September 23, 2017

Tourists can visit Bagan in local currency starting new year

Dhammayangyi Temple in Bagan which is home to a collection of temples and pagodas dating back to centuries. Photo: Myanmar Tourism Federation
Dhammayangyi Temple in Bagan which is home to a collection of temples and pagodas dating back to centuries.
Photo: Myanmar Tourism Federation

GLOBETROTTERS visiting the Bagan Archaeological Zone will be paying in Myanmar kyat instead of US dollar for admission as of 1 January next year, according to the Myanmar Tourism Federation yesterday.
A notice stating that visitors will pay K25, 000 instead of US$20 starting this January has been received from the ministry, said a representative of the federation.
Although the Ministry of Culture originally set 1 November 2015 as the date for switching to local currency the deadline for the policy was changed to 1 January next year.
According to sources, the change aims to be in compliance with the Central Bank of Myanmar’s directive encouraging the use of domestic currency in all transactions inside the country to reduce dollar demand and prevent dollarisation.
Another reason to make the switch is to avoid collecting old, creased, ink-stained or stamped USD notes, sources added.
In Myanmar, only pristine, unmarked, unfolded and no-crease dollar notes are accepted at exchange changer booths.
Bagan, home to the largest and densest concentration of Buddhist temples, pagodas, stupas and ruins in the world with many dating back to the 11th and 12th centuries, is one of popular tourist destinations in Myanmar.
According to the ministry’s data, more than 240, 000 tourists visited the archaeological site in a 12-month period ending 31 March 2015.  The ministry introduced the dollar entry fee in January of this year.

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