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    • parmaviolet
    • By parmaviolet 9th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    • 6Posts
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    parmaviolet
    0 WOW
    Money for Asian Travel
    • #1
    • 9th Sep 17, 12:37 PM
    0 WOW
    Money for Asian Travel 9th Sep 17 at 12:37 PM
    Hi,
    I'm going on holiday to Thailand visiting Myanmar and Vietnam next month.
    As there will be three currency changes I was looking at a pre-loaded card or similar but realise I may have difficulty with lack of ATMs in some places. Does anyone have any advice please?
Page 1
    • WAYT
    • By WAYT 9th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 315 Thanks
    WAYT
    • #2
    • 9th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    • #2
    • 9th Sep 17, 12:52 PM
    ATM machines in Thailand charge up to £5 per withdrawal.
    You can carry a few £50 notes for changing, instead of being mugged by Thailand's ATMs.
    Best places to change money at BKK airport are on the B Floor, near the Airport Rail link.
    Vietnam's ATM have more varying charges; from nothing to perhaps £2.70.

    Use a proper bank instead of a prepaid card. https://www.starlingbank.com and have a CC back up; such as Halifax Clarity, Creation Everyday, Santander Zero and Barclaycard Travel Platinum. CC offer you a bit more flexibility in obtaining cash without the usurious fees in Thailand.
    • dj1471
    • By dj1471 9th Sep 17, 3:43 PM
    • 924 Posts
    • 608 Thanks
    dj1471
    • #3
    • 9th Sep 17, 3:43 PM
    • #3
    • 9th Sep 17, 3:43 PM
    There's no shortage of ATMs in Thailand or Vietnam.

    In Vietnam the standard ATM charge is 50,000 VND (£1.33) but there are some that charge less or a percentage and some that don't charge at all. I use VPBank ATMs as they're fee-free. Beware that some charge a fee without telling you (avoid VIB ATMs).
    • WAYT
    • By WAYT 9th Sep 17, 3:50 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 315 Thanks
    WAYT
    • #4
    • 9th Sep 17, 3:50 PM
    • #4
    • 9th Sep 17, 3:50 PM
    there's no shortage of atms in thailand or vietnam.

    In vietnam the standard atm charge is 50,000 vnd (£1.33) but there are some that charge less or a percentage and some that don't charge at all. I use vpbank atms as they're fee-free. Beware that some charge a fee without telling you (avoid vib atms).
    Originally posted by dj1471
    £1.67

    ..................
    • dickydonkin
    • By dickydonkin 10th Sep 17, 1:39 PM
    • 2,880 Posts
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    dickydonkin
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 1:39 PM
    • #5
    • 10th Sep 17, 1:39 PM
    With respect to Myanmar, I pre-paid all my trips on line and just got some spending money converted at the airport (Yangon).

    I was only there a few days in January, but get to see it before development spoils it as new buildings are already encroaching.
    • Ballard
    • By Ballard 10th Sep 17, 5:56 PM
    • 1,641 Posts
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    Ballard
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 17, 5:56 PM
    • #6
    • 10th Sep 17, 5:56 PM
    With respect to Myanmar, I pre-paid all my trips on line and just got some spending money converted at the airport (Yangon).

    I was only there a few days in January, but get to see it before development spoils it as new buildings are already encroaching.
    Originally posted by dickydonkin
    I considered Myanmar three (I think) years ago but from what I understood at the time we would be shadowed almost everywhere we went and much of the country was out of bounds. I do intend to get there one day though.
    I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened it and read it. It said they were suckers.
    • parmaviolet
    • By parmaviolet 10th Sep 17, 9:26 PM
    • 6 Posts
    • 1 Thanks
    parmaviolet
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:26 PM
    • #7
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:26 PM
    Thanks for the advice so far.
    We are planning to go to Thailand then from there find flights and perhaps tours in Myanmar. Then return to Thailand and at some point find flights to Vietnam to visit there before returning to Thailand for a beach holiday. We plan to take six weeks to travel around but not backpacking!
    Does anyone have further ideas or advice for us. We do have contacts living in these countries but these are elderly people who do not travel.
    • WAYT
    • By WAYT 10th Sep 17, 9:33 PM
    • 711 Posts
    • 315 Thanks
    WAYT
    • #8
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:33 PM
    • #8
    • 10th Sep 17, 9:33 PM
    I considered Myanmar three (I think) years ago but from what I understood at the time we would be shadowed almost everywhere we went and much of the country was out of bounds. I do intend to get there one day though.
    Originally posted by Ballard
    I was there three years ago. No shadowing. But then I didn't try to go off the beaten track.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 11th Sep 17, 5:43 AM
    • 4,775 Posts
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    PompeyPete
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 17, 5:43 AM
    • #9
    • 11th Sep 17, 5:43 AM
    Me and the Mrs had nearly 3 weeks in Myanmar in 2010.

