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Finance and money forum

Will i get ripped off my using USD in Vitenam/loas/cambodia

Posted by lolabunny on 30/8/2010 at 18:29

Hi,

Heading to vitenam/loas/cambodia for 5weeks in October.
Was just going to use my debit card to take money out of the atms over there. Can u get USD out of the cash machines or would it be better to take some USD form home and then the currency of the countries from atms when im out there.
Im frm the UK so dnt want to change all my money to USD as i wud loose out on the exchange rate.

Also if i use USD will i get ripped off? sud i stick to their currency?

thx :)

#1 lolabunny has been a member since 30/8/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by Archmichael on 30/8/2010 at 21:09

ATM's in Viet Nam and Lao do not dispense dollars, only local currency. I can't speak to the situation in Cambodia, as I've not been yet.

Having some USD along can be useful. New, clean bills, without tears and such, $20 bills and up. Useful mainly for changing into Dong or Kip, depending upon where you plan to go and how you plan to travel. Remote areas tend not to have ATM's. A lot of hotels will charge (on credit cards) in dollars, some give you the option of going with USD or local currency. Smaller places seem less likely to charge in or accept dollars (often cash only).

In my experience, sometimes the price when quoted in Dong or Kip is a bit better than when quoted in $. Sometimes not. You just have to pay attention and keep the exchange rate in mind. For personal reasons (personal philosophy), I prefer to use the currency of the country I am in. Also, keep in mind that, officially or otherwise, Western tourists are often charged a higher rate for things than local people (transportation, admissions, etc.).

#2 Archmichael has been a member since 23/7/2008. Location: Global Village. Posts: 396


Posted by travellingsarah on 31/8/2010 at 11:04 TF writer

Posted from within Vietnam.

As you're from the UK I'd suggest bringing a small amount of $ with you (as in, not a lot because as you say, you have to pay commission / lose on exchange rate to get it) to cover the time before you find an ATM - there is likely to be one at the airport but they are sometimes out of order so best to be safe. You'll be able to use the $ no problem. Then just use money from ATMs, but bring a couple of cards just in case!

And as Archmichael says, just keep an eye on the exchange rate that places are using - it is usually calculated at 19,000 to the $ but some places, usually hotels / tour operators sometimes try to sneak it in at a worse rate. So don't be afraid to borrow their calculator to double check.

#3 travellingsarah has been a member since 23/3/2010. Location: Vietnam. Posts: 679
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Posted by TonyL on 2/9/2010 at 10:41

In Cambodia all ATM's that I have encountered will dispense US dollars - $2,000=00 maximum in one withdrawal. In Laos and Vietnam you will only get local currency and in fairly limited amounts per withdrawal. Some scams still exist at ATM's in Laos.

Having said that, there are not many ATM's in Cambodia outside the very major tourist cities.

Hope that this helps.

#4 TonyL has been a member since 19/12/2006. Posts: 46

Posted by lolabunny on 2/9/2010 at 16:39

thx guys,

this really helps me out!! so il take a mixture, some dollars prob about $200, cards and then use their currency. cant wait to go :)

#5 lolabunny has been a member since 30/8/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by lolabunny on 2/9/2010 at 17:20

thx guys,

this really helps me out!! so il take a mixture, some dollars prob about $200, cards and then use their currency. cant wait to go :)

#6 lolabunny has been a member since 30/8/2010. Posts: 3

Posted by joeaddison79 on 5/1/2011 at 02:14

You might have to pay more at street vendors or small hotels, but at big stores it will be about the same. The risk is if you have USD many people will want more money.

If you live near Michigan I will swap you VND for USD right now. My girlfriend is here for 1 month and she wants a computer for her brother. She has VND and would like to avoid the bank conversion rate / fees. We will exchange currency with you at the current market rate. If you are interested, email me at:

joeaddison79@gmail.com

#7 joeaddison79 has been a member since 5/1/2011. Posts: 7

Posted by francesstella on 5/1/2011 at 18:30

Hey Lola,

Just a quick note to say it's definitely worth finding out how much your cards charge you per withdrawal. I had a friend who liked to take out small amounts from the ATM every other day thinking it would spare him from a big loss if he got pick-pocketed. When he got home it dawned on him he was charged $20 per withdrawal! I rather risk the pickpockets than the bank :)

Take care,

FSH

#8 francesstella has been a member since 16/2/2009. Location: Italy. Posts: 95

Posted by chicoelnino on 9/1/2011 at 08:20

WHAT? $20 per withdrawal from credit card plus ATM fee each time??

Christ I don't know if its even worth heading to Asia at this rate with all the misconfusion with charges etc....

#9 chicoelnino has been a member since 17/9/2010. Posts: 66
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Posted by francesstella on 9/1/2011 at 09:24

This guy got a particularly disadvantageous deal but it doesn't have to be that way. Just check your credit card contract before leaving. I wouldn't be put off an entire continent cause of withdrawal fees.

FSH

#10 francesstella has been a member since 16/2/2009. Location: Italy. Posts: 95


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