The kyat is the currency of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, formerly Burma. Its ISO code is MMK, pronounced “chat”. It is abbreviated normally as K in front of the numerical value.
Coins in Myanmar are available in K1, K5, K10 as well as K50 and K100. In 1852, the last Burmese king, Mindon, founded the first mint. In the series from 1999 the diameter was 20 to 26.8 millimeters, the material brass and cupronickel.
On the front is the embossing of Chinthe, the lion-like creature, a leogryph as it often appears at the entrances of pagodas and temples in Myanmar and other Southeast Asian countries and the writing “Central Bank of Myanmar” and the value in Burmese.
The back shows the bank title and the value in English and Arabic numerals. The banknotes have a nominal value of 50 pyas (= 1/2 kyat), K1, K5, K10 and K20, K50, K100, K200 and K500, K1,000 and K5,000.
History of the currency of Myanmar
In 1944 the state bank in Burma issued bills of exchange for 1, 5, 10 and 100 kyat, followed by an issue of 100 kyat bills in 1945. There have been extensions and changes to the banknotes throughout the history of Myanmar’s currency. Notes from 1990 to 2004 are currently in circulation. On the front you can see an elephant or the chinthe (typical Burmese guardian lion) or Saung-Gauk (a traditional Burmese harp). The backs vary like images of the Treasury or the traditional stick ball game or craftsmen with lacquerware as well as elephant teak loggers.
Myanmar has long had high inflation; the kyat lost about 34.6% of its value annually between 1990 and 2001; in 2002/03 the inflation rate was 46.9%. With the economic opening, the government was able to drastically reduce inflation to only 1.5% in 2009, it rose to 9.6% in 2010.
In 2009 notes with a value of 5000 kyats and a size of 15 x 7 cm came out. Above you can see a drawing of the Central Bank of Myanmar and in the center a white elephant.
In 2014 inflation came to 5.9%, in 2015 it was 11.5%. The price for US $ 1 dropped below 1000 kyat from 1,300 kyat in 2010. In July 2011 it was 785 kyat / US dollar.
Exchange and travel budget
Anyone who travels to Myanmar must know that the kyat currency may neither be imported nor exported. For a good course should go to the currency 100 dollars or even better euro notes to a maximum of $ 10,000 per person (new, clean notes) are taken. If money is withdrawn from the machine, a surcharge from the bank plus costs from the house bank must be expected. When withdrawing with a credit card, there are often lower fees and a better exchange rate.
The travel budget depends on the standard of living to be used in Myanmar and the attractions that you will visit. A backpacker trip costs 15 to 25 € per day per person, normal travelers have to reckon with around 100 EUR per day. Myanmar has become significantly more expensive recently.
Eating in Myanmar restaurants costs between € 2 and € 6, while typical tourist attractions cost € 10 to € 15. Simple accommodations cost € 20 per night in a double room, better rooms are available from € 100 to € 150. Taxis and transportation, for example from the airport to city centers, usually cost € 5 to € 15.