31st March, 2012
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Just came back from Burma, a few updates on practicalities:
VISA: (this applies to the embassy in Bangkok) you do not need to provide an itinerary for your trip; it takes two working days to get the visa, the express one is available at 1300bath (instead of 1020) but you have to give proof you need it in a hurry, so take the plane ticket with you, or you will face an unceremonious denial.
MONEY: There are two "official" money exchange shops outside Boyake market, offering a better rate than the black market. The hotel I was staying in (Yoma One, do not go there, for $28 I got a room that smelled of dog, and they kindly arrange airport pick-up for a cool $15 when the going rate in $6) had a rate of 790k for $1, the black market 805k,the above mentioned "official" places 815k. These rates refer to $100 notes, and yes they still need to be in mint conditions and at least from 2006.
A final word of advice: Burma is much more expensive than you think, work out your budget and then bring with you 50% more. And for the Europeans reading this, do not bother with dollars, you can exchange euro at 1000k (no idea whether they would take the 200 or 500 notes though). I wish I had known this before, so I could have avoided the E > Bath > $ > khat merry-go-round, and the pilgrimage to three different banks in Bangkok to find perfect-looking bills.
#1 Posted: 31/3/2012 - 10:41
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