Welcome to the Travel Forums

Why join TravelBlog?

  • Membership is Free and Easy
  • Your travel questions answered in minutes!
  • Become part of the friendliest online travel community.
Join Now! Join TravelBlog* today and meet thousands of friendly travelers. Don't wait! Join today and make your adventures even more enjoyable.

* Blogging is not required to participate in the forums

Money situation

What to do about money?
17 years ago, April 22nd 2006 No: 1 Msg: #5252  
N Posts: 4
I will be travelling up with my girlfriend from Singapore through Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos for a month heading up to China where we will spend 3 months.

I was wondering what the best thing to do with money is. Should I take out a certain amount of the relevant currency before I enter each country? How easy or difficult is it to take out money? Is it correct you can use US dollars in Cambodia and Vietnam? Is it worth converting English pounds into US dollars before we go for a better exchange rate etc? or doing anything like that? Reply to this

17 years ago, April 25th 2006 No: 2 Msg: #5293  
We have traveled a lot in SE Asia and have always taken traveler's checks and then used our ATM card. As long as your ATM card has a Visa or MC symbol on it, you can get money out of many ATMs in each country's currency.

In Thailand we always exchange some money at the airport bank stations as they have one of the best rates. You can also cash traveler's checks in Thailand at many of the banks (but be aware of business hours or you can end up stranded with no way to change TCs).

You can use US dollars in both Cambodia (a lot) and Vietnam (not as much) but I recommend getting some money in their respective currencies as well, because you will want to use their money for change if you can. Cambodia doesn't use coin and their money actually ends up being the change from US dollars.

When we flew into China (Beijing), we found that there were many people willing to "help" you the second you come through baggage claim. Some of them are harmless and I am sure some are not but you just have to use your best judgement. Mostly they want to help you get out of the airport and into a taxi that will take you to the hotel that will give them a break for bring you there. If you already have hotel reservations, you can tell them no, that you are already going to a specific hotel and they will leave you alone. You can grab a regular taxi into town from the taxi stand out front that will take you to whatever hotel you have reservations at. I recommend changing money at the airport as you can't use US dollars anywhere, in fact you will find even using TC hard without cashing them first. The ATMs with visa or mc on them will give you Chinese money with no problem.

As far as the exchange rate between pounds or USD into other currency, I guess it depends on how good of an exchange rate you get going from pounds to USD or whatever. In Thailand, the best exchange rate for USD is if you use larger denominations or TCs. I am not sure if this applies in other parts of Asia or not as we always used the TCs as much as we could. This might be the same for other country's currency as well.

Hope this helps. Reply to this

17 years ago, April 25th 2006 No: 3 Msg: #5295  
Another thing is that you can switch any money you don't want back to your own currency before checking in at the airport (minus any exiting fees you might need to make). We did this frequently when we had lots left over but didn't worry too much if it was just a few dollars as the souvenoir (sp?) was nice as well. Reply to this

17 years ago, April 28th 2006 No: 4 Msg: #5359  
N Posts: 4
Wow! That's loads of help.

Thanks very much. Much appreciated. Reply to this

Tot: 0.02s; Tpl: 0.004s; cc: 5; qc: 10; dbt: 0.0081s; 1; m:domysql w:travelblog (; sld: 1; ; mem: 962.2kb