Inle makes a grab for dollars

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SHAN STATE, 7 December 2016: Inle hotel zone entrance fees will be collected in US dollars instead of local currency effective 10 December.

Global New Light of Myanmar quoted Myanmar Tourism Association Taunggyi Zone’s chairman, U Zaw Htay Aung, saying that due to an appreciation of the US dollar, entrance fees to the Inle Hotel zone will be collected in US dollars instead of local currency starting 10 December.

The move suggests confidence in the kyat may be in decline and viewed as a negative trend. It will be inconvenient if visitors need to have US dollars in addition to their own currency.

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For example Thai visitors can exchange Thai baht to Kyat to pay trip expenses. They will need to also exchange baht for US dollars to cover the fee prior to leaving Thailand.

Currently, the entrance fees stands at K12,500 per person, but it will now be changed to USD10, according to Myo Group, which is responsible for collecting the entrance fees for the Inle zone.

Last February, the entrance fee was changed to kyat due to the depreciation of the US dollar and also to meet a government requirement to use kyat to pay tourism-related expenses after decades of using US dollars. As the US dollar rate rises, the plan is to change back to the US dollar, the report said.

Inle Lake is a freshwater lake located in the Nyaungshwe Township of Taunggyi district of Shan State, part of Shan Hills in Myanmar.

The lake is listed as an ASEAN heritage site, for its significant national culture, as well as varieties of ecosystems.

The best time of the year to visit is during September to October. The nearest airport is Heho Airport, 35 km away. There are flights from both Yangon and Mandalay. Yangon is 660 km away by road and Mandalay 330 km.

Shan State borders China to the north, Laos to the east, and Thailand to the south, and five administrative divisions of Myanmar in the west.