Myanmar – ATMs and Sim Cards
ATM CashIn Myanmar if you are asking someone where an ATM is the phrase is ATM Cash. The ATMs are every where.
In Mandalay there are lots of them around, outside banks, or on the street corners.
The main ones are allied with the banks KBZ or AYA Banks. We use Xe currency converter to easily calculate the exchange rate.
We elected to go with one near the hotel, it was outside a bank and opposite the mobile phone shop we had found.
When overseas we tend to find an ATM and try to use one only to minimise any problems we may have using different ones. It makes it easier for our bank at home in New Zealand to check to transactions if there is a problem.
In Bagan we stayed at The Bagan Thande Hotel and there was an ATM onsite which was even more helpful.
Mobile Phone Sim Card and Mobile Wifi
There seem to be lots of mobile phone shops in Mandalay and a few in Nyaung U in Bagan. All mobile phone shops will have mobile phone accessories as well as phones and sims. We found one just down the road from the hotel opposite the KBZ bank ATM, and more appeared as we walked round in the next days.
On our first day in Mandalay we bought a sim card with data already loaded on it for use in our pocket wifi. When we needed more data later in Bagan, our taxi driver took us to a mobile phone shop in Nyaung-U ( New Bagan ), and they loaded more on.
When overseas we use a mobile wifi, (pocket wi-fi) with a local sim card in it. This means we are always in communication and can use our laptops and phones anywhere. As the mobile wi-fi supports several devices (8 devices on our one) we don’t have to rely on finding wi-fi and can use any of our devices anywhere. Using a local sim card in your mobile phone and your mobile pocket wi-fi is cheap way to go rather than using your home country sim … this way there are no roaming charges.
Getting a sim card in Myanmar is easy. Find a shop, ask for a sim card, they will put it in your phone, start it up for you, and you’re good to go. Its cheap for a package with data, and the sim card works in Mandalay and Bagan as well. Top up is about 5,000 kyat. If the phone shop people don’t speak much english, not to worry, it seems to be universal buying a sim card.
A sim card for a mobile pocket wifi is slightly harder if they don’t speak english. But they will get the idea if you explain in sign language and show them they need to insert the new sim card you have bought off them into their own phone to initialise it. After they have done this they remove the card, insert it into your own pocket wifi and it will take a couple of minutes to sinc with the local provider. Then you’re all good to go again.
After you have done this the first time it will be easy.