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Currency

Birmingham
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75 posts
34 reviews
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Currency

We are travelling to Laos in a weeks time and wondered how easy it is to exchange UK pounds sterling. Or should we take US dollars with us?

Vientiane, Laos
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106 posts
31 reviews
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1. Re: Currency

As has been answered many times here already, (use the search function), it is easy to exchange Pds to Kip

sydney
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for Cambodia
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2. Re: Currency

ditto above - or use an ATM card - the machines spit out kip

London, United...
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46 posts
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3. Re: Currency

I just used USD to pay for hotels and withdrew cash as I went. Plenty of money changers if need.

Depending on what your bank charges are for international withdrawals there isn't much in it and I find it easier. Your Kip will go a long way when buying food, drinks etc.

Enjoy Laos!

Vientiane
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6,267 posts
86 reviews
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4. Re: Currency

When in Lao, pay in Kip.

Chiang Mai, Thailand
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5. Re: Currency

These answers are not correct. There are three currencies that are accepted in Laos: Kip, USD and Thai Baht. Lao Kip currency denominations are extremely small so most medium-sized transactions (hotels, etc.) are not done in Kip, but usually Thai Baht (or USD). Kip is for small transactions. Thai Baht is the second most common currency. Yes, there are now lots of ATMs in the bigger towns (Vientiane, Luang Prabang). It is actually good to bring in Thai Baht or USD, and then change for some Kip for local purchases. It doesn't get simpler than that, unfortunately.

Vientiane
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6. Re: Currency

"These answers are not correct. There are three currencies that are accepted in Laos: Kip, USD and Thai Baht"

The answer given by #5 is totally incorrect. The official currency of Lao is Kip, not dollars and not Baht. Hotel bills are printed usually in 3, sometimes in 4 currencies, (Euro). However, I repeat the official currency is Kip, and most would prefer that you pay in that currency. It is official government policy as well.

To say that medium to large transactions are only done in Baht or Kip is nonsensical. The car I purchased, for example, had its price advertised in Kip. Please only post information if you really know what you are talking about.

Vientiane, Laos
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for Vientiane
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7. Re: Currency

This came up a month or 2 ago also.

Ru - you said "To say that medium to large transactions are only done in Baht or Kip is nonsensical".

He didnt say "only done", he said "most", which is a fair comment, not nonensical at all. He didnt say baht & dollars were official currency either - he said they were accepted, which is correct.

Yes the official currency is kip, and there is a half hearted effort by the chamber of commerce to remind people of this, with notices in Talat Sao etc, but most large transactions are in USD and Thai baht. My recent motorbike purchase was quoted to me only in USD and baht. Most larger guesthouses quote and accept $. Land, houses and rents are almost always priced in USD/baht. Many contracts and non-government salaries are in USD. The vast majority of Lao people who have money keep a USD or baht bank account. Nearly all car showrooms quote in baht/USD when you enquire. Many hardware/tool shops quote baht. etc etc etc

I am definitely not against promoting the use of kip, but the reality is that the use of USD and baht is widespread all over the country. These are the currencies of business, outside of everyday shops & services, whether you, I or anyone else likes it or not.

Vientiane
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8. Re: Currency

The info provided by Cramp is not correct. I have seen houses, cars all advertised in Kip. I paid for my car in Kip. Guesthouses and hotels quote in Ki, Baht and UDS. While there are still some vendors who cannot get out of the USD/Baht habit, many are changing. Get with the times, Cramp.

Vientiane, Laos
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for Vientiane
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9. Re: Currency

Here is the previous post on this debate;

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g295415-i9321-k557…

All posters, particularly those that live in Vnte & LP, agree on the common use of USD/baht away from everyday purchases. (Ru - you might notice that nearly all your posts have been deleted here due to being obnoxious).

Kolao advertise in kip as they are part-goverrnment owned. Similarly cars advertised in the Vientiane Times are sometimes in kip as the paper is government owned. This represents a tiny proportion of car sales. Elsewhere - all the car yards along T4 road, T2 road and LP road (the 3 main car trading areas) quote in USD/baht. All second hand car sales are in USD. All hotels over about $20 always accept kip but almost always give their first quote in $. Passport for my child last month - govt passport office asked for $. All the Lao people in my office, working for a Lao company - paid in USD. Alcohol shops at That Dam - USD.

Also, the fact that there are so very many money changers around outside of tourist areas - almost every gold shop, minimart in the country - attests to the very lively use of these 3 main currencies. Policy is one thing, reality another.

Its not so much me needing to get with the times Ru, more a need for you to acknowledge what you must surely already know - without sticking to your completely incorrect view just for the sake of obstinacy.

Vientiane, Laos
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106 posts
31 reviews
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10. Re: Currency

Bluecramp, if you go into the Kolao shop on T2, you will notice that all their cars are advertised in Kip. Their advertisements in the Vientiane Times are also in Kip.