Hi, I will be travelling to Yangon this June. Is it really necessary to bring new and crisp USD these days? I will also be paying USD to my hotel.
No, they are not as particular as before. Just as long as they are in good condition with no tears, no scribbles and not been folded too many times. I think you should not bring any notes older than 2009Edited: 03 June 2018, 06:18
"I think you should not bring any notes older than 2009"
My belief as well, series 2009, often referred to as "big head" bills or notes.
Safe travels :)
In my experience they are just as particular as before. The bills should be pristine, almost as new. Any tear makes a bill useless, even in other parts of asia. And bring a credicard and bank card, there are many ATMs.
A bit off topic, but I keep meaning to mention this;
On at least a half-dozen occasions I have had locals ask me to exchange small amounts of old, ratty US currency that they received from selling trinkets, soft drinks or whatever. One time I met a lady in the boonies of Rekhine State who had a few dollars worth of Thai Bhat and had no idea what to do with it. I gladly help these folks out and changed their money, but it got me thinking: please don't pawn off your ancient currency on some of the country's poorest people.
Just a thought :)
Like Michael P. and I'm sure many others, I have had the same experiences with local vendors asking if I would take their worn and old notes which they can't spend locally, but are readily accepted elsewhere. I was more than happy to help out when they did. I don't understand this fear of worn or torn notes or where it starts from (they all point their fingers at the banks), but it seems these notes often make their way to the stalls, street vendors around town, in the markets who can ill afford to lose out on the small amounts they are forced to hold on to because nobody else will touch it. If you get the chance to help out, do so.
Getting to your question, I've found that some hotels around the city are more particular than others but they do usually accept notes as long as they are not too bad. I've had a hotel in Mandalay accept notes that were not accepted elsewhere around town.
During my last stay in Yangon my hotel reluctantly accepted a few notes I had with ink stains and wear around the corners (given to me by a local money changer) which were not accepted by the travel agents or other money changers when I tried to exchange them. The further out from the city, you get it seems to get worse. I've had crisp 50 and 20 notes rejected by hotels in Hsipaw because of the creases that formed on them from the way I had folded them.
Yes and you get much better rates if you have $100 bills. I recently tried to exchange a $50, but because there was a slight crease it was rejected. So yes, crisp notes only and $100 bills are better (2 x $50 won't give you the same exchange rate as $100).