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Currency advice in Asia

Travel Forums Asia Currency advice in Asia

1. Posted by sambo123 (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

Hi!

I'm after some advice on which currency to take for my travels in Asia. Some websites say everwhere excepts US dollars othes say take the local currency. Is there anyone that could give me an idea of what to take for which countries?

The places i'm going are:

Hong Kong
China
Vietnam
Cambodia
Thailand
Malaysia

Really appreciate the help!

Cheers,

2. Posted by kcsun (Budding Member 15 posts) 7y

Currencies used commonly as follows :-

H.Kong = US$ & Hong Kong $
China = US$ & Yuan ( Change when you arrived in China to Yuan )

Vietnam & Cambodia = US$ with small change of local currencies ( Change local currencies when you arrive at respective countries )
Thailand = Thai Bath ( US$ - Change at local banks to get better rates )

Malaysia = Malaysian Ringgit ( US$ - Change at Money Changers to get better rates )

.........

So bring along US$ to change as it is widely used here. Make sure your US$ ( 20 notes and above are in GOOD condition). Else banks and Money Changers would not accept it.

Hope his helps...

Have an Enjoyable trip.

3. Posted by sambo123 (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

Perfect!

Thanks thats exactly what i needed to know.

4. Posted by wotthefiqh (Inactive 1447 posts) 7y

Might be an idea to check about the year of issue of the US notes if you take any.
I took $1000 USD to Indonesia last month and 4 of the $100 bills were issued pre-2003 and I couldn't exchange them anywhere, banks included.
Don't know if that kind of rule applies anywhere else in Asia.

I presume pre-2003 USD were much easier to counterfeit.

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Mar-2009, at 08:09 by wotthefiqh ]

5. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1652 posts) 7y

Quoting sambo123

Hi!

I'm after some advice on which currency to take for my travels in Asia. Some websites say everwhere excepts US dollars othes say take the local currency. Is there anyone that could give me an idea of what to take for which countries?

The places i'm going are:

Hong Kong
China
Vietnam
Cambodia
Thailand
Malaysia

Really appreciate the help!

Cheers,

You can change your own currency in these countries to their currency. U.S. dollars can be used in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos but you will also have to have some of their own currency or you will be paying too much for everything. In Thailand you use Thai baht. You can change money over at the airport and in many small banks all over the country. Thailand probably gives you the best exchange because they mostly use real banks and not private money changers. In Thailand the rates are set daily and there is not a lot of difference between banks.

You can bring some U.S. currency but your UK pounds can be exchanged pretty easy most countries. I think you will get a better rate of exchange if you wait until you arrive at the country you want to visit. Usually, when you change your currency in a different country you get a lower rate, especially after you factor in the commissions you pay. Like the previous post said there some older U.S. currency that may not be accepted because there is too many counterfeit bills out there.

Don't leave Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam with their money, spend it down or cash it in. Hard to get rid of that currency when you are in other countries. I wouldn't change a lot of UK pounds over to U.S. dollars and then convert those dollars over to a third currency because of the extra commissions you would pay. UK pounds (except for the recent drop) are a stable currency and usually easy to exchange overseas.

Good luck.

[ Edit: Fixed quote ]

6. Posted by sambo123 (Budding Member 45 posts) 7y

Thanks for all your advice. So you reckon get all the money when i get there? might just change a few pounds into dollars for rainy days but will follow your advice. Thanks!

7. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1652 posts) 7y

Quoting sambo123

Thanks for all your advice. So you reckon get all the money when i get there? might just change a few pounds into dollars for rainy days but will follow your advice. Thanks!

If you can get some US dollars ahead of time (for Vietnam and Cambodia) in Britain without losing anything on commission charges I don't see any problem with that. Just don't convert those US dollars to a third currency because it may cost you more in commissions. You will still be changing UK pounds for the majority of you spending money in the different countries. Remember don't leave Cambodia or Vietnam with their money. In Cambodia along the border with Thailand you can sometimes use a little Thai baht too.

You can also use ATM machines in some of the countries. You do have to tell your bank or credit union that you will be overseas or the ATM may not approve the withdrawal. I use debit cards in Thailand all the time and in the Philippines and Hong Kong every now and then. Some high fees may apply to ATM withdrawals - check first. There are some banks and credit unions that have free ATM withdrawals when overseas.

Have a good trip.

[ Edit: Edited on 30-Mar-2009, at 07:24 by karazyal ]