How to Wear a Longyi – Myanmar

The Burmese traditional ‘trousers’ or skirt known as a longyi is still widely used throughout all of Myanmar. Upon arriving, I decided to buy one just to try it out and blend in. I didn’t expect to like my 2,500 kyat investment so much.

The longyi can be worn as a basic skirt but is so much more. You can make a pocket, make it tighter or more relaxed, and you can even turn it into shorts! Here is a step by step guide on how to wear one as taught by the wonderful staff of the Fortune Hotel in Mandalay.

Normal Longyi (no pocket)

First - Get inside the longyi
Step 1 – Get inside the longyi

Step 2 - Fold it to your particular liking for height
Step 2 – Fold it to your particular liking for height
Longyi 3
Step 3 – Open it wide
Step 4 - Grab the ends and fold them in. Twist tight.
Step 4 – Grab the ends and fold them in. Twist tight.
Step 5 - Twist one more time
Step 5 – Twist one more time
Step 6 - Fold the left over parts into the longyi
Step 6 – Fold the left over parts into the longyi

 

Step 7 - Smile, you are blending right in
Step 7 – Smile, you are blending right in

Pocket Longyi

Maybe you are tired with the normal longyi and would like to know how to make a pocket to put your wallet or phone. Afterall, you don’t want to carry a purse too! Repeat Steps 1-3 from above.

Step 4a - Grab the middle of the longyi and pull it up
Step 4a – Grab the middle of the longyi and pull it up
Step 5a
Step 5a – Fold the sides in like in step 4 above
Step 6a
Step 6a – Twist like before
Step 7a
Step 7a – Fold into the longyi like before. But you should have an extra piece of cloth in the middle
Step 8a - Check out this awesome pocket you have left.
Step 8a – Check out this awesome pocket you have left. If it is not the right size, you might have to do this again.
Step 9a - Place a phone or wallet into the pocket
Step 9a – Place a phone or wallet into the pocket
Step 10a - Fold the pocket into the longyi
Step 10a – Fold the pocket into the longyi
Step 11a - If you did it right, the item in the pocket should be nice and secure.
Step 11a – If you did it right, the item in the pocket should be nice and secure. If not, try again.

The first few tries, you will probably feel, and look like this:

Longyi Fail
Longyi Fail

After a while, you will get it and look like this

Longyi Success
Longyi Success

I hope you now know how to put on a longyi 🙂

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Julio Moreno

Julio is a California native who has lived abroad since 2009 as an expat in South Korea and New Zealand. He is especially passionate about experiencing other cultures and visiting as many UNESCO World Heritage Sites as possible.
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