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Last updated : Nov 2009
 
Yangon Cost of Living
Yangon Cost of Living - TravelPuppy.com
Currency:Kyat

Meals

 Budget: US$2-3
 Mid-range: US$3-15
 Top-end: US$15 and upwards

Lodging

 Budget: US$5-10
 Mid-range: US$10-25
 Top-end: US$25 and upwards

The obligatory exchange requirement on arrival is now lowered from 300 US dollars to 200 US dollars but at the same time the FEC (Foreign Exchange Certificate) exchange rate has fallen with regard to the US dollars exchange rate. In January 2001, 1 US dollar was worth approximately 420 kyats while an FEC could plummet as low as 300 kyats. Therefore travellers should try to use their FECs for expenses, which must be made with FECs or dollars, for example the 10 US dollars or FEC 10 airport departure tax, and should try and avoid changing FECs into kyats. You will be 25% better off changing dollars into kyats instead of dollars into FECs and then into kyats.

To complicate the situation further, traveller's cheque in US dollars may only be exchanged for FECs, not for kyats the way US$ cash can be. No other currency is readily convertible in Myanmar at banks or official money-changers; however, on the street everything has a price. In short only use US dollars and bring them as cash not traveller's cheque.

Do not change anything into FECs except if you definitely have no other choice and spend as much of your compulsory exchange FECs on FEC or dollar denominated expenditure before you resort to changing it into kyats. If it's any consolation the rumour in Myanmar is that the FEC may soon vanish.

Costs vary relying upon whether you use governmentally approved hotels and transport or take the increasing opportunity to organize your own. 2 US dollars a night will get you accommodation in a budget hotel. If you are travelling inexpensively, you can survive on about US$10 a night. If you desire your own bathroom and a choice of restaurants, plan on US$25-30 a night. Flying or taking express trains will add about US$5 a night to that budget. If you want to stay somewhere upmarket, you will need anywhere between US$25 and US$300 a night.

Tipping is not actually part of the Burmese culture; however, 'presents' are. A small bribe will go far with Burmese bureaucrats. Money is not necessary - cigarettes and pens will speed things along, foreign t-shirts will work miracles!
 
 
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