over Myanmar, and make fantastic gifts. Do be careful of buying anything that could be considered antique however; there is a blanket ban on taking them out of the country.


Green retreat and Golden Rock

Our ‘Green Retreat’ is a perfect way to wrap up your Myanmar holiday! Take a short road journey to historic Bago and enjoy a memorable stay at the charming Bulae Inn Villas. Then continue to Golden Rock, joining locals on a spiritual pilgrimage that will bring you good fortune for your trip back home.

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Yoga Retreat and Rural Living

Connect with nature on a multi-day retreat to Kalaw Hill Lodge! The hotel’s highland location serves as the backdrop for guided meditation and yoga sessions, organic farming experiences and memorable treks through rural villages… the perfect combination for nature lovers of all ages!

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Discover Untouched Paradise

Awake each morning to partake in expert-led yoga sessions then spend the rest of the day exploring tropical islands and dining on fresh local food. This week-long holistic holiday is sure to leave you feeling refreshed and re-energized!

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