Replies: 8 - Last Post: Feb 20, 2013 11:37 PM Last Post By: rivaltribal
Feb 18, 2013 7:18 AM
ATM'sDear: those in the know,
We are booked and going for end of Dec 13 and start of Jan 14. I appreciate a lot can change between now and then so my questions will probably keep on coming!
I just got the Myanmar/Burma LP where it states that a bank exchange rate is 10 times worse than a hotel/shop exchange rate when using high denomination US bills.
It also says that there really aren't any ATM's to use with a foreign card. But posts on here say that there are, because unsurprisingly given the speed of change the LP is now out of date on this subject.
So is the information on the ridiculous exchange rate differential also now out of date or is that still correct and therefore using an ATM is for absolute emergencies only?
Thanks for the help on this one.
Feb 18, 2013 10:16 AM
1I recommend to look up the exchange rate before you leave home from oanda.com or some other similar website and then ask the rate at the spot where you're going to exchange in Myanmar to check if the rate is okay. The same applies to ATM situation - check it before leaving. I doubt that anybody is today able to tell you what will be the exact situation in December. It is almost a year until that time. Anything could happen.
About difference in exchange rates now, I don't think the difference between hotels and banks is 10 times. A good rate is at the Yangon airport, the rest of places is good to ask the rate first.
Yes, LP is out of date. It is even when it comes to places where change is far less fast than in Myanmar. That's life :)
Feb 18, 2013 12:32 PM
2We've just come back from Burma, Sunday 5.30 am overnight flight from KL so we are pretty much up to date but still jet lagged what we found is:
ATMs: Everywhere we went in Yangon accepted our Mastercards and Visa cards but they do charge so if you are going to use one make sure it's worth it. We stayed at the May Shan in Yangon. No ATMS would except our cards in Bagan and Inle lake, make sure your $ are new and perfect because they do check and will NOT EXCEPT ANY THAT ARE NOT PERFECT!! The owner at Teakwood Guest House told us that she hopes to have a credit card machine soon and that the local ATMs should take foreign cards soon also but how long she could not say, at the moment they don't so take your $
Best rates to change $ - without any doubt Banks best rate by far.
LP is out of date. I think this is more to do with Burma moving very quickly the Chinese have invested heavily and built many roads and bridges.
It's a great place to go, I would go back tomorrow if I could. I really loved it, the people are so friendly and there is so much to see.
Feb 18, 2013 1:55 PM
3ham1...forget exchange rates in LP...they are out of date before it even goes to print...official money change booths (basically small booths operated by banks, or a section inside the bank) are THE place to change $$ these days. These booths are in all main airports, a bunch in Yangon including the Bogyoke market, Mandalay, Inle, Bagan, etc..
Changing money at your guesthouse is slightly lower rate than the official changers. Street changers are very good at slight of hand to rip you off, and best to avoid.
ATM's...yes, there are new ATM machines that accept Visa, Mastercard, Cirrus, etc....Yangon - 1 at Bogyoke markets (and likely more around town), Mandalay - 27th street banks and a couple in Diamond Plaza, Inle also has a brand new KBZ bank ATM (I used my Visa card there a couple weeks ago).
Local bank ATM fee is 5,000 Kyat (about $6 US) and you can withdraw up to 300,000 Kyat.
Feb 18, 2013 3:17 PM
Feb 19, 2013 1:12 AM
5Hopefully the revised LP will be more on the money (pun intended) and not frighten tourists half to death. Changing money in Myanmar is as easy as in Thailand, if not easier.
Do it in smaller towns and they'll sit you down and give you a cuppa while they change your dollars into kyats or the reverse, all at excellent rates. CB Bank was a good one.
And don't believe the hype about CRISP, PERFECT bills, well at least it wasn't an issue for me. You can also use kyat for EVERYTHING, if you know how to negotiate!!
Feb 19, 2013 3:50 AM
6In the smaller towns I visited (Magwe, Pyay, Hpa An, Taunggyi, Mawlyamine etc) a lot of places would only accept kyat. The guesthosues took $. I didn't use an ATM once in my 23 days there. $100 bills don't take up much space...
Feb 20, 2013 8:20 PM
7I would change US$ to kyat at airport. Exchange rate @ 8th Feb was 856K to the dollar.
KBZ bank takes Visa card & CB bank takes mastercard. If you must withdraw cash i would do it in Yangon, as a friend of ours tried getting money from 5 different ATMs in Mandalay and it would not except his card for withdrawal.
Atms in Bagan & inle are for local use only at this stage and do not take international cards. I'm sure this will change in the coming months.
Our friend had to go back to Yangon to get more money.
Feb 20, 2013 11:37 PM
8re #7 comments....some facts:
1 - there are both KBZ AND CB bank ATMs that take both Visa AND Mastercard....I used both banks ATM recently
(just make sure you use an ATM that has the symbols on them for these cards....unfortunately some people try their cards in ATM's that only accept local cards....)
2 - Best place to do so in Mandalay is on 27th street...a CB ATM in front of the CB bank, another on the corner just north of Diamond Plaza, and 2 (a CB and a KBZ) inside Diamond Plaza ground floor.
3 - it has already changed....an ATM in Inle DOES accept these cards....there is a brand new KBZ ATM there....I used my Visa in it a couple weeks ago.
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