Myanmar, mustaches and five-fingered shoes

Myanmar, mustaches and five-fingered shoes

Surprising tricks to meet and please locals in Burma


Myanmar is not one of the main staples on the typical Southeast Asia loop. In fact, most people who hit this area don’t even really now much about it. With the visa not being easy to get, horror stories of bandits and government control being afloat and the general under education on the area, a lot of backpackers choose to skip it all together.

After making my way through customs without all I needed for my visa (woohoo!), I met up with my friend Colin. He is teaching here, and was nice enough to pick up myself and another friend from the airport. He showed us where to exchange money and brought us to his apartment.

After a quick nap, we went mattress shopping. As we walked through a huge shopping center, we found a few things very interesting about Burmese people. First, they are super nice and very beautiful. Second, they love five-finger shoes. As Colin strut around in his, all the locals were quite intrigued. 

With his good looks and grasping light eyes, he already is a sight to see, so the shoes were just an added topping. Finally, the beautiful, round-tipped, Salvador Dali style mustache keeping my upper lip warm if a fan favorite. The Burmese did not try to hide their looks at its magnificence. They would come up, point, giggle, and shake my hand. Both men and women would indulge in this activity.

If you find yourself in Burma and want to make some local friends, try the five-finger shoes or mustache approach. Both are heavy crowd pleasers and easy ways to make conversations. Enjoy your travels and use these ice breakers on your next trip to Burma!