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Myanmar Travel Advice: What To Bring

This packing list is just a suggestion about what could be necessary for your trip to Myanmar. If you have special needs like diabetes or asthma you should carefully plan what to bring along. Myanmar is a third-world country and most western-style equipment, products and medicines are hard to find.

Clothing

Light summer clothes. Try to be aware of your surroundings and avoid offending. And, don't walk around town without a shirt, male or female. Always wear long pants in a temple.

Don´t wear short trousers, short skirts and tank tops outside the beach.
Don´t bring too much; there´s cheap laundry service provided all over Myanmar.

Documents

airplane ticket, passport (must be valid for at least six months starting the date of your arrival), visa.

Make a copy of all those documents and hide it somewhere safe in your luggage in case you lose the originals.

Medical Supply

• antibacterial spray
• antibiotics
• aspirin
• antiseptic
• diarrhea tablets
• first-aid kit
• indigestion tablets
• iodine
• malaria medicine (prophylaxis and/or emergency medication)
• mosquito repellent
• motion sickness tablets
• paracetamol
• thermometer (digital)

Money

$ US cash for your whole trip. In Myanmar, credit cards and Traveler Cheques are not widely accepted. Some hotels will take credit cards, but mostly it's a cash-based, black market economy, so cash is king.

Two different currencies circulate in Myanmar: The national currency Kyat (pronounced chaat) and the US dollar. For hotels, flight tickets and entrance fees you mainly need dollars to pay. Otherwise you pay with Kyat e.g. bus tickets, restaurants and shopping. The euro hasn't established itself in Myanmar yet; however, some hotels might accept it as a currency.

Exchange Rate

The official exchange rate for one US dollar is much below what you obtain on the black market; thus, you should never exchange money in banks or airports. On the black market, you get around 1000 kyat for one US dollar, whereas you get only six kyat in banks. Since the inflation rate is high and exchange rates vary often, then you should ask other travelers for the latest rate.

Where to Exchange Currency

You will get the best rate by the black markets in Yangon, which can be found around Sule Paya and Bogyoke Aung San Market. Never hand out your money before counting the Kyat! Hotels and travel agencies are more reliable, but they usually offer a slightly lower exchange rate.