When planning a vacation in Myanmar, tourists should be ready for the fact that shopping and spending money in general will be different from Europe or America. First of all, this is true about bank cards – only some venues like large hotels and restaurants accept them. Myanmar is a new country on the tourist map, so its infrastructure is still developing. There are ATMs in large cities, but most of them are located close to tourist areas.
The history of Myanmar started several thousand years ago. The country was colonized by the British in the 19th century. The country had another name, … Read further
There might be problems with the authentication of foreign bank cards. Local ATMs may not work with some of them. The recommendation is simple: bring several bank cards of different payment systems and banks. By the way, paying with bank cards is not beneficial because of a high commission, so it is always a good idea not to forget about cash that is accepted everywhere. Be prepared for the fact that prices for foreign guests can be higher in some hotels and museums. Visitors from other countries are “special” guests who are eligible to higher prices in some venues. Nevertheless, Myanmar is a relatively inexpensive country and it is not common to trick foreigners here.
Now let’s talk about local currency and its denominations. Burmese kyat (MMK) is the official currency in Myanmar. Locals often call their currency “K” or “chat”. In December 2018, 1 US dollar was equal to 1544 kyats, and 1 euro – 1767 kyats. Only paper bills are adopted in the country and available in the following denominations: 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10000 ММК. There are no coins because their paying capacity is too small. Currency exchange offices in airports are usually the best place to exchange money. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Myanmar (ex-Burma) keeps many ancient historic landmarks in its territory. These attractions are connected with old crafts and emergence of the … Read further
Do not exchange big amounts of money even if you plan to spend a lot. First of all, it is often possible to pay with dollars or euro, and, second, 10 paper notes worth 100 euro each easily fit into a slim wallet but their equivalent in MMK requires a separate bag. That being said, the local currency is important because tourists need it to pay for small goods and services. An interesting fact – local people like new banknotes, new 100 US dollar notes in particular. New paper money has a higher exchange rate while torn and old notes can be rejected. That is why it is a good idea to stock up on new and never bent dollars and euro. When accepting the change in dollars, do not take old notes because there is a chance that you will not be able to use them in Myanmar or the exchange rate will be 10% lower.
Now let’s talk about the best goods to buy. Myanmar has diverse geography – jungles coexist with large rivers, mountains, and the sea. Local souvenirs perfectly reflect the country’s heritage, its nature, landmarks, and history. Items made of wood and stone, masks, lacquered miniatures, pictures made of sand, and bronze figurines are among the most typical souvenirs. Local merchants will surely offer rum as a treatment against malaria. Doctors would, of course, disagree with that statement, but the alcoholic drink from the exotic country is an amazing souvenir. The biggest city in Myanmar, Yangon, has a large market, Bogyoke Aung San Market, which is a true magnet for all tourists. This area is a great place to see all kinds of items and local dishes at affordable rates – souvenirs, clothing, jewelry.
Even though active recreation is not popular in Myanmar, tourists can still find activities to fit their taste. Ngapali is a fantastic destination for … Read further
When visiting Bagan, tourists always explore its historic part. Nowadays, this is a park and archaeological area with ancient Buddhist temples (pagodas). There are thousands of gorgeous temples, but many of them are abandoned. If a temple is operating, there are always kiosks and shops with books, artworks, and paintings. Street merchants often surround foreign guests. Many of these sellers are teenagers and even kids. It is hard to refrain from buying something, but tourists have to reject their goods because many sellers offer the same items. The “safest” way of escaping from these active sellers is to give a small gift to them. Pens, pencils, chocolate, and candies are the best gifts that will help tourists to continue their way. Kids will be happy to receive small presents, can allow tourists to take pictures of them, and will pause their endless attempts to sell something to foreign guests.
Yes, such attention can be annoying, but try not to get angry and consider these street merchants just one more aspect of this historic landmark. Take a look at local souvenirs instead. Even if you have no interest in buying local souvenirs, you can change your mind when you find something strikingly beautiful and gorgeous. It is hard to resist buying that item then, so it is always a good idea to keep some money for souvenirs.
1. Tourists can visit some cities and territories in Myanmar only together with a guide. Before heading somewhere, it is better to ask at the hotel … Read further
Traditional clothing – longyi – is a sheet of cloth that is worn around the waist. This is an item that almost everyone will want to purchase. Longyi is flattering for any body shape. There are variants for men and women. Longyi is made of linen and silk and can vary in price. The minimal price is around 15,000 kyats. Asia has always been famous for its silk, and tourists can buy quality and inexpensive silk here. The choice of patterns and colors is virtually endless. Silk textiles can be made at a factory (factory stores usually offer the cheapest price) or handmade by artisans (buy directly from artisans). Naturally, handmade silk is more expensive, but it usually has unique patterns that are never repeated.
Precious metal and stone mining is widespread in Myanmar, so tourists can shop simple fashion jewelry and expensive fine jewelry with sapphires, rubies, and pearls. The price difference is really big. As expected, jewelry stores have the highest prices and sellers in small shops and at markets have the cheapest prices but can also sell fakes. Myanmar has limitations regarding the export of jewelry, so don’t forget to ask the seller to give you the certificate of quality and the document that permits the export. By the way, there are many souvenirs with the image of Buddha, but there are limitations regarding the export of these items from the country. That being said, to enjoy a safe flight home and prevent any potential problems, tourists are better to ask their guide or hotel’s staff about these limitations.
Is Myanmar (former Burma) suitable for vacationers with children? Yes, family tourists can go to Myanmar and do not worry that their kids will feel … Read further
Female tourists may also be interested in Thanaka, a cosmetic product that is not available outside Myanmar. It is a paste that protects the skin. Thanaka is made from ground bark. In Myanmar, women put this paste on their face and other open skin areas in order to save them from harmful sun rays. Thanaka keeps the skin healthy and is used in cosmetology. Foreign tourists enjoy buying creams and masks with this ingredient.