Travel tip: Money in Burma or Myanmar

Myanmar Currency - Money - 500 Kyat

RANGOON; Money in Burma

Going to Burma is still way off the beaten path, extreme trekking even, so here are a few things you should know about the money situation before crossing the boarder.  Oh and Kyiats is the official currency of Burma.

The most commonly accepted form of foreign currency is the US$ in fact I would even say it is really the only accepted foreign currency.  All Government travel fees like arrival and departure taxes have to be paid in US$, make sure you pay exact amounts as it it unlikely you will get change back.  Exchange rates inside Burma seem to be very poor even at banks, so best to have all the US$ you think you will need before you go.  When you get your US$ make sure they are new, if you ever need to exchange some for Kyiats they will not exchange them even if they are slightly used, torn or old.  Other important facts are, travelers cheques are not accepted anywhere even at hotels.  Credit Cards, forget about it, not accepted, and ATM’s, didn’t see a single one my entire time in Rangoon.

So to summarize, bring cash, as you won’t be able to use travelers cheques or credit cards and there are no ATM’s.  Exchange your money before going as the exchange rates are pretty bad even at banks and make sure the money you get is new and crisp as old and even slightly damaged bills will not be accepted.

On a personal note, I really didn’t care for Burma as the Government officials and police were overbearing and had this smug look all the time, just wanted to smack the shit out of all of them.   Add that to the abject poverty surrounding you 24/7, its a hard place to deal with, others may disagree but one trip to Burma, as it is now, is enough for me.

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