Travel Tips

Information for Money Matter, Phone & Customs in Myanmar

 

Money Change Counters:

Official Money change counters are available at the main tourist site airports. The counters can be easily found near the meeting point, after customs. Exchange rates varies according to daily market rates. They accept mainly US Dollars, Euro & Singapore Dollars. Official Money change counters are also available at shopping centers and supermarkets.

 

Currency:

Local currency is Kyat. The monetary unit of Myanmar is the " Kyat " which is divided into 100 pyas. Currency notes are available in denominations of Kyats 5000, Kyats 1000, Kyats 500, Kyats 200, Kyats 100, Kyats 50, Kyats 20, Kyats 10, Kyats 5, Kyat 1.

 

1 US$ equals 1,360.0 Kyats (2017/09/22)

This is only a reference exchange rate. Please go to Central Bank of Myanmar website.The MMK rates listed is the official exchange rates by the Central Bank of Myanmar. http://forex.cbm.gov.mm/index.php/fxrate. The street market rates may vary but not much different from Central Bank rates.

 

Actually, Myanmar’s official foreign currency is Euro!

But payments for air/train/boat tickets and most hotel payments are accepted only in US$. The exchange rate between Euro and US$ within Myanmar is much different from international exchange rates! Thus, it is best to exchange your currency or Euro into US$ before coming to Myanmar. And – it is advisable to have plenty of small notes for quick and easy use handy.


Examining your bills:

You cannot expect to change any rumpled or torn or dirty bills. Most money changers and travel services do not accept US$100 bills with serial numbers starting with CB… as they are regarded as counterfeits. Old US$ bills (also called small head) published earlier than 1996 are also not accepted. All hotels, travel agents, transport services, shops, and money changers in Myanmar only accept crisp, clean, un-creased bills, preferably that of 2000 (and later) series.
Most of the local restaurants ,souvenir items, hire taxi/trishaw/bicycle/horse cart/ferry boat etc, will charge in local currency (Kyat), but you can also pay equivalent US$ as well. Most hotels bills are quoted in US$ (e.g. for paying services or food). You must use US dollars when buying flight/boat/train tickets and hotel payments. Some Entrance fees are collected in Kyat (or) US$.


Credit Card (Visa , Visa electron, Master, Union Pay (China), Maestro, Cirrus , JCB)

Credit Cards are accepted at some places. Some 4 & 3star Hotels, Jewelry shops, some restaurants, some souvenir shops, etc accept credit cards payment. Travelers are advised to bring US$ in cash (big denomination notes). British Pounds and sometimes even Euro is difficult to change. So bring US$ cash to be sure.


Note: Although mentioned, all above cards are not applicable widely in Myanmar. Visa and Master cards are most acceptable.

Myanmar currency (Kyat) withdrawal from ATMs with Credit cards

Myanmar is proudly announcing that they have applied to be able to withdraw Myanmar currency (Kyat) at ATMs with Visa and Master cards. Other above mentioned cards can be used in ATM of the banks. Transactions can be made with at Kanbawza Bank , CB Bank, AYA Bank, United Amara Bank, etc. A Visa or Master Card (worldwide use) can withdraw a maximum of Kyat 300.000.- per transaction and total maximum of 1 Million Kyat. Transaction fees is Kyat 5.000.- per transaction, deductable from your account, The exchange rate is the one fixed between Visa /Master Card and Myanmar Banks, which is a bit more than the official daily exchange rate. However, reports have reached us, that some of the ATMs do not operate on a reliable basis. A reason more to stock up with crisp, clean, new US$ bills, before you arrive.

 

SIM Cards and Mobile Phones

Cellular Telephones or Mobile Telephones from other countries can now be operated with local SIM Cards (3G) as follows MPT (Government Telephone), Private companies such as Oredoo and Telenor are now also selling their SIM cards. Those SIM Cards can be bought easily with US$ 2.- for one card. And they can be topped up easily. All those phone cards can contact to overseas, according to the different calling rates (please ask for details and rates at the dealership).

 

Internet

Most of the hotels have wi-fi internet access in public places (lobby, restaurants etc) and some hotels offer in-room access. Please check and request access code upon check-in. But please be informed that Myanmar is facing very very slow internet connections from time to time. Even if the internet is getting back to normal, it is very poor compared to other countries. Sometimes, you could not connect to the internet due to slow connection problem. Pls expect poor internet access quality in advance.

 

Customs

Tourists, who have brought foreign currencies in excess of US$ 20.000 are required to declare. You might want to declare your cameras, computers, jewelries, and electronic goods ,so that you can officially claim loss or theft during your trip (although theft hardly happens).