    Booked our fist 4 nights in Yangon beforehand on Agoda, at the excellent Summit Parkview.

    Taxi driver from the airport asked us what our plans were.....we just planned to wing it. He suggested we hire him for a day, and he took us into the countryside, around villages, local markets, and basically tried to impress us.....he did!

    We hired him for a fortnight. Car, fuel, his food and accommodation, road tolls, his guiding skills.....all for US$ 800.

    The car was a clapped out Toyota Corolla, right-hand drive [they drive on the right!], knackered suspension, and no A/c. Hardly any of the roads were tarmac, just dust. By the end of every day we were completely orange.....but it was great fun.

    I'll post where we visited when it's daylight and I can find out trip notes.
    • PompeyPete
    • By PompeyPete 11th Sep 17, 7:30 AM
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    PompeyPete
    Before flying to Yangon we had 3 nights in Bangkok to get over the flight from UK, and do our must-do things every time we're in Bangkok...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Yangon

    We started off with 4 nights in Yangon before setting off north, heading for the Temples of Bagan. Bagan can be reached in a very long day, but we stayed overnight at a place called Taungoo. There was a Latvian film crew staying at the same guesthouse, and we made the mistake of joining them for a long boozy session on the terrace well into the night.

    On the way to Taungoo we visited the immaculately maintained Commonwealth War Cemetery at Taukkyan, just outside Yangon...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taukkyan_War_Cemetery

    ...and also stopped for a couple of hours at Bago...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Bago_(Myanmar)

    We also passed the strange new capital city of Naypyidaw...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Naypyidaw

    We stayed at Bagan for 3 nights, and by the end we were suffering from severe temple Fatigue. We started with the small temples, and they gradually got bigger and bigger...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Bagan

    Next we drove to Mandalay, stopping at Mount Popa on the way...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Popa
    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Mandalay

    I think we only stayed in Mandalay for 2 nights, then we set off to a place called Pyin U Lwin, which we loved, but it was the only place that I got food poisoning, and it was at a recommended mid-range restaurant...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Pyin_U_Lwin

    From Pyin U Lwin we headed for Inle Lake, but broke the journey for a couple of nights in a hill station town called Kalaw...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Kalaw

    Onward to Inle Lake for 3 nights...

    https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Inle_Lake

    Being February, it was slash and burn season in Myanmar, so unfortunately a lot of views from the lake were shrouded in a blue mist. That blue mist was evident everywhere we went, sometimes it was a thin mist, sometimes quite thick.

    After Inle Lake we retraced our steps for another night in Kalaw, and then Taungoo, before getting back to the Summit Park View in Yangon for our final night.

    We got quite an early flight back to Bangkok, and the same afternoon flew to Phnom Penh for a few days in Cambodia. Finished off back in Bangkok for our final 2 nights.

    We had a great time in Myanmar. Most tourists hop from place to place by aeroplane, but Myanmar is all about witnessing the place at ground level.

    As for being shadowed, I think it's a myth. The only time we thought about it was when we were in a lift with our driver/guide on the way to his company office in Yangon to agree our itinerary and price of the tour. Our driver told us a lot about the country and its politics, but there were other people in the lift and our driver kept his mouth firmly shut.

    Our driver, who was absolutely brilliant, had a BSc, and his wife a Masters. Her job, she's a seamstress. Lots of well educated people, but few jobs to fit.

    It's over 7 years since we were there, so the place will have changed quite a lot in that time, some good, some bad, some we'll never even know about.
    Last edited by PompeyPete; 11-09-2017 at 7:53 AM.
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