how things go and whether or not I can get any necessary permit(s) and how long this will take. I am anxious to see how the country has changed, if it has.
Foreigners were prohibited from traveling to the area where I am going up until a few years ago. The area is considered a conflict zone because of the fighting between the Burmese Buddhists and Rohingya Muslims and violence is ongoing.
A couple of quick tips for people going to Myanmar:
1. Bring dollars but be extremely picky about the quality of your bills. Scrutinize every single bill, preferably 50's and 100's, and I've gone as far as ironing bills with minor creases in them. Those exchanging the bills for Myanmar Kyat (Chat) are ridiculously fastidious about what they will and will not accept. Only accept perfect bills from the bank or you'll be ironing the tiny folds out of them.
2. Expect everything to take longer. If you need to get somewhere in a week, add a couple of days just in case. Just do it, believe me. Delays are common so be prepared.
3. Taxis are often old rust buckets doubling as cars. There won't be a limo waiting for you at the airport Brittany. Deal with it. Negotiate with the drivers. Most speak enough English to suffice.
4. There are now ATM machines in Myanmar. Funds are dispensed in Burmese Kyat. Although most people have said they have had minimal problems getting their money from the machines, do not rely on them for the bulk of your funds.
5. Got a weak bladder or stomach? Consider flying as opposed to taking a bus — roads are poor. If you're the type who vomits after getting off a roller coaster or who needs to pee every five minutes, fly! The roads to Mandalay and elsewhere are kidney shattering and uncomfortable at best so it's best to take your chances on Air Mandalay or Air Bagan.
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