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Where have you be able to find your small denomination pristine currency?

Where have you be able to find your small denomination pristine currency?

Sep 28th, 2014, 11:09 AM
  #1  
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Where have you be able to find your small denomination pristine currency?

Help! I am able to find unblemished, perfect $100 bills to take on my upcoming trip, but am having little luck with my bank being able to find me smaller denominations. It sounds like I will need them, particularly for the zone fees in Bagan, Kakku and Inle Lake, or if I want to buy crafts in the small villages.

I was told US ATMs no longer dispense new bills either, since at this point, I'd be happy with $20s.

What tips do you have for me? How did you carry the money in order to keep it crisp and unbent? I don't want to go through the hassle of carrying a bunch of USD with me, only to be told it's not "clean" enough to be accepted.

Thanks in advance.
internetwiz is offline  
Sep 28th, 2014, 11:24 AM
  #2  
 
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Clean bills means new bills. I had a few 100's that were crisp but not new and were declined.

I didn't bring any smaller denominations, only 100's and got some changed into kyat for routine purchases. I don't think you need to worry about smaller notes.

My bank told me that they get the new $100s in for people who want them for Christmas presents and why they may be harder to find other times of the year.
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 28th, 2014, 11:38 AM
  #3  
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MmePardu, how did you pay your zone fees, if you only had $100s? The prices are all quoted in USDs so it wasn't clear whether they'd take kyat (although I can't image why they wouldn't).

What did you put your bills in to keep them straight? I have a "hidden pocket" that hooks onto my belt, and that's what I've used in the past, but I think this might the bills unacceptable.
internetwiz is offline  
Sep 28th, 2014, 11:41 AM
  #4  
 
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You can pay for crafts in kyat - the days of the locals wanting dollars are pretty much gone. Sometimes people do ask for dollars, and I try to honor their wishes whenever possible. But you can get by with only kyat for your smaller bills.

The way I got pristine bills was by getting them from my bank in November, when they were getting new currency for Christmas. One year, they simply saved the best-looking used bills for me.

I carried my currency in an envelope inside a book.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2014, 11:49 AM
  #5  
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Thanks, Kathie. That takes some of the pressure off me. It's really not a problem getting pristine $100s and I'm headed to Atlantic City soon, and the casinos have a plethora of uncirculated bills.
internetwiz is offline  
Sep 28th, 2014, 12:26 PM
  #6  
 
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I must have paid fees in kyat. I don't remember paying in Bagan but our taxi driver handed them over entering the zone at Inle and it must have been in kyat.

I actually didn't carry my own money. I went to Asia prior to Burma for a couple of months and didn't want to be dragging all that cash around, so the friend who was joining me in BKK for the flight to Yangon carried it all in an envelope in a money belt. If they bend a bit I'm sure you can flatten them out before you need them. Kathie's idea of putting them in a book is a good idea, too, but some people are more comfortable traveling with their wad of $100s under their clothes.
MmePerdu is online now  
Sep 28th, 2014, 12:43 PM
  #7  
 
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Originally, all of the zone fees were in posted in dollars, and were required to be paid in dollars, as the government desperately wanted hard currency. Those days are now gone.
Kathie is offline  
Sep 28th, 2014, 06:13 PM
  #8  
 
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I put my bills in a small pencil box. Also never used the crisp, new $1 bills that I took.
yestravel is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 04:26 AM
  #9  
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Yestravel, that's exactly what I have, a small plastic pencil box (although it may be too bulky). I won't obsess over finding $1 bills, but I'd still like to find the other smaller denominations if I can.
internetwiz is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 06:52 AM
  #10  
 
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The $ notes don't have to be in mint condition. Very good condition and without any tears or ink marks/writing on them should be fine.

I got our US$ from our local Thomas Cook shop in our little town in UK.

Myanmar kyat practically falls to bits in you hands. So make sure you carry plenty of one-way, and use it regularly!
LancasterLad is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 07:22 AM
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Oops! Substitute "one-way" with "medicated hand sanitizer."
LancasterLad is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 09:55 AM
  #12  
 
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I had alot of trouble getting my bills. It seemed odd that it was such a problem.

I have to disagree with LancasterLad on the condition of the bills. I found it totally random as to which bills they would accept. All of ours I would consider in very good condition -- no marks or tiny tears or creases & clean. Yet several times we had bills rejected. Then we might use the same bill at another location and it was excepted.

Have a great trip!
yestravel is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 10:52 AM
  #13  
 
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I agree, yes travel, that was my experience as well.

Originally pristine bills were required because those are the only bills the Myanmar Bank will accept. The bank relented on that requirement a couple of years ago, but places still want the pristine bills. It used to be that a blemished bill was considered worthless because the bank wouldn't take it. The bank issued a statement two years ago that they would accept such bills, but people's experience with that has varied. To be safe take the cleanest, crispest bills you can find. (I've know of more than one person who ironed their bills before going into Burma.)
Kathie is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 12:46 PM
  #14  
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I've read about people ironing their bills, which I might end up doing. Hold the starch, though!

Thanks for all your comments. I'm going to stop obsessing over this and hope I find enough operational ATMs to get me through my visit, along with my stash of $100s.
internetwiz is offline  
Sep 29th, 2014, 12:58 PM
  #15  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
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Lots of ATMS in the "tourist" towns. I got a bit obsessed about the money for our trip and I still have the stack of $1's.
yestravel is offline  

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