"'Gifts'" Top 5 Page for this destination Myanmar (Burma) Favorite Tip by Mique

Myanmar (Burma) General: 190 reviews and 206 photos

  Schoolkids we ran into in Sagain
by Mique

Favorite thing: Many people believe that they do a good thing when they hand out little 'gifts' to people like shampoo, pens, sweets and all that. But this isn't so. Basically they help people to learn how to beg. especially in more touristy areas nowadays in Burma it is not uncommon for children to come up to you and ask you for a 'present'. If you don't get it (or pretend not to) they become more specific and ask for any of the above (and more). It is not as if the children are the only ones. Adults do the same thing (though they don't ask for pens and sweets but for shampoo, perfume and the like). Especially sweets seem like an innocent little hand-out. But do keep in mind that these kids don't have access to toothpaste, toothbrushes and dental care...

If you do want to help in Burma, do give medication and school-things amongst others.But do give this to the head of the village/township or donate them to a medical facility, school or monastery (several monasteries have schools attached to them). Don't give anything direct unless it is a real present (for example as a thanks for hospitality or someone who has been very very helpful). In which case it'll be greatly appreciated. T-shirts and little souvenirs from your home country are very much appreciated. So be aware of your actions and how it will affect the local population. And not only in Burma

Review Helpfulness: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 6, 2007
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