Southeast Asia forum

ATM's - Vietnam / Cambodia / Laos

  • angfonz

    Joined Travelfish
    7th July, 2009
    Posts: 36

    I am an American, but I live in Australia (actually just a few miles north of friend Bruce). As such, the money in my bank account is in USD. Unfortunately, for me to take out a chunk of USD here in Australia, I would be converting first to AUD, then back to USD - losing money with each conversion.

    I would certainly like to avoid this.

    My question is twofold: will the ATM machines in Vietnam / Cambodia / Laos provide USD? And, if they do, does the transaction convert to local currency and then back to USD?

    Thanks in advance~

    #1 Posted: 10/8/2009 - 21:37

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  • somtam2000

    Click here to learn more about somtam2000
    Joined Travelfish
    21st January, 2004
    Location Indonesia
    Posts: 7371
    Total reviews: 24
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    At least 113

    Hmm interesting question. You've got a USD account with an Australian bank is that correct?

    My initial thought would be the Oz bank would try to convert the money as many times as humanly possible just so they could charge you more!

    The ATMs dispense dong rather than USD and bear in mind there is a low maximum withdrawal (I think around the equiv of US$130 from memory) which means this can be a very expensive way to access your money.

    I'd suggest contacting your bank first to find out what charges they'll levy on you for international ATM access (there is most likely a flat fee surcharge, plus, depending on the bank, a percentage on top of that!) and then ask about conversion charges.

    #2 Posted: 11/8/2009 - 06:37

  • seagypsy

    Joined Travelfish
    5th February, 2009
    Posts: 136

    For Lao ATMs, it's only Lao kip back out of the machines. Also, if you haven't read the warning in the Lao forum about BCEL's bank ATMs malfunctioning, it's important to read it.

    #3 Posted: 11/8/2009 - 06:50

  • BruceMoon

    Click here to learn more about BruceMoon
    Joined Travelfish
    27th December, 2008
    Location Australia
    Posts: 1941
    Total reviews: 6


    Vietnam banks are forbidden to release US$ to travellers. You MUST have a Vietnam bank account and some long term residency status in Vietnam to open an account before you can withdraw US$. Otherwise its VN Dong.

    I've only ever been issued with local currency in Laos (KIP), but got US$ in Siem Reap (Cambodia) from an ANZ ATM.

    - - -

    As for getting US$ into Australia without bank fees, email me at and I'll explain how it can be done legitimately and without much hassle.


    #4 Posted: 11/8/2009 - 08:49

  • angfonz

    Joined Travelfish
    7th July, 2009
    Posts: 36

    Email sent, Mr. Moon~!

    #5 Posted: 12/8/2009 - 09:25


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6953
    Total reviews: 10

    I always just carry cash when I travel. I have never had a problem, but then I don't do anything stupid like putting it in a backpack or under my pillow or something.

    #6 Posted: 12/8/2009 - 11:48

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