Myanmar Money Laundry

11Apr11

If you go traveling to Myanmar, better bring an iron – you might need it to straighten your dollar bills! As you can see in the pictures, there is quite a difference in the visual appearance of the bills of the local currency (Kyat) and the US dollars that the foreigners bring in. And now guess which note got turned down, when I wanted to make a payment? Nope – you mean you can’t you see the 1mm tear in the dollar note? I couldn’t either. But nevertheless it was already reason enough for people not to accept this bill – whereas the Kyats are ok to be completely dissolved, only held together by sellotape.

As there are no ways to get cash in Myanmar, peoples’ sensitivity towards the physical state of dollar notes can turn into a big problem – and you might have to end your trip sooner than planned… only because there’s a tiny tear in you bill, or because you folded it slightly in your wallet. Fortunately I eventually found someone who accepted the note, so I could stay as long as I intended…

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