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Currency while visiting

Denver, Colorado
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410 posts
199 reviews
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Currency while visiting

I'll be in Laos about a week. I will be coming from Bangkok.

Can I get by with just TB and (pristine) USD?

I don't mind getting local currency but my planning will be much easier if I can just use up my Baht while in Laos. I'll be with a tour so my needs will be pretty limited to some meals and souvenirs.

Vientiane
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6,122 posts
82 reviews
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1. Re: Currency while visiting

The official government policy is to pay in Kip. While Baht will be accepted and USD will be accepted at hotels it is rude to pay in these currencies. After all, can I pay in Canadian $ in the US?

It is no problem to change your currency to kip. Your USD need to be in good condition - no nicks, marks etc; they do not need to be pristine.

Sydney, Australia
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2,977 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Currency while visiting

You would be better converting, cause you will get your change in Kip and unless you are really savvy, you won't know what you are being charged and what change you are getting.

It's easy to change.

Melbourne, Australia
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2,521 posts
145 reviews
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3. Re: Currency while visiting

won't need Baht and just change your US dollars to Kip. Very easy and hassle free. Kip is their currency.

Denver, Colorado
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410 posts
199 reviews
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4. Re: Currency while visiting

thanks

Rufuscat - Along the US-Canadian border there are stores that take what you have.

As Laos matures the retailers that interact with tourists will decide it is more important to take the tourists' money than the currency it is in. That's why prices in Singapore are often in Yen and the Turks take Euros and USD. In Indonesia I was never sure whether the prices posted in dollars meant US or Aussie.

Cologne, Germany
Destination Expert
for Cologne, Laos
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7,316 posts
49 reviews
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5. Re: Currency while visiting

They will take Baht at the border, but you will pay more than with Kip (a bottle of water was 5000 kip, but 50 or 60 bhat, nearly double the price).

But overall I think tourists have a bit of social responsibility, and using US $ or Baht will make it easier for money leaving the country again, rather than spend in Laos. This is why you see everywhere at the border signs advising to pay in Kip.

And I don't see the problem exchanging money, it is quick. And you might not get in a situation where they don't accept anything but Kip (as they might not want the hassle of trying to exchange money tourists were too lazy to exchange themselves...). Overall, I think it shows a bit respect to use the local currency

Melbourne, Australia
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1,788 posts
201 reviews
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6. Re: Currency while visiting

Hi,

The only place you may need $US is for the visa on arrival. After that, kip is the go. As another option, it's even easier to simply withdraw kip from ATMs (which are everywhere) and avoid having to convert. Just check with your bank for fees and charges. For the small amount of fees, I found this to be the easier and most convenient. And you avoid carrying large amounts of cash around too.

Enjoy!

- K

kgbtravels.blogspot.com.au

Vientiane
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6,122 posts
82 reviews
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7. Re: Currency while visiting

"As Laos matures". I think Lao has matured and I find this comment silly and mildly offensive.

8. Re: Currency while visiting

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