Duty free allowance are 2 bottles of liquor, 2 cartons of cigarettes, 100 cigars, 1.5 lb of tobacco, one pint bottle of perfume or eau de cologne.
Export Restrictions Antiques and archaeologically valuable items are not allowed to be taken out. Eg:

  • Fossils
  • Old Coins
  • Jewelries & Precious Stones (unless bought from the certified shop with official sale voucher)
  • Bronze and brass items
  • Antiques items (pre-historic artifacts, religious, cultural implements etc.)
  • Wooden Images taller than two feet
  • Frescoes, inscribed stones/gold/silver
  • National regalia and paraphernalia

New Capital “NAYPYITAW”

New capital “ Naypyitaw “ established in 2006 is situated about 200 miles North of Yangon. It is an Administrative Capital and 5hrs drive from former capital Yangon.

Capital “YANGON”

Yangon, the capital of The Union of Myanmar is situated on the Yangon River 21 miles away from the sea. Yangon covers 77 square miles and has population of   5 million people. The capital city is famous for its great golden Shwedagon pagoda, a richly gilded Buddhist Stupa which rises 326 feet above Singuttara hill, about 4 miles north of the city centre. According to legend, the pagoda is believed to be 2500 years old but, in common with many other ancient pagoda, it has been rebuilt many times and its current form dates back only to 1769 A. D. Yangon is now the Commercial City of Myanmar.

Cash

Some shops would accept CASH like US dollars, Euro, Singapore Dollars, Thai Baht for payment of purchases. Apart from credit cards, travelers are advised to bring cash for other usage (restaurant , souvenir, etc). Not to encounter unexpected challenges during the trip would advise to  bring new notes , un-creased bills,  notes without stamp or stain or mark.

Authorized Money Changer

Actually, Myanmar’s official foreign currency is Euro! But for the air/train/boat tickets and most of the hotel payments are accepted only in US dollars (or) Kyats. Money Exchange can be made at the Banks as well as at Authorized Money Changers available wildly within the country. Myanmar currency (Kyat) withdrawal from ATMs with Credit cards. For easy cash in Myanmar, it is our pleasure to announce that, ATM machines are available at most tourist sites, airports and banks. Visa card, Master card, Maestro card, Cirrus card & China Union Pay Card can withdraw cash at ATMs. Each cash withdrawal is limited to a maximum of K.300,000.-. (Kyats Three Hundred Thousand) each time and  total maximum withdrawal is up to 1million kyat.   Service charge is K.5000.- per transaction deductable from the account. The exchange rate is the one fixed between Visa /Master Card and Myanmar Banks.

Visa Formalities

All visitors need to obtain Myanmar Visa .

  1. Tourist visas are issued at all Myanmar Embassies and Consulates abroad.
  2. E-visa on line system is applied for clients arrive Myanmar from Yangon ,Mandalay & Naypyitaw airports  www.evisa.moip.gov.mm  ( OR) www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm
  3. Myanmar Tourist Visa is valid for 28 days.

Formalities

Duty free shopping for arrival passengers at the Yangon Airport has been introduced.

International flights

Yangon has direct air-link with Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Kolkata, Hanoi, Saigon, Siem Reap, Taipei, Kunming, Guangzhou, Doha, Incheon, Doha, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Narita & Gaya. The operating airlines are Myanmar Airways International (8M), Thai Airways International (TG), Bangkok Airways (PG), Silk Air (MI), Malaysia Airlines (MH), Qatar Airlines (QR), Air India (AI), China Airlines (CI), Air China (CA), China Eastern Airline (MU), Thai AirAsia (FD), Air Asia (AK), Jet Star Asia Airways (3K), China Southern Airlines (CZ), Korean Airline (KE), Air Bagan (W9), Golden Myanmar Airline (Y5), Asiana Airlines (OZ),  Eva Air (BR), All Nippon Airways (NH), Dragon Air (KA)  and Vietnam Airlines (VN),  Tiger Air (TR),l Nok Air (DD), Bangladesh Airlines (BG).

Domestic flights

National Myanmar Airlines (UB), Air Mandalay (6T), Asian Wings (YJ), Air KBZ (K7), Golden Myanmar Airline (Y5), Mann Yadanarbon Airlines (7Y) ,Yangon Airways (YH) & Apex Airlines are major domestic carriers. The airlines use Air Bus, ATR , Fokker & Embraer aircrafts.

