Renting an apartment in 2012

It is like travel in time when I read about all the milestones happening in Myanmar now.

Now, when shopping for daily use stuff, you can simply go to one of the shops of the biggest chain of markets and pay for them using your VISA. It all sounds unbelievable when I recollect how complicated and troublesome it was to organize a bigger amount of kyat some two years ago. Myanmar supermarket chain takes Visa

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It was in October 2012 when I decided I would settle down for a bit and wanted to rent an apartment. You could have one after signing a contract and paying for a year upfront. There were no ATMs that accepted foreign banks’ cards. They Myanmar accepted only kyat when signing a contract.

I was on a tourist visa then and needed to leave the country after 28 days (well, overstaying of a visa was already possible then to be frank). In Kuala Lumpur, my preferred visa hub, I withdrew Malaysian ringitt from ATMs. I went to a many changer to get USDs for them. It was the time when in Myanamr all banks were very restrictive about the quality of the notes. It took me a few days to purchase only accepted series, crisp, clean USD100 notes. There were two reasons – the fewer notes the better and the rate for USD50 was lower. It made no sense to lose money with no reason. I remember I wandered from one place to another and people couldn’t believe I needed to accept each note. Now, sitting in my cosy apartment, I cannot get the mess about perfect notes either 🙂

Then, I traveled back to Yangon. I went to one of only a few banks and had my desired kyats to pay for the apartment. Again, it was to be for a year upfront so I left a bak with a bag of kyats 🙂 Now, renting an apartment in Myanamr in 2012 sounds like a real challenge and adventure 🙂  


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