| Kyat (Kt) =
Notes are printed in denominations of Kt1,000, 500, 200, 100 and
90 pyas. Coins are in denominations of Kt1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and
1 pyas. Kt100,000 is called a lakh and Kt10 million is called
Kyat is pronounced like chat in English. To
fight the illegal business and hinder the financial power of dissident
groups, currency denominations are sometimes declared invalid without
prior notice. Limited refunds are normally offered for certain sectors
of the population.
Tourists are required on arrival at Yangon International Airport
to exchange at least US$200 into FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates).
Any unused certificates out of this amount will not be converted
(though FECs in excess of US$300 may be reconverted on departure).
This requirement is waved for visitors on a package tour; however,
if they wish to spend extra money in Myanmar, they are allowed to
exchange US Dollars for FECs.
FECs, which are printed
in China, are Myanmar’s second form of lawful currency and
are issued by the Bank of Myanmar especially for tourists. They
are printed in denominations
US$20, 10, 5 and 1. Payment
for FECs is merely accepted in US Dollars. One US
Dollar is 1 FEC. FECs may be changed for Kyats at
authorized banks, hotels, bureaux de change, and Myanmar Travel
and Tour offices. FECs can be widely spent anywhere in Myanmar.
Cash payments in US Dollars are also accepted; however, only
at establishments like airlines, hotels and railway stations that
have an official license authorizing them to accept dollars.
Wherever possible, it is a good idea to exchange US Dollars for Kyats
rather than FECs because FECs normally provide a poorer exchange
rate than Kyats. However, travellers cheques in US Dollar can only
be changed for FECs and not straightly for Kyats unlike
cash in US Dollar. Since large notes may
be hard to exchange, it is advised to carry small change.
In addition, Euros are accepted by all banks and currency exchange bureaux.
& debit cards
Airlines, major hotels and supermarkets accept Diners Club, Visa, JCB, American Express and MasterCard.
Check with your credit or debit card company for information on
merchant acceptability and other services, which may be available.
Travellers cheques are widely accepted. To avoid paying extra exchange rate charges,
it is advised that tourists should take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Pounds
Exchange rate indicators
The below figures are included as a guide to the fluctuation of
the Kyat against Sterling and the US Dollar:
It is illegal to import and export local currency. There are no
import limits on foreign currencies; however, amounts must be declared
on arrival and the declaration certificate kept safe – on
departure, foreign currencies are checked with the amounts declared
on entry declaration. The
customs checks at Yangon
airport aim to hinder illegal activities. Therefore,
it is extremely necessary to keep all receipts in order to account for money
spent while in Myanmar.
Banks in Myanmar are open Monday to Friday from 10.00 am to 2.00 pm.