Climate

There are three general seasons :

Hot season         - March to May

Rainy season      - May to October in lower Myanmar and the Delta area only (Almost no rain in Central Myanmar i.e. Bagan and Mandalay)

Cool season       - October to February

Suitable Clothing to wear

Visitors should wear casual and polite dress. Any kind of shoes that can be easily removed since neither shoes nor socks are allowed when entering religious monuments. Precipitation in Upper Burma (Bagan / Mandalay) is much less than in Lower Burma (Yangon and the South). All year round we recommend sun protection, dress code everywhere is casual, light cotton garb is recommended. Weather is rather cold from Nov- Feb in Shan state, Inle Lake, Kalaw, Chin state & Kachin state. Recommend to bring warm cloths for this area.

Boarder-crossing

Boarder-crossing permit is given to nationals from third countries, who wish to enter to Myanmar from boarder points. Myanmar, having bordered with Thailand, China India & Laos, the entry points are opened between neighboring countries for centuries. A Tourist who wishes to enter from the boarder point will need prior approval from the authorities.  The border points from China entry are MUSE, NAMKHAN, MONG-LA, KANPAIK-TI and from Thailand entry is TACHILEIK & RANONG. The border point from India is opened at TAMU border town.

Travel tips

All kinds of transport such as buses, trains, flights, boats are available in Myanmar. Due to lack of infrastructure, local buses & trains cannot consider as easy traveling but profitable to meet people and see landscape through out the journey. Yangon to Mandalay & Bagan Buses are now using new highway road and comfortable to travel. Travel by flight is quickest way without hassle.

Shopping

Best souvenirs to buy are Myanmar handicrafts made of lacquer wares, silver, mother of pearl, wood and stone carvings, hand-woven silk and cotton materials, gems and jewelry, embroidered tapestries ‘Kalaga’, traditional Myanmar puppets and tribal handicrafts.

Taking Photo

Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military installation is forbidden. For close-up shots of people always ask for permission first.

Health Card

Protective vaccination is generally not required for Myanmar unless you enter the country from a region with incidence of yellow fever. It is, however, recommended to have polio, tetanus and hepatitis shots as well as malaria prophylaxis.
It is best to bring your own small first-aid kit including medication. It is sometimes difficult to find even common Western drugs. Some of the big hotels avail medical assistance.

Emergency Health Care & Emergency evacuation

 

Asia Pacific Health Center and Dental Care

No. 81, Kaba Aye Pagoda Road, Bahan Township, Yangon.

Tel : 95.1.548022, 95.9.8030847 / Fax : 95.1.542979

 

Kembangan - Radiant Medical & Aesthetic Centre

No. 365 / 367, Bo Aung Kyaw Street, IHBC, Kyauktada Tsp, Yangon
Tel : 95.1.389824, 392484 / Fax : 95.1.392590
www.kembanganradiant.com

 

Pan Hlaing International Hospital

Pun Hlaing Golf Course Housing, Hlaing tha Yar.
Tel: 684325

 

Pan Hlaing Specialist Clinic

No. 380, FMI Center ( 4th Floor ) Bogyoke Aung San Road, Pabedan Township, Yangon.
Tel : 95.1.243010, 243012, 243014 / Fax : 95.1.248910, 248906

 

International SOS

37,Kaba Aye Pagoda Rd, Inya Lake Hotel, Mayangon T.S, Yangon
Tel: 95.1.667877, 667879, 667871
www.internationalsos.com

 

Victoria General Hospital

No. 68, Taw Win Street, 9 mile, Mayangone Township, Yangon,
Tel: 95.1.666128
www.witoriyahospital.com

 

Transportation

We provide air-conditioned coaches, minivans and cars for all tours and transfers inside the country.
In remote areas, however, air-conditioned vehicles may not always be available.

Voltage

Voltage throughout Myanmar is 220 Volt A.C. International standard hotels have their own generator and the voltage is constant.  Voltage drop or electricity cut occurs in some hotels, it is advisable to travel with a protection for your electrical devices.

Time in Myanmar

GMT + 6:30 hours. Between November and March (the main season for traveling) the   sun sets at 5.30pm.

Insurance

Visitors are advised to buy travel insurance from abroad. Hospitals in Myanmar are good enough for local people. Pan Hlaing Hospital is the only one of international standard. A few International medical assistance companies are in Yangon. The companies provide medical and technical support services.

myanmar-map

Contact Information

4Room 4-B, Kan Road Condo, No 90, Kan Road, Ward(10),
Hlaing Township (11051), Yangon, Myanmar.
Tel : (+ 959) 401 541 044, 401 541 055, 799839350

During office hour (Myanmar Standard Time)
9:30 AM to 5:30 PM for Mon ~ Fri
9:30 AM to 1:00 PM for Sat

Email : info@sevenstartoursmyanmar.com
Website : www.myanmartraveler.com

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