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MMK - Kyats (Lakh)
Myanmar (also referred to as Burma), officially the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country situated on the western portion of mainland Southeast Asia. It shares borders with China, India, Laos, Thailand, and Bangladesh. With an area of 676,578, it is the second-largest country in Southeast Asia. The country has been known as the Land of the Golden Pagodas for a long time due to its number of gleaming pagodas, with the Shwedagon Pagoda as the most famous destination in the country.
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With a population of more than 54 million people, Myanmar is one of the most populous countries in Southeast Asia. More than 5 million people live in its former capital, Yangon (also known as Rangoon), making it the most populous and largest city in the country. Home to the Shwedagon Pagoda, the Golden Pagoda Myanmar, and the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Myanmar. The Shwedagon Pagoda is a 100-meter high structure that has been around since the 6th century, making it the oldest structures in the country’s history. The entire Pagoda is gold plated, with the shire studded with a diamond. Besides its Pagoda, Yangon is also known for its Chinatown.
Most people come to Myanmar to explore the 2,000 temples at Bagan, which served as the capital of the Pagan Kingdom from the 9th to 13th centuries. This ancient city is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the majority of its temples can be found within the Bagan Archaeological Zone. Visitors can admire the temples by foot, on a bicycle, hiring a car-and-driver, or from a hot air balloon flight.
Besides historical and cultural sights, Myanmar also boasts natural beauty. Those who want to enjoy the country’s coastline usually go to Ngapali Beach. It is the most popular beach in the country where people can enjoy their days relaxing on the beach, watching the sunset, go snorkeling, or tasting delicious, fresh seafood in one of its many restaurants.
Numerous property types are available in Myanmar for foreigners to rent. Condos, apartments, and houses are the most popular for foreigners relocating to the country.
Condos in the country are usually more upscale and luxurious. They usually provide modern amenities, such as fitness centers, swimming pools, gardens, children’s playground, 24-hour security systems, and designated parking spaces. They usually have restaurants and shops on the ground floor as well, giving their renters a more convenient lifestyle.
Apartments are very similar to condos, but they may not be as luxurious as condos. They typically offer standard amenities, such as parking spaces and 24-hour security systems. In terms of style, they may have a traditional-style design or modern design. Traditional-style apartments are much more affordable and appeal more to locals rather than foreigners.
Renters also have the choice to live in serviced apartments. This type of apartment is much more luxurious than standard apartments, with fully furnished units, swimming pools, gyms, clubhouses, 24-hour security systems, and children’s playgrounds. Renters are also provided with a range of services, such as housekeeping, room service, and cleaning service. This gives renters a hotel-like lifestyle.
Standalone houses and detached houses are also popular for those who need more space and privacy.
The cost of living in Myanmar is approximately 40% lower than in the United States, but do not expect it to be very cheap because rents and the price of items have skyrocketed, particularly for expats, since the country opened up in 2011. In order to live comfortably, a single person needs to earn a minimum of around 1,900,000 MMK a month, and a family of four needs about 3,300,000 MMK (around 2,500 USD).
Burmese Kyats (MMK) is the official currency of Myanmar and 1 USD is equivalent to around 1,360 MMK. A few years ago, finding an ATM can be a nightmare. Fortunately, ATMs accepting international cards are widely available around the country, especially in major cities such as Yangon. In some tourist areas, US dollars are accepted. However, they only take the crispest, most pristine dollar bills, so make sure that the bills you wish to exchange are relatively new and undamaged.
Myanmar has a number of indigenous languages, but the national language is Burmese, which is spoken by almost all of its population. English is spoken and understood to some degree since most people living in the country have at least an elementary knowledge of the language.
The largest religion in the country is Theravada Buddhism as about 90% of Myanmar’s population adheres to this religion. This is why the people and culture of the country have deep Buddhist roots, which are reflected in their customs. Besides Buddhism, other religions, including Islam, Christianity, Mahayana Buddhism, Vajrayana Buddhism, and Animism, are also freely practiced by the remaining 10% of the population.
Stay Permit and Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa are needed for foreigners who wish to live and work in Myanmar for an extended period of time. The stay permit is valid for only one entry and can be issued for a period of three months to a year. To be able to leave and re-enter the country while you live there, you need to obtain a Multiple Journey Special Re-Entry Visa in addition to your Stay Permit.
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