Cost of Living
US$15 and upwards
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
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
Do not change anything into FECs
except if you
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
Costs vary relying upon
whether you use
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.
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!