Money Matters., Rangoon
THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT..When travelling in Burma ..as US Dollars are the currency of choice...make sure firstly that you have enough for your trip. (cash). I carried with me about a hundred dollars in small denominations a couple of $20's, $10's, $5's and singles..when paying taxes (entry and departure) try and have the correct amount this way you won't get "ripped off" with change in Burmese KYIATS at a really bad exchange rate..It is imperative that the notes are "new and crisp" otherwise they will NOT be exchanged.
ALL Government charges have to be paid in US Dollars..usually upon arrival at all airports ,as all arrival (in Bagan)and departure taxes are to be paid ONLY in US Dollars..Travellers cheques are a not accepted anywhere..and there are very few ATM's if any..Banks will give you a lousy rate of exchange...all of my transactions were at my Hotels.Your Hotel manager will give you a very good exchange rate. (talk with him) many people will confront you in the street to exchange currency...it is an illegal activity in the street..so be careful..
I've mentioned money changing as a general tip - where you exchange a few $US notes for a few massive wads of kyat. Just be aware of who's watching you, inasmuch as it can then make you even more of a target for beggars and peddlers. Try to do it in a discrete tuckaway - and just be aware of who is around you. The resident beggars obvious know the money changers, and probably watch their every transaction anyway.