Is Myanmar safe for solo female travelers?
We’d say that Myanmar is absolutely safe for solo female travellers. It’s going to be a trip to remember, that’s for sure.
And honestly? There’s not a lot of hassle or high levels of sexual harassment to watch out for in Myanmar. But because society is still developing, women are still faced with certain limitations. So it’s definitely smart to know how to travel Myanmar like a pro…
- Dressing appropriately is definitely something you should do. Either going for a longyi and some sort of blouse, or baggy trousers and a top that covers your shoulders. Tight leggings will stick out. Look at what the other women are wearing and follow suit. Chances are you’ll get a lot more respect if you’re dressed more like a local.
- Make a few travel buddies. Staying somewhere that has good reviews from other female travellers is a smart move. Making friends with another woman travelling through Myanmar will allow you some company and be useful for bouncing stories and tips off of.
- We wouldn’t advise going out drinking alone. Not because it’s unsafe but because you probably will get attention. Places like 19th Street (Yangon), or beer stations around the country are quite male-dominated and you may feel uncomfortable alone.
- If you’re travelling on a train, bus, or boat by yourself, we’d recommend sitting with other women. Women travelling alone can be seen as pretty odd by Burmese people – it’s just not done. So making friends with some local ladies, or just chatting to other female tourists, is a good way to make yourself more comfortable.
- Find yourself a tour if you’re feeling a bit overwhelmed by it all. Even if it’s just a walking tour of a town or city. This is a great way to meet people. Plus you’ll also get to learn more about Myanmar. Win-win.
- Don’t touch monks! Myanmar is a deeply Buddhist country and monks are off-limits to women. Even if you’re passing something to a monk, don’t do it directly – just place it within his reach. That’s just the way it is.
- With this in mind, be aware that you can’t go to certain stupas or religious sites. Women, for whatever reason, just aren’t allowed in some holy places in Myanmar.
- Stock up on sanitary products before you head out of Yangon or Mandalay. The likelihood is you aren’t going to be finding them anywhere that’s even remotely off the beaten track.
Of course, travelling alone may make you seem ‘odd’ by the local people. But you’re a foreigner – you’ll be odd anyway. And the easy antidote to that is to make some friends, take a tour, or simply to chatting to some local ladies. You’ll have an amazing time.