Tuesday, October 29, 2013

ATM in Myanmar: Where you get Kyats with Credit Cards

Picture by m.gifford
One year ago a rare view, now more common, not only in Yangon but also in other cities in Myanmar

With the opening of Myanmar the possibilities to get money from ATM are getting broader. CB Bank has opened ATM, where you can withdraw the Myanmar Currency Kyats with Master Card, Visa, Maestro and Cirrus Card. There are ATM at CB Bank branches and other banks, but also in shopping malls, hospitals and big stores - not only in Yangon but also in Mandalay, Bago, Taungoo and Pyinmana, and at the arrival in Yangon Airport. The limit ist 300 000 kyats three times a day. You cannot take dollars from ATMs. Transaction charges will be 5000 kyats (6 USD) per transaction.

See the locations of ATM on Yangon Google Map
See the locations of ATM on Mandalay Google Map
See the locations of ATM on Bagan Google Map
See the locations of ATM of CB Bank

See the locations of ATM for Mastercard in Myanmar

Still not very broad are the possibilities to pay with credit cards in hotels, restaurants and shops. Read more:
Sacks of Cash in Myanmar Hard to Rout for MasterCard, Visa
Shadow of Decade-old Crisis Looms over Credit Card Plans

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Will the greatest Bell of the World be found in Yangon River and brought back to Shwedagon Pagoda?

Screenshot from Myanmar Focus Daily: The Life of Myanmar Tycoon Khin Shwe

Khin Shwe, a well-known Tycoon in Myanmar, has made a sensational announcement: He is going to salvage the greatest bell of the world, that has sunken into Yangon River more than 400 years ago, reports irrawaddy.org. Khin Shwe told the local journal Snapshot on Monday: “We’ve already hired big ships to salvage the bell. After that — if we can salvage the bell — we will put it on display at Shwedagon Pagoda.”

The legendary bell is believed to be the largest bell that has ever been cast (see depiction). This was done in 1484 by order of King Dhammazedi. He gave the bell as a present to the Shwedagon Pagoda of Dagon (today's Yangon). According to historical texts the bell was cast of 294 tonnes of metal (silver, gold, copper and tin). But in 1608 the Portuguese warlord Filipe de Brito e Nicote, after having sacked the towns of Syriam (now known as Thanlyin) and Pegu (now known as Bago) and extended his power across the Bago River to Dagon, removed the Dhammazedi bell from the Shwedagon Pagoda. His men rolled it down Singuttara Hill to a raft. It should be transported to Syriam. There it should be melted down to produce ships cannons. But the load was two heavy: at the confluence of the Bago and Yangon Rivers, the raft broke up and the bell went to the bottom of the river.

Khin Shwe, who plans now to salvage the Great Bell of Dhammazedi, is the chairman of Zay Kabar Company and a Union Solidarity and Development Party (USDP) Lower House MP. His company is one of the largest property developers in Myanmar. Earlier efforts to salvage the bell have not succeeded. In July 2010 the Australian documentary film maker Damien Lay reported that “an object was detected by sonar and is only slightly visible above the river floor that is likely to be the King Dhammazedi Bell”. Many people believe that the restoration of the bell to the pagoda will bring good fortune to Myanmar. Khin Shwe is working together with the abbot of the Kyaik Htee Saung Pagoda. And this has a very special reason. He said: “King Dhammazedi was born on a Tuesday and so is the abbot of Kyaik Htee Saung. So, I’m 100 percent confident that this project will be a success.” See a video: The Life of Myanmar Tycoon Khin Shwe.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Bombs in Yangon and elsewhere:
Myanmar Police say Karen Businessmen were behind

The police have detained eight suspects following bomb blasts in several states and divisions of Myanmar over the past week. One bomb wounded an American tourist in a room of Trader Hotel in Yangon, reports irrawaddy.org. The police authorities say the businessmen wanted to scare off foreign investors from their resource-rich Karen State.

The police say the homemade bombs found were the same type that the Karen National Liberation Army (KNLA) used in attacks against the government army over decades of civil war. The KNU signed a ceasefire with the government last year, and a senior general from the KNLA insisted that the rebel group should not be linked to the bombings.

Three people were killed and at least 10 people have been wounded by the bomb blasts. Bomb incidends happened in Sawbwargyigon High Bus Terminal in Yangon, in Namkhan Town in Shan State and in Pegu Division’s Taungoo Town, here in Chan Myae Guest House on October 11, in Shwe Pyae Sone Hotel in Sagaing and at Soon U Ponenyashin Pagoda, in the Sagaing Hills. An unexploded bomb has also been discovered in Mandalay at a bus stop in Pyilonechantha township and one was found at central Mandalay’s Bal Lay Burmese restaurant. Two teenagers were injured by an explosion caused by a device hidden on the underside of a truck in Yangons Thaketa township while one person was wounded when a bomb went off at the Sawbwagyikon bus stop in northern Yangons Insein Township. At Ahlone Township a small mine was found fixed under a table at Western Park 2, an expensive Chinese restaurant in western Rangoon.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Myeik Impressions

Picture by Moe Swe
Night Market at Myeik Strand Road

Myeik - historically called Mergui - is still off the usual tourist track. It has great old buildings, a Japanese cemetery, a pagoda situated on a hill overlooking the harbour. Here you get insight into daily life in a coastal fishing and trading port.
Picture by cgnetwork2006
Mergui Resort

Read more about Myeik on seal-superyachts.com.

See Andaman Mergui Archipelago