Myanmar’s food are varied considerably depending on what part of the country you’re visiting and which ethnic groups are dominant. And the country shares a border with three major cuisines in the region including Indian, Thai, and Chinese. Savoury dishes can tend to be slightly too oily or sweet for foreign tastes, but they smell and taste extremely delicious. More specifically and in align with Asian culture, rice is the main staple. This is often served as plain, white rice along with a fish or meat main and a side of vegetables.
Tea has an enormous place in the cultural heart of the country. It is used not only as a drink, but also as a food in Laphet Thoke (tea-leaf salad), one of the dishes that tourists tend to sample, a slightly bitter but truly delicious dish made using tea leaves, sesame seeds, fried peas, garlic, dried shrimp and peanuts. Tea houses are also popular social centers, and it is common practice to have a drink at one each day with friends and catch up. Tea is also offered to any guest who visits a household. Betel nuts are the second staple of Myanmar food, and are consumed at a remarkable speed by Myanmar men. Sold from stands set up on almost every street, the mild stimulant gained from chewing the nuts is reasonably addictive, and for a tourist has the initially disconcerting effect of dyeing the user’s teeth red!
5. Myanmar festival
One of the largest festivals that present Burmese customs at their very best is Thingyan. This is the New Year that’s celebrated in April and is characterized by the entire country taking part in a huge water fight. Anyone who’s traveled to Thailand and experienced Songkran will know what this event is all about.
The Burmese New Year follows the lunar calendar and the dates are slightly different each year. Celebrations usually begin after a day of observing strict Buddhist practices and making offerings during daylight hours on the first day. This is then followed by four days of partying, drinking, and spraying water at each other.
Phaung Daw U is another large festival that’s held at Inle Lake. Four large golden images of Buddha are paraded around the lake on boats with people coming from all around the country to attend and give their respects. This ties in strongly with the conservative Buddhism Myanmar beliefs that are dominant around the country.
The Festival of Light (known locally as Thadingyut) begins soon after Phaung Daw U. Locals light candles, lamps, and lanterns and use them as decorations in religious buildings to celebrate the return of Buddha back to earth. Both are great festivals to attend to get more of an idea into the local way of life and culture.