One of the most important and significant aspects of Myanmar’s culture is traditional arts. To this day, many artisans in Myanmar continue to create incredible pieces using methods that have been perfected and handed down over generations.

These beautiful artworks make wonderful souvenirs of your stay in Myanmar. Even better, their purchase supports local people financially and helps to keep these cultural practices alive.

Why should you buy souvenirs from local people while in Myanmar?

If you have traveled, you might know that it is common for souvenirs sold in large shops to be imported from other countries rather than made in the place you are buying it from. Often, these souvenirs are cheaper than those that are handmade by local people, so you may be tempted to buy them.

We suggest that you consider buying souvenirs from local people and genuine artisans instead.


A local shop selling local handicrafts

One of the main reasons for this is that it provides economic and financial opportunity to the people of Myanmar. You may know that a lot of people in Myanmar experience disadvantage and poverty, and your tourist money can provide economic opportunity.

In particular, many artisans use their income to support themselves and their families and are impacted by the sale of cheap imported goods.

In addition, there is a lot of significance in buying an item that has been made by a local person who has made it with love and care. Even if the item is a little bit more expensive, it is a wonderful and genuine souvenir of your time in Myanmar. Every time you look at it, you will recall that it was made with love, rather than by a machine!

What souvenirs should you buy from local people in Myanmar?

There are lots of different souvenirs in Myanmar, so you can choose the ones that you love and suit your personality. Some common types of souvenirs you may like to buy include:


One of the most traditional arts in Myanmar is lacquerware. It is thought that this art may have originated in modern-day China or Thailand, however, whatever the origin, today it is very much a part of the tradition in Myanmar.


Handcrafting in a local lacquerware workshop at Bagan [image: internet]

These beautiful goods are usually made with different patterns and designs, which are often inspired by traditional architecture styles and Buddhism. Some common items include bowls and plates, as well as general decorative items. The finest lacquerware may even include gold leaf, which is sure to be an amazing talking point in your home!

Lacquerware can be purchased throughout Myanmar, however, Bagan is particularly well-known. If you are traveling with a guide, they will be pleased to help you find some authentic and genuine pieces.


If you would like to add a touch of regalia to your home, then you really can’t look past Myanmar’s famous and beautiful silverware. Another traditional craft, over the centuries Myanmar have evolved incredible techniques for creating strikingly beautiful and intricate pieces of jewelry and homewares made from silver.

There are many different types of silverware available. Jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and bracelets make for unique and wearable reminders of your time in Myanmar, while decorative pots or beautiful napkin rings add a lot of flair to your home.

Silverware is also located around Myanmar, however, Yangon, Inle Lake, and Mandalay have a lot of silversmiths to choose from. If you are not familiar with silver, it is advisable to get a recommendation from your guide to making sure you are purchasing an authentic item.


For a souvenir of your time in Myanmar that is sure to bring a smile to your face every time you see it, consider purchasing a brightly-dressed marionette puppet. These puppets are often used in the production of traditional puppet shows, also they will have an extra element as a souvenir.

Whether you are thinking of buying a marionette as a gift for a child or as a beautiful and eye-catching decoration for your home, you are sure to find a unique one. They come in all different styles and are often dressed in traditional clothing.

You may find marionettes throughout Myanmar, but one of the best places to get them is Yangon. There’s also the added benefit that you can try to catch a puppet show at the Htwe Oo Myanmar puppet show in Yangon, even in Bagan and Mandalay, too. This way, you will be reminded of your memories every time you look at your marionette.


A puppet show of Myanmar along with their marionettists

Wood carvings

Yet another traditional art form in Myanmar is wood carving. And all throughout the country, you will find an amazing variety of statues to choose from. Oftentimes you can even watch skillful artisans craft them before your very eyes!

There is so much variety for wood carvings you can purchase, so you can find something that fits your style and personality perfectly. Some common themes include animals of Myanmar, Myanmar folk stories, and Buddhist imagery.

You will find wood carving workshops throughout Myanmar. We recommend visiting a workshop beforehand so that you can find out more about how they are made and about the significance of the statue you are purchasing.

Whichever traditional souvenir you choose, it is sure to be a wonderful reminder of your time in Myanmar.