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What are the best currency exchange tips in Myanmar ?

The monetary unit in Myanmar is officially the kyat. The currency code is MMK.

The kyat is divided into pyas. 1 kyat (Ks) = 100 pyas. There are banknotes of 5, 15, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 Ks.

Go with US dollars rather than Euros, the exchange rate will be much better. But be careful, do not take 100 dollar cuts, or stained or damaged dollars. Myanmar is a poor country a hundred dollar note is just huge!

In Myanmar, currency exchange takes place in the parallel market and not in the banks. You will be able to change your dollars in certain hotels, travel agencies, shops and on the street.

Cash is king in Myanmar: neither payment cards nor traveler's checks are accepted.

Do not bring back Kyats, they cannot be exchanged except in Myanmar !

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Always carry at least 100 dollars

It is a bit of the basic rule of the traveler, always keep on you a small amount of dollars to be able to do something if you have a big issue with your credit card or cash in kyat. This allows you to go to a large city and survice for a few days until a friend sends you money via Western Union.

If you go in the Arakhan like here between Sittwe and Mrauk U absolutely keep 100 $ in case of problem! You have surely heard that it was no longer possible to pay in dollars or that the currency was outright prohibited. Know that in fact nothing has changed, the restaurant next to my house always has its menu in dollars and I bought a table this morning in dollars. Some hotels may be requesting a payment in kyats but their basic price will in any case be the dollars because no international business can charge in Kyats given the fragility of the Burmese currency (between April and August it lost 30 %). In fact I advise you always to carry dollars and euros to change them directly on arrival, do not forget that you will be able to change them all over the country and that you will also be able to withdraw everywhere.

Tags : currency exchange myanmar
Photo credits : Justin Vidamo