Photo: Temple outside Monywa.

Burma forum

Myanmar Currency

Posted by loral on 28/10/2012 at 19:08

I am in the final stages of planning for my Myanmar trip in November; just waiting on the passport and, hopefully, visa to arrive from the Australian Embassy.

I am aware that I need pristine $US notes for travelling there. Many posts mention $100 notes, but I am wondering if I will also need other denominations to minimise the need for change and for tips. For a specific example, I need to pre-pay a hotel $216. I am guessing it will be better to have exact money rather than take the chance of getting incorrect change or damaged notes as change.

I am looking for advice on the best mix of denominations. I intend taking $US2,500.00 for my 16 day trip.

Is there any difficulty changing $50 and $20 notes into the local currency?

TIA Alan

#1 loral has been a member since 3/8/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 12
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Posted by enigmatic on 29/10/2012 at 08:52

Banks change to local currency at the same rate for small bills as large ones. Low denomination dollar bills are useful for things like tourist sites that price in dollars rather than kyat.

Generally all USD change in Myanmar is immaculate; if not, refuse it unless you intend to keep it for spending outside Myanmar.

Was gonna say $2500 was crazy for a 16 day trip but then I saw your hotel bill

#2 enigmatic has been a member since 14/4/2011. Posts: 84


Posted by loral on 29/10/2012 at 15:00

Thanks for the reply.

Prices have gone mad for hotels in November; if you can get one. The $216 is for three nights in Nyaung Shwe. I am rearranging my itinerary because the only hotel rooms available in Mandalay are over $250; I'm staying Pyin oo Lwin instead. See the earlier "No room at the inns" topic.

#3 loral has been a member since 3/8/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 12
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Posted by Em2446 on 1/11/2012 at 02:36

I was there last December/early January. The rate was better for $100. Once I exchanged $120 and got two different rates. This may have changed. You could pay your bill with $300 and accept change in local currency which you will have lots of use for if it's like it was last year. Our guides (I was with a friend) would take $$ or kyats-with a smile. Then one driver quietly asked me to change $$ for him when we were going into the airport. Like you, I took a lot of cash. It's surprising how small a stack $2500 in hundreds actually is. I was going to say you can use your $$ when you get home...wrong country. I'm going back in January for 28 days and will be hunting up those "crispy" bills soon.

#4 Em2446 has been a member since 1/11/2012. Posts: 1

Posted by loral on 1/11/2012 at 02:55

Thanks for the replies. I picked up the cash today but I will be careful not to take too much.

If I end up with some left over I'll have an excuse to plan a trip to the USA.

#5 loral has been a member since 3/8/2007. Location: Australia. Posts: 12
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