Myanmar Shopping And Markets
Myanmar, known formerly as Burma, is a shopper’s paradise. While a number of markets and shopping destinations will delight you with its unique hand crafted items and other wares, the prices of these exquisite artifacts are bound to leave you spellbound too! It is exceptionally cheap in comparison to other Southeast Asian countries.
There are many supermarkets, departmental stores as well as standalone shops in Yangon, the capital city. You will find a wide range of products sold everywhere and shopping in Bogyoke Aung San Market (also known as Scott’s Market) is sure to be a fun experience! You might even get to do some bargaining and get your coveted item at less than half the price initially quoted. However, the shops and markets that sell foreign goods do not allow any kind of haggling and are strict about offering a fixed price. Do not fret though! Do not worry as American dollars are often accepted as is the local currency, the Kyat.
- However, the Bogyoke Aung San Market will please you with almost 2000 shops jostling for space in the heart of Yangon. They sell virtually everything from jewelry and gems, to art and craft items and traditional Mandalay clothing. Quaint, painted wooden dolls are a must buy here. You can also buy several branded items at a relatively cheaper price than in developed countries. Street vendors cannot be avoided once you make up your mind to shop locally. However, be careful of the discrepancies in prices and get down to bargain long and hard. Yangon also has several modern shopping centers which include FMI and Blazon Shopping centers which are modern and house several shops selling world class brands like Espirit, Adidas and Guess.
- Be sure to visit Mandalay while you tour Myanmar. Local shopping is the best here and you will to obtain many bejeweled items crafted with rubies, jade and sapphire. Souvenir shops abound in this city too and sculptures of Buddha in all shapes and sizes are highly popular here.
- Visiting the ancient city of Bagan has its advantages too. Not only will you be able to get a firsthand experience of the country’s tradition and culture, you will also be able to shop to your heart’s content here. Several small shops dot the city and you will be able to get authentic lacquerware there. Bagan is known as the center of lacquer production and utensils as well as jewelry boxes and small tables made of lacquer are the best buys here.
- Do not forget to bargain for antiques in Myanmar though. You might just strike it lucky and lay your hands on an exquisite Ming vase or a few pieces of ancient Portuguese furniture in Mawlamyine. However, be wary of buying old Buddha statues or manuscripts. Carrying them out of the country is illegal.
- Textiles, especially silk scarves are not to be missed either. Each area has its own specialty and there are many beautiful, hand woven fabrics sold in the local shops.
Be sure to visit Mandalay while touring Myanmar. An assortment of hand carved marionettes can also be found for sale on the side streets of Mandalay. You are likely to come away with some priceless artifacts.