(1)Myanmar currency is called “ Kyat “ and its denominations are K.10,000, K.5000, K1000, K.500, K.200, K.100, K.50, K.20, K10, K.5, K.1 but apart from the first 4 denominations, the rest are useless. Regarding the exchange of your dollars (US$, Euro, Singapore $) into our local currency, you can do it either at all the airports' authorized money exchange counters or at most of the banks in every main tourist site across Burma. Exchange rates everywhere are more or less the same. That can also be done at most of the hotels but the rate is always less there than the other places. So far, only US$ and Kyats can be widely used everywhere and depending on the settlement rates at the hotels and the restaurants or shops,etc., US$ or Kyats should be used alternatively. The exchange rate for US$1 is about ( more or less K.1000 ) and the rate changesslightly day by day.
(2)Formally foreign visitors are officially mentioned to declare at the airport customs counter if they bring in more than US$10,000 in cashfilling in the form if there is no change in customs’ rules & regulations. But it is not that serious &strictly checked.
(3) Please bring enough cash in US$ dollars which must be pristine brand new because old, stained, torn, worn-out, folded, dirty dollar bills cannot be accepted, cannot be used in Burma in most places. Such Credit cards as Visa, Master, CUP ( China Union Pay ), can be used at most hotels, restaurants, gems &jewelleryshops in the main cities like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Nyaungshwe, etcand they may charge 0, 3.5,4, 5, 7 percent commission for their service charges. These cards can alsobe used at ATM machines to get, for the time being, only our local currency, "Kyat". At present, that can be done 3 times a day, each time is only for K.300,000 in maximum, which is equal to round about US$300 and K.5000, which is round about US$5, is charged as a transaction fee for one time service!
(4) Please take with you mosquito repellent lotion just to be on safe side although malaria is no longer threat in Burma and neither is dengue. You do not need to take any vaccinations so far to visitBurma, medicines for diarrhea, dysentery might be required as the first priority because of the change of weather and change of food and other medicines, antibiotics required for your personal use, should be brought with you.
(5) The items considered to be brought for your Myanmar visit, should include broad-rimmedhats, sun glasses, sun creams for your face and body, medicines for your personal needs, insect repellent lotion, raincoats, umbrellas in the rainy season, antibiotic cream, antiseptic solution, adhesive bandages or hansaplasts for minor cuts and scratches, torches or flash lights, universal power adapters with a surge protector, extra passport photos, such foot-wears as sandals, flip-flops, slippers, etc., suitable for visiting the religious compounds apart from the normal shoes as we need to take on and off our foot wears there.
(6) Myanmar has 3 seasons namely (1) the monsoon or rainy season roughly from June to September, (2) the cool season or winter between October and February and (3)Summer or the hot season from March to May. The average temperature ranges from 31 degree Celsius in the central and lower areas to 21 degree Celsius in the northern highlands of 1000m above sea level.
(7)The question of what to wear depends on where to go because the weather in Myanmar varies according to the elevations. For instance, in such low-elevated areas as Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan, Monywa, it is hot humid so light casual cotton clothing is recommended. But in the higher-elevated places of 900m& more above sea level like Inle Lake, Pindaya, Kalaw and northern parts of Myanmar, warm clothing of sweater, cardigan, light jacket, is suitable and in such areas, the temperature can go down, sometimes, to the freezing points in winter. In rainy season, sandals, quick drying clothes, raincoats, umbrellas, should be brought but umbrellas will be provided by car and boat rentals which are our contacts.The dress code for pagodas and monasteries prescribes decent apparel and no footwear.
(8)There is a tipping system in Burma and please consult with your guides for this but as you know, it's not compulsory and it means to show your appreciation of the people's sincere services you are satisfied with and they will be grateful for your generosity and it has become normal in the service industries.
(9)Regarding Electricity, it is 220v, 50 Hz, 2 or 3 flat or round pin plugs but at the hotels, the adapters can be hired for free of charge in most cases.
(10) Our time is GMT + 6 hours 30 minutes.
(11)The international diallingcode for Myanmar is +95 or 0095 and the international outgoing code is 00 or + (plus sign) followed by the relevant country code.
(12)Your mobiles, so far, cannot be used for making local and overseas calls, sending SMS messages in Burma without internet connection, as the service from State-run-MPT (Myanmar Post &Telecommunication) is required for this. But Wi-Fi services are available at most of the hotels FOC or charged to certain amount per hour and through these services, Viber, Skype,Tnago,etc can be used through your mobile, personal computers, if you have set up these settings for your mobile, computers, I-pad in your own respective countries. Two foreign telecoms companies, Telenor and Ooredoo, have recently started to provide their limited services in Burma.
(13) Regarding our local cuisine, Myanmar has a variety of food selections, almost each ethnic tribe having its own authentic traditional dishes. But rice is common to be seen at the heart of every meal in Myanmar, which is eaten together with meat, fish, vegetable curries. Rice is also main ingredient for making a variety of Myanmar delicacies, rice noodle soup called “ Mohingar“ is a popular well-known breakfast. Chinese, Thai, Indian, western food is also available depending on where you are, in Myanmar.
(14)In taking photographs of the local people, it is better to use one’s own discretion checking their facial expressions which are the signs of their likes or dislikes instead of making requests that can change their minds. Normally, local people are friendly to be taken pictures especially with the foreign tourists. But please bear in mind that this is our own sincere suggestion.