Traveler’s Report 5

My little concern #1; Souvenir from Myanmar

April 22, 2015
A significant number of foreign tourists have been visiting Myanmar over the last few years by counting the load of passenger going through Yangon International Airport. The airport usage in 2013 (purely counting foreign tourists) was 720,000; and it has increased by double comparing with 2011.

As matter a fact, it is very noticeable that there are more and more coffee shops, cafés and restaurants have been opened to serve the foreign customers visiting Myanmar.

Despite of the country gradually shifting towards the democracy it is evident that the country is not yet 100% ready to accommodate the changes yet.

For an example I feel that there are hardly any souvenirs to purchase. There are some traditional sweets and foods that may represent the country; however, the package or wrapping are somehow so far from my expectation as souvenirs.

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Even the places listed in the official guidebook for the tourists such as Bogyoke Aung San Market, unfortunately, there are no confectionary items being sold as souvenirs. Mainly the items that are sold here are handmade crafts; and unfortunately they are not suitable as souvenirs in most cases.
However I cannot recommend purchasing souvenirs at the airport before boarding the flight either. There are hardly any shops and stores in the Yangon Airport and the duty-free store has very limited items. This is why you must purchase souvenirs in other places.

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Then how to get reasonable and presentable souvenirs in Myanmar?
Over the last few years, there are several shopping malls have been opened near downtown Yangon. The supermarkets and shops within these shopping malls have more variety of items and better quality items. These items are sold with very reasonable price and well packaged as souvenirs. Even though you may have to pay little extra by using a taxi to go to these malls it is worth the extra expense.

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These shops in the malls have variety of better quality items than other souvenir shops. The shopping malls have food courts, restaurants and other stores so it may be fun and interesting to visit.
I highly recommend getting souvenirs ready before you arrive to the airport if you do not want to get disappointed.

Written by Myanmar Food & Travel Editorial Department

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