Although Myanmar is majorly Buddhist, many of is citizenry believe and indulge in various types of divination. Buddha preached that each individual’s destiny is shaped by the good and bad deeds they did in the previous lives. In this context, many Buddhists try to understand what lies ahead in the future with the help of diviners and clairvoyants. Here are the most common types of divination you may find in the Golden Land.

Palm reading

One of the oldest forms of divination. The mystic studies the lines on your palms, consult them against the texts and predict your future. For example, the longest line on your palm tells about your health and life expectancy and the middle one your education. The fingers are also taken into consideration. In the new normal, you might want to think twice before you let a stranger touch your hand.

To try, visit: Sayar U Kyaw Lin | B.A (Hist) A.A (Specialist scientific Palmistry)
No. 309, 3rd floor, Banyardala Road (between 144th x 145th st) Tarmwe Tsp, Yangon.
09 504 5564 | Reservation required
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM 

Chopstick divination

It works by shaking the cup of 100 chopsticks. Each stick has a number on it. You shake the cup while thinking about the question you have in mind until one of the sticks falls out of the cup. Then, the diviner picks it and reads the written oracle to the corresponding number. Chinese temples in Latha Township offer this service.


The most common type of fortune-telling. You just need a birth date to get the reading. In Myanmar’s astrology, a person’s life is heavily influenced by the alignment of constellations in the sky at the time of their birth. This cosmic alignment is unique to each individual as their fingerprints. Some diviners take the Roman zodiac system into account.

San Zarni Bo. Credit Gerhard Joren as photographer.


While not as popular as the other disciplines, tarot reading is loved by younger people. The youths do readings about everything from exam results to love life using tarot. Most professional diviners use tarot as a secondary discipline.

To try, visit: Sayar San Zarni Bo
No. 132, Maha Thukhitar St., Corner of 6th St., Gyoh Gone (East) Ward, Yangon.
09 421 745 840 | Reservation required
6:00 AM – 1:00 PM (local)
2:00 PM afterward (foreigners)


The most controversial kind of divination. Sometimes those “clairvoyants” claim some spirit guides them. Nat Kaw Taw (a type of medium) performs these readings. The customer is required to form a deal with the Nat (Burmese for deities) to fulfil their wish or predict their future correctly. If Nat keeps their end of the bargain, the customer is expected to do the same and throw ritualistic ceremonies that involve dance, food and booze for Nat. 

Further Guide: You can find fortune tellers on pagoda compounds. Taungbyone Nat Festival is a great way to observe the divination principles of Myanmar as many Natkataw (or shamans) from all parts of the country gather there, but this year it was prohibited due to COVID-19 though.


  1. Maybe if we had a better education system that pushed critical thought, these BS artists wouldn’t be having a grand time conning people out of their money.


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