Myanmar Practical Information

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Currency

The official currency in Myanmar is kyat, which come in notes of value K50, K100, K200, K500, K1000, K5000 and K10,000. The US dollar is widely accepted in Myanmar, especially for larger purchase like hotels, flight tickets and access to historical sites. Some smaller purchase like taxi rides, buses and street meals are almost paid in kyat.

So, you should exchange roughly half of your money into kyat. And if you plan to stay outside of the main cities like Yangon, Mandalay and Nay Pyi Taw, you need to exchange enough money before you go. There are more than 600 ATMS which can accept international bank and credit cards in Myanmar and most are concentrated in Yangon, Mandalay, Nay Pyi Taw, Bagon and Inle Lake. Cardholders can withdraw local currency from the ATM.

Telephone

Myanmar is still very backward, and the telecommunication are also several steps behind most developed countries. Many hotels will offer local phone call service with reasonable prices. And local phone call stands are easily found in the street and in some shops.

Tourists can purchase SIM cards from mobile phone shops and supermarkets, which can be used 28 days. The card costs around K20,000 and includes $20 credit. It cannot be topped up, which is to say you need to purchase a new card if you run out of the credit.

Internet

Although Myanmar is backward, but the availability of internet access is widespread. There are internet cafes in most towns and cities and some hotels and guesthouses offer Wi-Fi access even in remote locations. However, the connections are unreliable and can be extremely slow.

Business hours

Myanmar’s standard business hours are Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Post office opening times vary but are generally Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm, with some opening on Saturday mornings.

Banks typically open Monday to Friday 9am to 3pm.

Restaurants are typically open daily from around 9am to 9pm.

Health

Health care quality in Myanmar is generally poor. Try to avoid public hospitals in Myanmar outside in Yangon and Mandalay where often lack basic supplies. If you are seriously ill and need health care, contact your embassy for advice. Travel with insurance covering medical care is a must.

Dos and DON'TS

1.When visit the pagodas and monasteries, you should wear decent clothes and act decently.

2.Use your right hand when eating or giving money to someone.

3.Be aware that some Buddhist sights don’t allow female visitors to approach.

4.Never touch anybody’s head for it is the most sacred part of body.

5.Don't offer to shake hands with a monk.

6.Don't step on a monk's shadow.

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