2 weeks in Burma, need help.
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Oct 10, 2012 8:52 AM Last Post By: martijnberg87
Oct 9, 2012 11:55 AM
2 weeks in Burma, need help.Hi everyone,
I'm going to Myanmar at the end of February, for 2 weeks. I'm planning my trip but would need to ask you few things:
1) I was thinking about visiting Yangon- Mandalay- Bagan- Kalaw- Inle.
Is it a reasonable trip? Or is it too much? Would you suggest other places instead of thoses ones?
2) Do I need to book now for the hotels?
3) Should I bring dollars or euros?
Thanks for your answers,
Oct 9, 2012 3:38 PM
1It seems a perfectly reasonable trip to me. Nobody seems to speak very highly of Mandalay, though.
You probably should book soon. The tourist situation is getting crazy.
You can bring Euros and show them to people as memorabilia of your home continent. If you plan to purchase goods and services, though, you'll also need dollars. Absolutely pristine US hundreds.
The Burmese are all about the Benjamins.
Oct 9, 2012 4:10 PM
2It's a common trip - personally I'm struggling to fit that itinerary into 28 days - but many do it in 14 days - maybe use some internal flights.
If you want nice 3 star or better hotels you probably should have booked 6 months ago. We are going with just calling ahead the day before - but we may end up on the floor - what's your budget/comfort level.
Disagree with #1 on this - I am having great difficulty getting clean US$100s in my country- we are going to take euros for the money that we will change into kyat. Euros appear easily changed at banks in Yangon and Mandalay - not sure about other locations.
You will need some US$s to pay hotels/trains/tourist restaraunts/govt fees direct. For US$ to pay direct you need a variety of notes- but they still need to be unfolded, untorn and unmarked
Edited by: midlifetravel
Oct 9, 2012 5:03 PM
Having difficulty getting real money doesn't make euros more convertible.
Don't forget: people might give you kyat for dollars, or even euros, but they aren't going to buy your unused kyat back! If you have €200 in kyat left, you might as well throw it in the street.
If you can get dollars, you can keep them until you need them, anywhere in Burma (or Cambodia and probably a lot of other places in Indochina). If you don't end up spending them on your trip at all, you can spend them back home.
Oct 9, 2012 5:43 PM
4Actually, #3, if you exchange your dollars or Euro at an official exchange, they will change them back as long as you can show a receipt. One of many things that has changed in Myanmar in the last year or so.
In terms of your itinerary, I think you would be better off editing it a bit. Fewer places gives you more time to explore and enjoy. No use in rushing though this fascinating country.
Oct 9, 2012 6:28 PM
5agree re: changing money....whatever currency you use to change into Kyat at the official changers you can change it back again at the end...re: receipts - not sure about Euro, but for changing Kyat back into $$ US I didn't need any receipt, and the official changers weren't providing any when I first bought my Kyat (in Feb 2012 anyway...maybe they now issue/ask for receipts...??)
You will still need $ US for paying for accommodation/zone entrance fees, etc. but can use Euro for buying Kyat no problem.
Oct 9, 2012 7:06 PM
Oct 9, 2012 11:03 PM
7hey....yeah, the official changers are reasonably new and are a pretty good rate, and safer than the street changers who are damn good at slight-of-hand rip-offs.....obviously lost out a bit changing back at the end but not enough to worry about...I think when I bought my Kyat I got about 816 per $ and when I changed back into $ US one $ cost me something like 836 Kyat (early 2012)....so only loosing a couple dollars in the hundred.
When I first bought the Kyat in Yangon I asked for some sort of exchange certificate (like you get when you change $$ in India) but they wouldn't / didn't supply anything, and when I went to change back in Mandalay they didn't ask for anything.
Oct 10, 2012 2:29 AM
So should I forget Mandalay and do something else instead?
How do you get unfolded or untorn banknotes? Is it something you ask to your bank?
For the hotels, no I'm not looking for 3 stars. Let's say not more than 30dollars.
I take medicines to take the plane (really scared). So no inner flights once in the country.
Oct 10, 2012 8:21 AM
9No receipts needed to change back to dollars is new. Thanks for the info, rival. When we were there in Nov/Dec they gave us receipts for exchange and told us to hang on to them if we wanted to change back to dollars. No need for us - being of sound mind we spent it all!
I always ask my bank for clean currency. If they can, they will order new currency for me, if not, they will sort through their cash and pick out the best-looking bills.
On Mandalay, up to you. I'd recommend you spend some time at each place - at least four nights (three full days) at both Bagan and Inle.
Oct 10, 2012 8:52 AM
10Your trip seems ok to me but you have to book you busticket to the next place the moment you arrive. We didn't like mandalay that mutch. I still recommend the half day trip to Mingun. Its fun to do and afterward you can take the busride to Kalaw or Inle Lake. Are you planning on a trek from Kalaw? It takes 3 days to get to Inle Lake. And in the high season its about 15000 Kyats per person a day. Including breakfast lunch and dinner.
Changing money is easy. But do make sure you have nice notes. We live in europe and we changed money at a change office. If you ask nice notes they will give them to you. And maybe good to know 50 dollar bills get the same rate as 100$. Euro gets better rates in Mandalay you get 1150 for 1 euro. 850 for the dollar. Changing back is not a problem. Take small dollar bills as wel some 5 and 10 dollar bills and also 1 dollar bills easy for paying entrance fees beacause thay dont give dollars back always
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