Which is better US or Sterling to take with us in cash? Are T/Chqs changable? Like will our hotel lobby do it (staying in a 3* one called Taiwan summat or other!) We will have cards with us too, plus l really can do serious damage on cards given half a chance!
Also whats the rate at the moment approx for £1STG to a chinese whatever you call in (would you believe l used to work in foreign currency!!!!!!)
Travellers Cheques are acceptable only by star hotels and in big departmental store.From my experience in China, better to avoid TC.Ofcourse you can change TC into chinese currency ay banks(only at some specified banks!) but you will lose heavy money due to conversion as a way of commission.
The better currency would be USDollars as you can get it converted easily into RMB or Yuan (Chinese currency).When you want to convert your currency into Yuan, the banks will ask you for your passport ..so pls hand carry passport with you.The exchange rate is usdollars=Yuan8.10, i guess. It was earlier 8.33
Please remember that chinese people mostly do transactions in cash.Even credit cards sometimes are refused by travel agents.
Bring GBP (Stirling pound) cash, GBP travellers' cheques as well as at least 1 card with Mastercard/VISA/Maestro/Cirrus/PLUS logo. There's no need for you to bring USD cash or travellers' cheques, GBP is quite widely accepted as an exchangeable currency. The exchange rate is roughly 1 GBP = 14 RMB (or maybe 13 RMB). The rate is fixed, so you'll get the same rate if you change at the airport currency exchange counters, banks or hotels. Hotels might have a slight service charge though.
In May-June 2005 the exchange rate was 1GBP=15 Yuan, but I think the Government devalued the Yuan a few months back to keep the US happy.
As for TC and what currency to take, it depends on where you are going. Obviously TC are good to take because they're safe - we took American Express in US$ and we had no trouble changing them anywhere. If you're staying in cities like Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong etc then pounds will be easy to change, but when we went to the far North West there were no ATMs and we met someone in Turpan who only had GBP TC and he was having to persuade the bank to change them, so if you're going away from the big cities and tourist areas you should consider have at least some US$ TC.
I do prefer the safety of T/Chqs - we are based in Beijing and as we are only in the city for 8 nights l think we should be ok - l if we bring GB T/chqs they will not cost a charge plus if we bring any back no charge either (though this is highly unlikely with me around!!)
Thanks guys some great advice as usual!