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Money - What Should I Do?

Travel Forums Asia Money - What Should I Do?

1. Posted by N1U9F8C7 (Budding Member 47 posts) 6y

I’ve done a lot of research on my trip to Asia from December this year, I’m from the UK and am visiting these Asian Countries in this order:

Malaysia
Thailand
Laos
Cambodia
Vietnam
China
Hong Kong + Macau

I am going to get a Nationwide bank card to get the best fees for overseas withdrawals and I will be using online banking to put money into that account from my main one whenever I need to do so. That will stop fraudsters taking any money from my account if I have as little in there as possible.

So I want to know what I should do with my money?

I see on these and other forums that everything in Laos + Cambodia mainly is all priced in US Dollars, does this mean I will need to change some of my GBP’s up for USD’s??

Some people say its worth having a few USD dollars, but how much is a few?

Also, if I’m in a country like Thailand and I’m going over to Laos, is there somewhere around that will even change GBP to USD?

I need as much info as possible on all this, so please feel free to post whatever concerning money while travelling Asia.

Thanks a lot and happy travels.

2. Posted by Araluen (Respected Member 346 posts) 6y

Quoting N1U9F8C7

I’ve done a lot of research on my trip to Asia from December this year, I’m from the UK and am visiting these Asian Countries in this order:

Malaysia
Thailand
Laos
Cambodia
Vietnam
China
Hong Kong + Macau

I am going to get a Nationwide bank card to get the best fees for overseas withdrawals and I will be using online banking to put money into that account from my main one whenever I need to do so. That will stop fraudsters taking any money from my account if I have as little in there as possible.

So I want to know what I should do with my money?

I see on these and other forums that everything in Laos + Cambodia mainly is all priced in US Dollars, does this mean I will need to change some of my GBP’s up for USD’s??

Some people say its worth having a few USD dollars, but how much is a few?

Also, if I’m in a country like Thailand and I’m going over to Laos, is there somewhere around that will even change GBP to USD?

I need as much info as possible on all this, so please feel free to post whatever concerning money while travelling Asia.

Thanks a lot and happy travels.

You will need Ringgit for Malaysia. 1 GBP is around 4.85 - that's MYR4 and 85 sen. When I purchased meals on the plane, I paid in Australian dollars and received MYR in change. If you're a YHA member you don't get charged commission when changing currency at Travelex.
US Dollars for Cambodia. I took $200 with me.

RE using computers - when using public computers be careful. Some are not "safe." In Siem Reap I asked the guesthouse owner where I'd find an internet cafe. His words were there's 3 or 4 around here but don't use any of them. Key loggers use them and each time you use it your details are sent.

3. Posted by karazyal (Travel Guru 1594 posts) 6y

Quoting N1U9F8C7

I’ve done a lot of research on my trip to Asia from December this year, I’m from the UK and am visiting these Asian Countries in this order:

Malaysia
Thailand
Laos
Cambodia
Vietnam
China
Hong Kong + Macau

I am going to get a Nationwide bank card to get the best fees for overseas withdrawals and I will be using online banking to put money into that account from my main one whenever I need to do so. That will stop fraudsters taking any money from my account if I have as little in there as possible.

So I want to know what I should do with my money?

I see on these and other forums that everything in Laos + Cambodia mainly is all priced in US Dollars, does this mean I will need to change some of my GBP’s up for USD’s??

Some people say its worth having a few USD dollars, but how much is a few?

Also, if I’m in a country like Thailand and I’m going over to Laos, is there somewhere around that will even change GBP to USD?

I need as much info as possible on all this, so please feel free to post whatever concerning money while travelling Asia.

Thanks a lot and happy travels.

British pounds are easy to cash in most countries. It is okay to take some cash with you just make sure the bills are not in poor condition or ratty or dirty and and choose newer denominations. For convenience bring larger bills to cut down on bulk. If you need dollars when you are in Thailand you may have to convert pounds to Thai baht and then to dollars. Some Thai money is used in the border areas with Cambodia and Laos. US dollars is a de facto currency in Vietnam but you will still need some dong to make it easier to pay for stuff. Just a word of caution - don't leave the communist countries with their currency because it is hard to unload their money in other countries. No one wants VN dong, Lao and Cambodian money!

Lots of links on currency hints under Google, etc.
http://goseasia.about.com/od/vietnam/a/vnmoney.htm

Remember to notify your bank what country you will be visiting in so they do not suspect that when an ATM withdrawal comes up from China they first think it is fraudulent and deny the withdrawal! Of the list of countries from your post I Think Thailand is one of the fairest when it comes to money changing because they use real banks, some of the "money changers" in other countries are less fair in my opinion. But Thailand also has a 150 baht surcharge added to ATM withdrawals. So take out the most you can at one time so you don't have a lot of charges for small withdrawals. I prefer to take cash out of an ATM and then pay cash for smaller cheap purchases. I never use a credit card or debit card to pay for meals in restaurants or other cheap purchases to cut down on CC fraud. In Thailand it is easy to cash a Travelers Check, probably the easiest of the countries on your list. The fee to cash a TC in Thailand is 33 baht, so if you can get your TC's through your bank or credit union without any fees that is a good deal. Only take the largest denominations you can get. Other countries less flexible and generous than Thailand but not totally impossible to cash a TC in even if you have to settle for a lower rate at a hotel. (I get my travelers checks without any fees from my credit union, so for me this is a painless option that I take advantage of.)

Have cash, debit card and a credit card available. The credit card may come in handy for emergencies that may come up. I have never used a credit card overseas but I have used my debit card pretty often in many countries. Don't rely only on one card for cash, it that card becomes damaged or doesn't come out of an ATM you are stuck if it is your only source of money. I prefer to get cash from an ATM when the bank it belongs to is still open. This way the bank employee can get your card if it doesn't come out.

For many years I have been using local overseas internet shops for checking my bank and credit union balances and for moving cash around. So far I haven't been a fraud or key logging victim yet! I have a flash drive with Firefox portable downloaded to it. This flash drive has the same home page that my home computer has. When I shove that FD into an internet shop computer it is like having my home computer with me. On this flash drive I also have Notepad. On the Notepad I have links and other information important to me. When I access my bank using Firefox I then cut and paste from Notepad to the account number and password blanks to get on line. I do not use any direct key punching. Works for me! Firefox and Notepad and other apps are free downloads. A flash drive can be locked in a security box and most laptops won't fit in! Make sure you password protect your FD and even a laptop if you take one so no one else can use those devices.

(The flash drives I use now are U3 Flash Drives by Memorex. Besides Firefox they also have other apps available like Opera. Choose an internet shop that has newer computers and a working anti-virus program in use. I also have Clam Win antivirus on my FD to check it for bugs. If you do take a FD practice with it at home and build up your bookmarks and toolbar saves. Some FD's open automatically (U3) and some you have to go to "My COMPUTER" and find the drive and open from there. Remember to PASSWORD PROTECT any device that has your personal data on it!)

Good luck.