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1. Posted by indio (Budding Member 84 posts) 10y

So I'm off to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in two weeks for the first time and today I have been down to change some money to take with me. I asked my bank what the best thing to bring was and they said US dollars to start with and on top of that I got some Thai Baht as well. I haven't changed that many yet though as I don't like carrying a large amount of money on me and I'm bringing my credit card with me. But are the currency I've got the best and what is the best thing to do money wise when i travel around these countries? What about Cambodia and Laos I have read that there aren't that many ATM's around? My bank lady didn't seem to know much about anything to be honest!

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 10y

Jannie,
I take travel checks and US cash. There are plenty of ATMs in Thailand, much fewer in Cambodia & Laos. Use your ATM in the major cities and you won't have a problem. Both Cambodia & Laos use US dollars for larger amounts, but Thai baht is easily exchanged as well. I would have dollars, several thousand Thai baht with me, with the bulk of my money in travel checks. You can get a refund if lost or stolen, with cash it is gone for good.

Use a money pouch under your clothes for pasport, ATM card, cash and travel checks. Keep a copy of your passport and travel check numbers in a separate location. Make it as difficult as possible for theft to ruin your holiday. Good Luck.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1587 posts) 10y

Quoting indio

So I'm off to Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in two weeks for the first time and today I have been down to change some money to take with me. I asked my bank what the best thing to bring was and they said US dollars to start with and on top of that I got some Thai Baht as well. I haven't changed that many yet though as I don't like carrying a large amount of money on me and I'm bringing my credit card with me. But are the currency I've got the best and what is the best thing to do money wise when i travel around these countries? What about Cambodia and Laos I have read that there aren't that many ATM's around? My bank lady didn't seem to know much about anything to be honest!

I take travellers checks too! I get them free of cost from my credit union back home. You don't have to change any money over to Thai baht until you arrive in Thailand. The money changers at the airport, banks really, are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will get a better rate in Thailand than anywhere back in your home countryl

When you cash a TC you will pay a 33 baht service charge per check, so only get the largest denominations you can get, usually 100 dollars or 100 Euros. Any surplus Thai baht can be exchanged back into your home currency when you depart the airport. When you change your money over make sure that you get some small bills for paying taxi cabs and street vendors. Even a 500 baht note may be too high for some vendors.

There are lots of ATM machines in Thailand. Remember, each time you use an ATM you will pay a fee! Plus you will end up with interest charges when you get your statement. So if you use a credit card at an ATM take out enough to last for several days. Some credit cards have big fees for using ATM's overseas - check with your bank and see how much you will be charged! (I only carry credit cards for back up or emergencies.)

My advice is not to charge a lot on credit cards, especially in small stores or restaurants, you stand a chance that your credit card number will be stolen and you won't know you have illegal charges on your card until you return home - pay cash - ATM's are safer!

Laos and Cambodia will take some U.S. dollars. You do have to change some money over and you should likewise get small denomination bills for small purchases. Spend up or change your Laos and Cambodian money before you leave those countries, hard to unload those currencies after you leave those countries.

A little Thai baht is also accepted in the border locations close to Cambodia and Laos.

Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia offer some sort of money exchange at the airport. You do know that you need a visa for Laos and Cambodia - Thailand give you a free 30 days at the airport. You can get another free 30 days for Thailand when you return there from another country. Plan your Laos or Cambodia trips BEFORE the free 30 days is up!

Have fun.