5 Addresses For Shopping In Your Tour To Burma

What will you do in your tour to Burma? Common answers are to visit majestic gilded temples sparkling in the sunlight, admire stunning natural landscapes, explore unique local cultures and enjoy delicious traditional Burmese cuisine. You may forget the equally interesting activity: shopping. You can find everything at a multitude of shops and markets all over Myanmar, especially souvenirs such as silk, lacquerware, wood carvings, and gems. We suggest 5 places you can visit in your tour to Myanmar to purchase unique presents for your beloveds, friends and even yourself.

5 Addresses For Shopping In Your Tour To Burma

1. Monument Books

In contrast to Bagan Book House where you can find old books about Burmese history, this large modern bookshop has a good selection of books on contemporary Burma. There are also sumptuous photographic works. The bookshop is located just a few minutes walking from the Savoy Hotel, and next door is Yangon's leading toy store. On a hot day, a lot of visitors and locals stop here for a drink since it has a very pleasant air-conditioned café together with internet access.
Address: 150 Dhamazedi Road, Bahan Township
Contact: 00 95 1 536 306; monument-books.com
Getting there: walk or take a taxi
Opening times: daily, 9am-8.30pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted

2. The Five-day Market

Local produce markets rotate on a five-day cycle among groups of villages and towns around the tranquil Inle Lake (except on Full Moon days when there are no markets). Although the floating market of Ywe Mah is the most famous, it’s better for you to avoid the market in your Myanmar travel as it’s awash with camera-totting tourists. Nyaungshwe's daily morning market which swells to three times its size every fifth day would an ideal place to learn about the daily life of some Burmese ethnic minority groups in your tour to Myanmar. Go before 9 am to see it in full swing: fresh vegetables and fruits, an array of freshly-cooked and irresistible snacks and Pa-O tribeswomen in their red plaid headscarves.
Address: Main Road, Nyaungshwe
Getting there: walk or hire a boat
Opening times: daily, 6am-1pm, excluding Full Moon days
Payment type: credit cards not accepted

3. King Galon Gold Leaf Workshop

During your tour to Burma, you will see many temples and Buddhas covered in gold leaves. Gold leaf is much in demand as Buddhists place the sheets on important images of the Buddha as a way to acquire merit. King Galon Gold Leaf Workshop is the most accessible in Mandalay. Here you can watch the manufacturing process, entirely done by hand. Packets of coin-sized pieces of pure gold are beaten into gossamer-thin leaves by men wielding sledgehammers, and them the leaves are carefully cut and packed by women. A packet of ten squares costs about $5 dollars.
Address: 143, 36th Street, near junction with 77th Street, Mandalay
Getting there: take a taxi
Opening times: daily, 8am-6pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted

4. Myinkaba Village

Located between Old Bagan and New Bagan, this large village is full of small, family-run, lacquerware makers. As soon as you stop here, young girls who can speak English surprisingly well will run up and ask if you would like a tour. It’s well worth taking up the offer. You will see how lacquerware is made every day by using plastic molds, and the design painted on instead of incised. It’s also a great way to find out about village life as your young guide may invite you to visit their home and enjoy tea and snacks. If you don’t buy anything, a small tip is necessary. In case you want to get the top-quality lacquerware in your tour to Burma, visit Golden Cuckoo workshop in the village.
Address: Myinkaba Village, Bagan
Getting there: hire a horse cart or cycle
Opening times: daily, 8am-9pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted

5. Pakokku Market

The market is situated in a busy Burmese town, an hour’s drive from Bagan. It has retained its authenticity as few tourists come here. It’s worth spending a couple of hours at the market in your tour to Myanmar - try to arrive before 11am - as there’s so much of interest: umbrella makers, basket sellers, stalls of thanaka powder (used as a sunscreen in Burma) as well as the most exotic range of fruit and vegetables, arranged as works of art. Buy a bag of the appetizing toddy-palm jaggery, balls of sugar mixed with sesame and coconut for your Burma tours.
Address: Myoma Market, Pakkoku
Getting there: Take a minibus from Bagan (Ks 2,000)
Opening times: daily, 8am-4pm
Payment type: credit cards not accepted
Shopping in your tour to Burma is not only to get typical Burmese items but also to better understand the culture and daily life of the Golden Temple Country. Do not forget to visit these places in your tour Myanmar and purchase special souvenirs.

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