I am starting my travels in 2 weeks!! woo hoo!! and just wondering what currency is best.
I have been asked by freinds and family what currency i will need as a little going away present. So was wondering whether US dollars (USD) can be used in most places. I am in southe east aisa. Hong Kong - Vietnam - Cambodia - Thailand - Malaysia
Any responses would be great.
I'm taking a stash of USD as backup money as it is widely used in the majority of South East Asia. I'll try and use local currency from the ATM's where possible though
All the countries in SEA will accept dollars and convert you to their currency. In Cambodia and VN, the dollar is the de facto currency. There most visitors will use dollars for larger expenses: hotel, tours, trains, etc, and local currency for smaller expenses such as food and local transport. I always have both on me when walking around Cambodia & VN. Have a great trip.
In Thailand, Malaysia and HK the local currency tends to be used, but in Cambodia and Vietnam US dollars are widely accepted. I found an ATM in Siem Reap, Cambodia, which dispensed $US as well as the local currency, but I think the norm is for only the local currency to be dispensed. Make sure you always have some local money to hand for smaller purchases such as bottles of water etc.
I don't think you can get Vietnamese or Cambodian currency outside of those countries; make sure you change any Dong or Riel before you leave these 2 places. As far as your present goes, I would definitely go for $$.