Top Things to Buy in Myanmar

10 Jun 2019 by Admin

Whenever stepping foot in a new land, it is common sense that you desire to hold something there as a memory for the later recall. Thus, in a country of rich culture and tradition like Myanmar, there are plenty of things to buy as souvenirs.  Let's check out this list of the best things to buy in Myanmar.


Longyi is definitely one of the best things to buy in Myanmar. The cylinder - shaped fabric are worn everywhere in the Golden Land by both genders and all ages. Women look elegant and charming in the colorful longyis whilst men appear simplier in striped or checked plain color ones. 

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A longyi shop at Bogyoke Market in Yangon

Longyi is not only worn at important occasions as it is Burma's national custome but has many other utilities in the daily life. By some wrapping steps, they can create a secret pocket to hide the phone or wallet in the longyi. The men can make their paso shorten by tucking the lower part into the waist to play sport or the women can roll the paso into a cushion to carry water pots or baskets on their head and so on. Thus, this simple fabric becomes an indispensable part of the Burmese. When you come to Burma, don't forget to try on a longyi and blend in the locals.

If you want to know more about Longyi, of its history and how to wear it, secure a place onboard the luxury Myanmar river cruises for an interesting demonstration of the crew. You won't be disappointed.

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Longyi is worn by both genders and all ages

Longyi can be bought everywhere in Myanmar from the shopping malls to the local markets. The price varies depending on the quality of marterials, the desgin and patterns as well as the techniques of the tailors. You can get a ready - made longyi at the makert at cost of $5USD. For the more complicated details and fine silk material, the price can goes over $100USD. Bogyoke Aung San market in Yangon and the silk workshops in Mandalay are considered the best places to buy Longyi.

Sand Painting

Bagan is not only famous for temples and lacquerware but a very special art form of sand painting. It is said that sand paintings are started to create after the terrible earthquake in 1975 destroying many mural paintings along with temples. At that time, people began to paint the replicas of the murals in water color and then sand. If you are looking for what to buy in Myanmar, don't forget to take sand painting into your consideration.

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A good sand painting must be created sophisticatedly

The name itself discloses one of the primary materials in need to produce a sand painting, which is sand for sure. At first, the artist will sketch the picture, then cover the details with acrylic glue and sand. To make the product more colorful and eye - catching, painting will be added later after the cloth dry. It averagely takes several days for a sand painting to accomplish which requires a great contribution of artists’ skillfulness, creativeness and patience as well. 

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Sand paintings of monk are the most favorite product amongst toursits

Sand paintings are largely displayed in Bagan. You can find many shops selling this product at the entrances of the temples. The price goes around $8 - 20 USD for a stunning sand painting.   


Tapestry is long Myanmar’s cultural symbol which requires skilful needlework, artistry and a great amount of time to make. This art form is said to originate about a thousand year ago back to the thriving dynasty of Pagan Kingdom.

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This intricate embroidery is now produced mainly in the workshops in the art and culture hub of Mandalay. The backgrounds of the tapestry are usually velvet, silk or satin which will then be decorated with colorful sequins, beads, gems, golden thread, silver and so on. 

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Like sandpainting, tapestry in Myanmar takes a long time to complete

Producing tapestries soon becomes the main career of numerous women in Myanmar. With the development of modern living pace, from traditional tapestries, a large range of novelties such as handbags, purses or blanket covers emerge and quickly gain visitors’ favor.

The price of the tapestry depends on the quality of the product, materials and size. The average cost is between $3 - $40USD. If the tapestry requires custom made, the price is much higher.


Lacquerware is seem to be one of the most famous and popular things to buy in Myanmar and Bagan in particular. The product comes in many different shapes and sizes from cup, bowl, vase to wardrobe and jewelry box.

The traditional lacquer products take a lot of time and effort to make. The materials are all nature and the details are carved completely by the skilful craftsmen. The price ranges from $3 - $100USD or more depending on the size and quality of the product.

You can find many lacquerware shops in Bagan, some sell genuine, high - quality products and the others sells the fake ones with much cheaper price. Please pay attention to the details before purchasing. Let's check out these best places to buy lacquerware in Bagan. You will surely be amazed by the procedures, the techniques and the outstanding lacquerwares.

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The sophisticated lacquerwares in Myanmar 


Gemstones are definitely the best things to buy in Myanmar for your special women. Myanmar owns a large quantities of natural resources from oil, gas, gold to gemstones. In which the country has the biggest ruby's contribution to the world market. Burma's sapphire and jade also have very good quality which are exported to many other countries. Each gemstone carries a meaning which can bring luck, health or wealthy for the wearers.

You can come to any government registered jewelry stores in Yangon or Mandalay to buy genuine gemstones with many beautiful designs.

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Gold Leaf

You may notice that gold leaves are used widely in Burma, especially in temples and pagodas. People apply them onto the Buddha statues to pay respect to him. Moreover, many lacquerwares and woodcarvings are decorated with gold leaf. If you have a chance to visit Mandalay, remember to check out King Galon gold leaf beating workshop where to observe the making procedures of the ultra thin leaf of gold as well as many amazing souvenirs. 

The prices are vary depending on the items.

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Stunning souvenirs decorated with gold leaf


  • Beware when buying the Buddha statues at some temples and pagodas because they may be stolen from there for sale. You are not permitted to take the real old Buddha statues and archaeological artifacts out of the country.
  • Bear in mind that Myanmar's government does not control trade standard so you should check the quality of the products carefully.
  • The transaction is established when you and the seller agree with the price. 
  • Nyaung U Market in Bagan is a busy center for tourists to buy things with wide range of goods from daily fresh ones to custom longyi. It is a perfect place to learn about the local life.
  • Don't forget to check out the - 5 day market when visiting Inle Lake
  • Bogyoke Aung San Market in Yangon is the place where shopping can be an interesting thing to do. A good deal can be set here. 
  • When passing the customs, you need to show official certificate of the jewel you buy.
  • Remember to take a look at the shops inside the hotels because they may store interesting articles.
  • Most of Myanmar markets are opened on Sundays and closed on Mondays and full moon days.  
  • If you do not know what to buy or where to buy in Myanmar yet, ask your  tour guide for suggestions.

Hope the above information will help you to enjoy an interesting shopping experience in Myanmar and pick out your favorite gifts to bring back home.

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