We have just returned from a holiday in Myanmar and were amazed at how rapidly things are changing in the country. Guide books are out of date as soon as they are printed!
Some things to note:
1. Unlike warnings in guide books, it's no problem driving past and stopping and taking photos at Aung San Suu Kyi's house. We were with a guide who assured us that he would not be risking his precious tour license by doing the wrong thing.
2. Changing US dollars to kyat (pronounced 'chat') used to be something to be wary of, even in banks, with huge variables in the exchange rate offered (and I'm not talking about the black market money sellers, but they are still around - don't use them). A few months ago the government set an official exchange rate, so all hotels, banks and official money exchange offices (like at the airport) have to use this rate (which is often displayed clearly). You will still get a better rate on $100 & $50 bills, compared to the smaller currency, so change those if you can.
3. You used to be able to only bring $2,000 USD into the country, but the official customs form at the airport now has the usual international $10,000 USD on it. (The $2,000 was pretty ridiculous in a country that still doesn't have ATMs for foreigners or credit cards).
4. And, yes, still no ATMs for foreigners, so make sure you bring all your cash with you (see earlier posts about new, crisp bills), but they are aiming for March this year to change this situation, as well as the credit card usage. Will be interesting to see if they are able to meet this deadline!
5. While the cost of eating at restaurants is still reasonable (similar to Cambodia and Vietnam), it is no where near as cheap as I was led to believe. According to waiters, the costs have increased a lot over the last 2 years.
6. It's still very difficult to book internal flights here. We used an agent for all flights and transfers and tours, and it made things so much easier! Even with an agent, the airlines themselves make things difficult by sometimes not locking in schedules until up to a few weeks before flying! Crazy! (The agent we used was Kyaw Khaing, contact: email@example.com from One Stop Travel - absolutely fantastic. Put his name into the forum search and you will see many happy customers).
7. Some guide books warn about talking politics with the locals, but pretty much every person we had extended conversations with brought it up first, and were happy to answer questions. They all seem very excited about the elections coming in 2015!
Hope this is of help to those of you travelling soon.