I just did a program for a group of women visiting Burma for humanitarian purposes. I visited in 1993 and in 2013. This is from the handout I prepared for them and I hope you can use some of the suggestions too.
Some Travel Hints for Burma/myanmar
Before departure register with the State Department (travel.state.gov) Click on “Smart Traveler Enrollment Program” for information. The registration page is : https://step.state.gov/step/
1. Money -- take crisp, clean (no marks, tears) US Dollars in various denominations. There is no black market any longer so feel free to change money at the airport. You will get a slightly higher rate for $100 bills. Bring the new colored one if you can. Check each kyat note and do not accept torn or taped bills. You can use local money for small items -- snacks, drinks,etc. Also have a selection of small denomination USD notes for shopping - especially 1’s and 5’s. There are a few ATM’s in the major cities: Yangon, Mandalay, Inle Lake. Credit cards are not widely used. Bottom line, its pretty much a “cash only” destination.
2. Snacks -- take some high-protein bars and water with you on your excursions
3. Things to do on your free time:
In Yangon -- visit Schwed agon Pagoda in early evening when it is beautifully lit up and families have come to worship
In Mandalay -- take in a “Moustache Brothers” show. This show is part history/part poking fun at politics. The brothers have been in prison for performing, but they are now so popular the government is a bit afraid of them. The show is in a makeshift theater on the ground floor of their home. Go early for a good seat.
In Bagan: arrange for a horsecart ride (2 or 3 can ride in each cart) to the outlying temples at dawn or dusk. And consider the early morning balloon ride.
4. re: Temples: your shoes will be on/off several times during the day as you visit various temples. Bring wet wipes with you to clean your feet afterward. You are not allowed to wear just socks,as in other countries. Womens’ shoulders and knees should be covered.
5. Shopping -- Burma has wonderful jewelry as well as handicrafts.
• Rubies and Diamonds -- these are controlled by the government/military. Best not to buy
• Freshwater Pearls and Jade -- often sold by local vendors, sometimes women at temples and markets. (This money goes right into their economy)
• Laquerware -- hand painted items, including jewelry
• Silver items -- buy at family-run silver stores, most manufacture their own products in-house
(note:street vendors will offer jewelry they call "925 silver." It can be just silverplate with a 925 stamp. I also noticed this at vendors outside of Shwe Yan Pyay monastery, the wooden building with unique oval-shaped windows near Inle Lake)
* At Inle Lake -- There are several silver “villages” on the lake. Ask your guide to stop at Sein ThamarDi in Ywama Village which has an excellent selection of jewelry designed for western tastes. Everything is sold by weight
• Lotus Silk - this is manufactured only one place in the world - at a factory on Inle Lake.
• Gold Leaf embellished items
Yangon Airport - Departure -- Surprisingly there is a good selection of souvenir and jewelry items at the airport upstairs after you go thru passport/visa control. Prices are no higher, and sometimes less, than what you’ve seen around the country.