Leaving for my trip TOMORROW for South-East Asia! Four months starting in Bangkok, going to the islands, then coming back up, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and then doing Northern Thailand.
I've saved up and have got myself some Thai Baht and some dollars. Just wondering in Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam whether it is better to use the local currency or pay in other currencies? Leaving tomorrow, flight is at 10:04 so any help asap is helpful, thanks!
Generally the local currencies are used when dealing with smaller amounts, such as for bottled water and snacks etc. For more expensive things such accommodation, tours etc $US is the preferred currency.
It's possible to pay in Thai Baht for certain things in Laos; I remember getting a restaurant bill in Luang Prabang and the total was calculated in Kip, Baht, Dollar and Euro!
Just have a small amount of Kip with you, just in case... :-)
I took a few US dollars when I went to Vietnam a couple of years ago, but even though most hotels quoted their prices in US dollars they still accepted payment in Vietnamese Dong. I think that was pretty much the standard procedure - list prices in US dollars, but pay in Dong.
It is better to hav Kip in Laos because if you make payment using Thai Baht, you will notice that it is more expensive. As for Cambodia, I think they prefer Dollars.
In Vietnam, Cambodia pay for small things like moto-rides and in local currency (ie anything under a dollar) - if you pay in dollars the drivers etc. never seem to have change so you end up paying extra!!!!!!! For everything else use dollars. Thailand is baht all the way. You can also pay with Baht in Cambodia in some places, mostly near the Thai border.