Currency and money spending in Laos
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Aug 7, 2013 11:56 PM Last Post By: lucapal
Aug 2, 2013 1:25 PM
Currency and money spending in LaosHi again!
Knowing that in Laos they accept three different currencies (Lao kip for low price purchases), Baht for average price purchases and dollar for expensive things, in what currency would you recommend me taking money from ATM? Before entering Laos we will spend 3 nights in Thailand so we will already have Baht in our pockets. Should we take more money in Baht or mix them with Lao kip too? For sure we want the one that is everywhere accepted (i.e. in the street markets, shops and restaurants).
I read that is better withdrawing money in ATMs that are located outside bank branches and not in any ATM as they tend to be more 'safe'... Well, maybe best option for us is taking some money from ATM tin the airports than taking money from the cities (we travel via all three main airports, Pakse, Vientiane and L. Prabang one). What is the safest to do?
On average, how much money we should expect spending per day in Laos? I know this is VERY relative question and i don't expect exact numbers but I would like to have an idea to make a little planning. We have hotels with breakfast included and flights between cities paid already, so I'm refering to how much money we will be expecting to spend for a light lunch/snack and a dinner (in good restaurant - don't want to risk here:-) , plus for some shopping in the street markets (i have no clue about the prices there) , plus transfers with a tuk tuk or a car driver to places around the cities (i.e. falls etc, for instance in Pakse we would be going to Bolaven Plateau ...). Btw, we are two persons.
Any answer on any of the above questions is precious for us as we will be travelling next week and we are in the end of our preparations/planning for the trip.
Aug 2, 2013 1:55 PM
1My daily budget this past April was $25 for hotel, $20 for meals, $10+ for snacks/massages/etc. Increase the hotel allocation based on the accommodations you're using to get a rough estimate for your needs.
Most of the ATM's I saw in LP were in well populated areas, pretty safe in my opinion. Aside from the airport the few ATM's in Pakse were located outside banks. I don't recall ATM's dispensing any other currency except Kips.
FYI, the majority of ATM's in Thailand charge a 150 baht surcharge on top of whatever service and currency conversion fees levied by your bank. I preferred cashing the largest traveler check I had, US$500, since there's a single 100 baht transaction fee per check.
Aug 3, 2013 6:04 AM
Aug 3, 2013 6:56 AM
3The only time USD is best is when paying for your Laos visa or maybe at some higher-priced hotels or when buying airline tickets. Thai baht is readily accepted along the slow boat route from the border to Luang Prabang. Pretty much everywhere else Lao Kip is the way to go.
Aug 3, 2013 9:16 AM
4thank you guys!
@Vientaineboy: Currency info I found in my LP book on Laos and is written about three currencies. That is why I asked for clarification. And about the ATM outside bank branches I read on the net. I don't think is anything wrong asking if this is true. Thank you for the feedback.
@kamaaina: Accommodation is paid so I was refering to all the rest (transports, meals, water/drinks and markets). I didn't know about Thai charging 150 Baht on top as an extra fee. Thanks for letting me know! We'll try withdraw money once:-) :-)
It seems that 40USD - 50USD per day are more or less enough.
Aug 5, 2013 2:13 AM
Aug 7, 2013 8:03 AM
6I'm in Laos now(after quite a few years),and I have used kip for everything.Rooms,food,transport and all other expenses.
Plenty of ATMs though the max, withdrawal is very low (often only 1 million,about 100 euros..not a lot for a couple.Of course you can use it several times in succession,or you can go there every day or two ;-)
Aug 7, 2013 8:20 AM
7As mentioned in #2 you can withdraw up to 2 milion from ANZ ATMs
Aug 7, 2013 8:38 AM
Aug 7, 2013 9:30 PM
9#9 - You can now withdraw up to 4 million kip at ANZ ATMs - or at least some of them. I did at the one near bor pen yang this week.
#10 - ANZ ATMs are all over Vientiane - outside all M-Point stores, morning market, 2 on the riverfront etc. They are not common outside of Vientiane though.
Aug 7, 2013 11:56 PM
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