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Dealing with money in Myanmar is easier than ever before.
We were really worried about how we would deal with money in Myanmar on our trip there in August 2014. From our online research and talking with friends who’d been there a year or two ago, it seemed like it wouldn’t be easy. We spent the better part of a week before our trip freaking out about what we should do, running around Chang Mai finding the best quality American Dollars we could, still afraid as we touched down on the Mandalay tarmac that we hadn’t brought enough funds along to last us our whole trip.
What we discovered when we got to Myanmar was such a relief.
Every city but one that we visited had ATMs that accepted foreign bank cards, and legal money changers were easy to find.
Here are the places we visited that had ATMs that accepted foreign bank cards as of August 2014:
Cities with ATMs that accept foreign cards:
Pyin Oo Lwin
We also visited Hpa-an which did not have ATMs when we were there, but currency exchange was available.
To exchange money in Myanmar you will need unfolded, unmarked, post-2006 US Dollar bills. Tears, creases, or markings on a bill will make it unacceptable to just about every money changer or seller. The higher value the bill, the better the exchange rate, so if you plan to exchange a lot of money bring 50’s or 100’s in USD. Hotels and bus ticket agents will often accept USD instead of Kyat for payment, so bring 1, 5, 10 and 20 USD denominations for these transactions (still crisp, clean and post-2006). The latest exchange rate for USD to Kyat can be found here.
Things are changing quickly in Myanmar and it can be tough to keep up with the latest travel news. We recommend checking out Wikitravel, Reddit, and www.go-myanmar.com for the most up-to-date information for your trip.