Can boats and trains also be paid in Kyat and Euro's instead of US D. ?
Replies: 5 - Last Post: Oct 13, 2013 1:08 AM Last Post By: naugastyle
Oct 6, 2013 4:32 AM
Oct 9, 2013 1:25 AM
1How can the Burmese not accept their own currency? I'm pretty sure if you come only with Kyat, because Kyat is the only currency withdrawable from ATMs, that will be acceptable, even if tickets are quoted in dollars. I think it's about time the obsession with USD starts to wane. The Myanmar economy was until recently boycotted by the US, and China even now invests 100 times more in Myanmar than the US (even Thailand does) - perhaps it's time Myanmar consider using the Chinese Yuan or even the Thai Baht as their second currency rather than the dollar.
On all previous trips to Myanmar this year, I only paid in Kyat - I refused to use dollars directly and indeed I didn't need to. Also, I brought most of my cash in Euros with only a small amount in USD for a couple of international flights.
Oct 9, 2013 2:28 PM
When I traveled down Chindwin I paid for boats only in kyat. But the boats were not government-owned ferries.
Guess it might be possible to pay not in USD but the rate would be discouraging. I have never tried with a boat but twice (June 2013) was not allowed to pay in kyat for a train. I didn't feel like arguing more as I had the US currency with me.
Oct 12, 2013 12:29 AM
3Hi dagmara, in my case, I never had to negotiate, argue or anything like that to not use USD, besides it's not my style. However, I didn't have a single USD with me wherever I went so I felt it was like take it or leave it, if you don't want my business I'll go elsewhere, but that was never necessary. I just pulled out my Kyat and that's what I used for payment. However, I don't take trains in Myanmar, as nice as they might be as all my recent trips and my upcoming one are business related so I travel by car with driver so I have no personal experience with them.
I am looking forward to Myanmar stopping the acceptance of USD, just like Vietnam has largely achieved. The US has over the years had absolutely no influence over the Myanmar economy and thus there is little reason for the acceptance of their currency. As mentioned I find the US increasingly irrelevant in a part of the world dominated by China, and to a lesser extent India and even Thailand, in Myanmar's case. Even when it comes to tourists, there were something like only 20,000? tourists from America last year who travelled to Myanmar, compared to the combined half a million or so from China, Thailand, India, Singapore and other regional countries. Anyway, end of rant...lol
Oct 12, 2013 9:06 AM
Oct 13, 2013 1:05 AM
5I have never taken the train, but have paid for boats in kyat. Including government ferry from Sittwe to Mrauk U. At that time, 4000 kyat was worth a little more than the $4 ticket price, but it's what I had on hand.
As for not negotiating about using kyat...I agree on principle and I often almost only have kyat because I cannot get US dollars where I live (but I'm American, so I have an ever-dwindling cache of dollars for emergencies). I HIGHLY doubt people would chase me down if I walked away after kyat were refused...my business is simply not vital to them. So in the cases where you simply must use that particular train or stay in that particular hotel, it would be a good idea to have some emergency dollars.
That said, the only places where I've gotten an unequivocal "no" to kyat were Golden Dream hotel in Pyin Oo Lwin, the only hotel in that budget range so I was forced to use a few precious dollars; and a bungalow in Setse, the only remaining one with foreigner license. The beach wasn't nice enough to stay in anyway (I had enough emergency dollars but it wasn't worth the price) so I left, and they surely did not care.
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