Me and my partner are leaving on the 18th October and flying to Bangkok, we will be making our way through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Maylasia, Singapore then leave on The 21st December to stay with family in Australia.
What is the best currency to use out in Asia? we are looking at using sterling and usd in travellors cheques as a freind said Thailand prefers Sterling? what is the best way to take our money? and what currency?
Do you think 2 months in long enough to go through these countries?
Here is my 2 cents worth.
If you intend to use a debit card or credit card in overseas notify your bank where you will be. Otherwise your withdrawals may be denied because of suspected fraud! My credit union issues travelers checks without any charge maybe there are banks in your country that do the same thing. Don't rely only on a single credit or debit card. Your only card may get stuck in an ATM or lost. Know how to report lost, stolen credit cards and travelers checks!
When you use your debit card overseas the cash you get out will be in that country's currency for Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. I never used a card in Cambodia, Vietnam or Laos. I had US currency with me there. But that was many years ago!
In Thailand debit cards, travelers checks and cash - no problem! Most cash currencies like UK pounds are exchanged freely. Only bring the largest denomination currency so you don't need a shopping bag to carry your cash in. Wait until you get to Thailand to change your pounds over to Thai baht for the best rate. Bank money changers available at the airport 24 hours a day. In the big cities no problem changing cash or travelers checks. Banks and mini bank money changers in Thailand are open 7 days a week with good hours in tourist areas.
Thailand is the best for travelers checks but other Asian countries not as easy - but not impossible! Rates for conversion of a TC in Thailand are favorable. But other places not as good. Travelers checks in UK currency are accepted in Thailand.
US dollars are a de facto currency for Cambodia and accepted in Vietnam and Laos. Don't leave those countries with their currency because no one else wants their money. You will need some of their currency for cheap purchases.
You shouldn't have a problem with pounds in Malaysia, Singapore and of course Australia.
Check your visa requirements for each country. Travel light. Leave valuables at home. Internet shops available and some hotels have free wifi.
I wouldn't bother with travellers' cheques - just use your debit card to withdraw cash, and take some $US with you. We found travellers' cheques a pain to change outside Thailand and were glad to get rid of our last ones in Laos! In Laos, Cambodia and Vietman US$ are widely used, especially for larger purchases such as accommodation; the local currency can be used for smaller amounts.
2 months is tight to try and cover all those countries; I'd consider cutting out Malaysia at least. I spent 3 months in Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar and it felt a little rushed at times.