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Money Around Laos and Cambodia

Travel Forums Asia Money Around Laos and Cambodia

1. Posted by sxmichel (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

sxmichel has indicated that this thread is about Laos

Hi,

I am flying out from London on Thursday, looking forward to the trip.
One thing that still concerns me is the money situation.

I cant work out what propportion of cash/travelers cheques I need.
Im budgeting for around £600-£700 for 4 weeks.

I was wondering if I should get it all in cash/travelers..or maybe not to carry alot with me and co-ordinate travelling down through loas and meeting with an ATM..

strange question I know.

Please help

Sascha

2. Posted by worldwideG (Respected Member 117 posts) 9y

hi sascha, i'm in laos now having a ball. it's a great place. there is only an atm in vientianne. you'll need to carry a mixture of kip and cheques. in most towns you can exchange cheques at decent rates. i'd suggest carrying between 50 and 100 pounds in kip. that should last you a while before you need to change cheques. i would try and keep a reserve of cash in your bag for emergencies. i'd suggest storing 100,000 kip which is same as $10 if you run out of cash and can't change cheques. have a great time in laos. hope this helps, pete

3. Posted by Laura_B (Respected Member 352 posts) 9y

Quoting sxmichel

Hi,

I am flying out from London on Thursday, looking forward to the trip.
One thing that still concerns me is the money situation.

I cant work out what propportion of cash/travelers cheques I need.
Im budgeting for around £600-£700 for 4 weeks.

I was wondering if I should get it all in cash/travelers..or maybe not to carry alot with me and co-ordinate travelling down through loas and meeting with an ATM..

strange question I know.

Please help

Sascha

You can use dollars in Laos if you cannot get hold of any kip. It's hard to get hold of any outside the country as it's a very weak currency. I would suggest having some dollar bills, stick to small amounts i.e $1, $5 & $10, any more then that, you might have trouble getting change. Make sure they're new and don't have any tears in, otherwise they won't be accepted. Have some travellers cheques (in dollars) for back up, I was able to change these easily in Luang Prabang & Vientiane (count your money carefully though & watch they don't give you any old dollar bills)

Cambodia: dollars are widely used again, the local currency riel is usually used for small purchases, it's difficult to get hold of it outside the country as like Laos kip it's a weak currency. There were atm machines in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap which dispence dollar bills.

Once you leave Laos/Cambodia, make sure you've used all your kip or riel as you cannot exchange it outside those countries.

4. Posted by stiltskin (Full Member 45 posts) 9y

Some extra advice on travellers cheques - firstly, make sure they're in small denominations, especially for places like Laos that have a really weak currency. You'll have problems changing large denomination cheques and then also carrying and spending all that currency. Secondly - if you're changing cheques in smaller rural banks outside the larger cities, ask first if they've got enough cash to change the cheque and also what denomination the notes are. I ended up having to change a 50 quid travellers cheque in Vang Vien, and it was only after I had signed it that they told me they only had 2000 Kip notes. And with 10,000 to a pound, that was two carrier bags full of notes!!!

5. Posted by buzzard (Respected Member 187 posts) 9y

Ah yes, all that Kip in Laos. Those small notes make a big bundle. I had the same problem in Myanmar. The largest bank note there is 1000 kyat, which is less than a dollar. Whenever I exchange $100 (because you get a better exchange rate that way) the amount of kyat that get is crazy. And one place in Bagan was out of 1000 kyat notes one time, so I had it all in 500 kyat notes. What a mess! I needed a large bag to take it all away!