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Fast Facts about Myanmar

Myanmar Information

With Myanmar gradually opening up now is the time to visit and the best way to do this is to study up on the place beforehand and be prepared. Have a read through our information below and beef up your Burmese knowledge. 

 

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Fast at a Glance

Area 676,577 sq.km
Capital City Yangon (former Rangoon)
Population 51 million
Language Myanmar (0fficial) English
Religion Buddhism
Climate Myanmar has three seasons; the monsoon or rainy season from May to October; the cool season from November to February and the hot season from March to May. The average temperature ranges from 32?C in central and lower areas to 21?C in the northern highlands.
Local Time GMT +6 1/2
Currency Kyat (Kt) = 100 pyas. Kt. 100,000 is known as a lakh, and Kt 10 million as a crore. Kyat is pronounced like the English word 'chat'.
Kyat, made up of 100 pyas. Currency notes come in the following denominations: K 1,000, K 500, K 200, K 100,K 90, K 50, K 45, K 20, K 15, K 10, K 5, K 1 and coins K 100, K 50, K 10, K 5, K 1 and Pya 50.
Exchange On arrival at Yangon International airport, individual tourists are required to exchange a minimum of US$200 into 200 FECs (Foreign Exchange Certificates). Any unused certificates from this amount cannot be refunded. Visitors booked on an inclusive group tour package are not subject to this requirement, but if they wish, they can also purchase FECs with US Dollars or Sterling. FECs are Myanmar's second legal tender and are issued by the Bank of Myanmar specifically for visiting tourists. They come in denominations equivalent to US$20, 10, 5 and 1. Payment for FECs is only accepted in US Dollars or Sterling, in cash or travellers cheques. (credit cards sometimes accepted) One US Dollar equals one FEC (the Pound Sterling equivalent fluctuates according to the Pound-Dollar variance). FECs can be spent anywhere in the country, or exchanged into kyats at officially authorised banks, bureaux de change, hotels and Myanmar Travel and Tour offices. Cash payments can also be made in US Dollars, but only at establishments (eg, hotels, railway stations, and airlines) that have an official license allowing them to accept dollars. The FEC system (and the possibility to pay in US Dollars at numerous establishments) largely eliminates the necessity to exchange national currencies into Kyat. It is advisable to carry small denominations, as large notes may be difficult to change.
Credit Cards Airlines, major hotels and supermarkets accept Visa, Diners Club, American Express. Check with your credit card company for details to merchant acceptability and other services that may be available.
Travellers cheques To avoid additional exchange rate charges, travellers are advised to take travellers cheques in US Dollars or Sterling only.
Business Hours Government Offices 09:30 - 15:00 hrs (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Banks 09:30 hrs – 16.30 hrs (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Private Companies 09:00 hrs - 17:00 hrs (closed on Sundays)
Post Office 09:30 hrs - 16:30 hrs (closed on Saturdays and Sundays)
Shops 09:30 hrs - 21:00 hrs
Tipping Widely practised in addition to hotel and restaurant service charges shown on bills
Nightlife Limited to large hotels
Electricity supply 230V, 50Hz
Photography Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military installation is forbidden. Please use discretion when photographing people. For close-up shots always ask first. Bring adequate film, as locally available supplies are not always reliable.
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