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Home > Myanmar Travel Information > Money Matters

Money Matters

Quick links: Euro & other currencies | FEC | Examine your bill | Credit cards & Cheques
Where can I exchange foreign currencies into Myanmar local currency?

There is an exchange counter as you enter into the Yangon airport arrival lounge. This is an official exchange counter of the government where you can exchange your currency (most preferably from US$ and Euro) officially, without needing to be nervous, although the exchange rate is not up to par. You can find several black marketers in Bogyoke Aung Sang market (usually in the central block) and near MFTB (Myanmar Foreign Trade Bank) adjacent to the Maha Bandoola Park near the city center Sule Pagoda. You may also change at the hotel reception desks. Usually, the best exchange rate you can ever get is only in Yangon, having approximately +10% differences with the other places. Normally, a 100$ bill can get slightly better rate than from smaller bills like 20, 50 and the lowest rates from 1, 5, 10 bills.

Myanmar currency is known as “Kyat”. The bills are as follow:

Notes: Kyat 1000, Kyat 500, Kyat 200, Kyat 100, Kyat 90, Kyat 50, Kyat 45, Kyat 20, Kyat 15, Kyat 10, Kyat 5, Kyat 1.

Coins: Kyat 100, Kyat 50, Kyat 10, Kyat 5, Kyat 1, Pya 50, Pya 25, Pya 10, Pya 5, Pya 1.

FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificate)

Nowadays, the need of exchanging your 200US dollars into 200FEC (1US$ = 1FEC) upon arrival airport is waived, although these FEC notes are still widely using throughout Myanmar to pay for hotel charges, entrance fees, airfares etc., to circulate inside the country. By law, it is forbidden to keep any foreign currency in the hand of public. The market rate of FEC is usually lower than US dollar thus; some businesses refuse to accept FEC when the exchange rate difference is huge between USD & FEC. The licensed moneychangers can exchange from FEC to Kyat and vice visa legally.

Credit Cards & Traveler Cheques

We are sorry to inform you that the use of credit cards and traveler cheques are not fully functioning in Myanmar. A handful of upscale hotels can accept cards and cheques exclusively for their in houseguests with certain limitations. Some hotels allow their customers to withdraw cash but with very high commission fees from at least 3 to 20 percents. Also some jewelry shops accept payment in credit cards (no cheques). The Visa & Master cards are most welcomed.

Travelers are advised to bring US Dollars in cash (small denomination notes). British Pounds, and sometimes, even Euro is difficult to change. So bring US Dollars cash to be sure.

What about the use and the rates of Euro and other currencies?

Actually, Myanmar’s official foreign currency is Euro! But for the air/train/boat tickets and most of the hotel payments are accepted only in US dollars. The exchange rate between Euro and US dollar outside Myanmar cannot be applied within Myanmar. Thus, it is best to exchange your currency or Euro into US dollar before coming to Myanmar.

Examine your bills

You cannot expect to change any rumpled, torn bills. Most moneychangers and travel services do not accept US$100 bill starting with CB… and regarded as counterfeiting. And the old bills (also called small head) published earlier than 1991s are also not accepted. All the hotels, travel agents, transport services, shops, and moneychangers in Myanmar accept crisp, clean, un-creased bills only preferably that of 1996 series.

Where and when do we need to use the local currency Kyat?

Most of the local restaurants accept payment only in Kyat. When you need to buy bottles of water, souvenir items, hire taxi/trishaw/bicycle/horse cart/ferry boat you can use Kyat also. Most upscale hotels prefer US dollars for using the services or for food. You must use US dollars for entrance fees, buying flight/boat/train tickets and hotel payments.

 
 

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