8 Common Tourist Scams in Myanmar To Notice Before Going There

If you think that there won’t be tourist scams in Myanmar, you are totally wrong. Like many other countries in Asia, Myanmar is also potential for tourist scams. Furthermore, Myanmar is now open to world, allowing and attracting foreigners to come to meet their curiosity about the country.

There are many attractive tourist spots to view and enjoy, starting from the spectacular temples of Bagan to the beautiful pagodas of Mandalay.

The more tourist hot spots and attraction, the more scams occur. If you are planning to visit this country at a few next days, make sure you make a note taken out from this article about the potential scams occurring in Myanmar.

Here are the scams that you should be aware of:

Pagoda Scam

Now that pagoda has increasingly reaches its visitors, the scams tend to happen every time a group of visitors come for the first time.

This pagoda scam works through the fake guide. It involves a person or two person approaching you offering a tour advice yet demanding you a fee in the end.

You can avoid this scam easily that you have known anything about Pagoda and you have visited this place for so many times, letting the face tour guide to assume that you don’t need any recommendation.

Fake Rubies and Textiles

The next tourist scams in Myanmar you have to know is the fake rubies and textiles. In this relation, Myanmar is popular for its gemstone after Thailand and Sri Lanka. You must be careful when you are scammed by the street touts and shady shop offering rubies.

They will say that their rubies are from Mogok, the most popular area selling rubies. Many of the tourists who visit this place will tend to buy them.

To get the original rubies and textiles, you can purchase ones from a government owned gem shop along with FGA certified shop which is able to produce a lab certificate.

If you are just cheated, you can return to the shop and ask for the refund.

Bagan Ticket Scam

A ticket scam are always potentially occurring including in Bagan, one of the most visited tourist resort in Myanmar.

This way, when you are just arrive at Bagan Archeological Zone, you will be stop by a scammer at the small wooden desk in a temple asking you to pay an entrance fee so that you can see all the templates.

If you are experiencing this scam, you can simply show your pass and go to visit another temple when the scammers are insisting on asking you for the fee.

Fake Fishermen Scam

As there are so many natural tourist resorts developed in Myanmar nowadays, fake fisherman scam is listed as one of the tourist scams in Myanmar, too. How does this scam work? Just be careful when you see the fishermen with the traditional orange flared trousers bringing dead fish.

When you are boating in the lake, they will instantly grab your boat offering to help you take a picture. The service will be for free seemingly. Soon after a few second, you will be demanded an inflated fee.

To get rid of this scam, you can just refused to take any photo. If you want to take photo, you can ask for the real fisherman floating around the lake looking for fish.

Dala Island Scams

Dala island is one of the most fascinated tourist zone in Myanmar, making the scammers tend to do their scamming there. This way, the scammers will offer you a treat a local meal in Dala Island.

They will take you to the island by ferry. The tourist will be charged 4.000 kyat and the local people 100 kyat. To get to the village, you will be driven two rides with the charge of 7.000 kyat.

Later, the scammers will claim their village is poverty. You will be taken to a shop purchasing a bag with the price of 55.000 kyat. This bag will be returned to the shop and they will share the profit. It doesn’t stop there.

The scammer will also claimed that the 7000 kyat for ride is just for 15 minutes. If you took 1.5 hours, then you must pay the full price which is 42.000. Plus, the fee for the guide must also be demanded.

Thus, if you are walking around the area next to Dala Island, you can just refused any offer. If you want have a safe tour, choose the licensed one along with the reputable operator.

Unofficial Guides in Anisakan

Another tourist scams in Myanmar you must also be aware is the unofficial guides in Anisakan.

Anisakan is the popular waterfall in Myanmar that is now mostly visited by foreigners around the world. However, once you are descending to go there, touts will offer you a shortcut.

This way, the scammers offers a faster way to reach the place. What a fake! They will take you through the muddy path along the jungle and full of mosquitoes. Furthermore, you will be demanded an inflated fee for he guide.

If it seems that you are approached by these scammers, decline. It is much better to take the straightforward hike because it is the one straight road.

Price Quote Scams

Price quote scams also tend to occur in Myanmar. This way, when you are visiting stalls, most of them will not share the price explicitly. This can lead to overcharged price for the tourists.

Other version of price quotes scams in Myanmar is the cheap price offering. When you are paying the price, the scammers will just say that there was miscommunication so that you have to pay at the higher price in the end.

Hence, always clarify the price just before you decide to buy an item. Don’t hesitate to walk away and check your change.

Home Gambling Scam

Is there any gambling scam in Myanmar? The answer is definitely yes, that is the home gambling. Firstly, the scammer will try to build communication with until you have a friendship-like relationship.

Later, they will know more about you and use that information to create a fake story. They will say they have a relative heading there soon. Then you will be invited for having dinner or meal in their house. Unknowingly, they will lock their house once you come to their house for the meals.

Gambling game is started. You can play by their suggestion, yet you will end up losing big. You must pay. If you say you dint have the cash, they will take you to the nearest ATM. Finally you lose all your money.

Declining the invitation is the best way you can do to avoid this gambling scam. Be aware for the local people that are seemingly very friendly.

In this case, you may appear with the positive thinking, however, when you are in an unknown people’s area, you must be aware of anything.


Finally you can conclude that tourist scams in Myanmar is common and frequently happening just like in many other countries in Asia. All you need to do before making decision to go to Myanmar is to recognize what kind of scams that probably occur.

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