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€uros in Laos?

  • Pjotra

    Joined Travelfish
    17th July, 2009
    Posts: 35
    Total reviews: 9

    Does anyone know if €uros are an accepted currency in Laos? (given the low US¤ rate)

    #1 Posted: 17/7/2009 - 20:12

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  • nathandjen

    Joined Travelfish
    5th July, 2009
    Posts: 8
    Total reviews: 6

    A few places in Lunag Prabang and Vientiane seem to take them.

    For European (or at least UK) our rough calculations make it better to withdraw Kip from the ATM's and use that.

    US Dollars, and I assume Euro's will be rounded up at every opportunity and therefore will make it more expensive.

    There are ATM's in Lunag Prabang and Vientiane that accept debit cards as well as credit cards but they are unreliable and temperamental. ( I have so far been charged for a withdrawals 700,000 kip, three times when I did not get any money out and the ATM said 'Your bank is down for maintenance'.

    Tough call.

    #2 Posted: 17/7/2009 - 20:19

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 954

    Every bank in Laos takes euros as do all change booths in Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Savannakhet.
    There are many ATMs here now and you will have no problems finding one that works. I suspect the post above is from experiences at least 2 years ago.

    #3 Posted: 18/7/2009 - 14:54

  • BruceMoon

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

    nathanandjen

    I hope the ATM gave you receipts, and you kept them. When you get home, your bank will refund.

    When in Luang Nam Tha, Luang Prabang & Vientiane, ppl were exchanging currency at banks and were being charged same as if withdrawing at ATM - I recall about 20,000 kip per transaction.

    But, the ATM's have a limit of 700,000 kip (about Eu60). So, a larger exchange could be an advantage.

    - - -

    Also, be aware that some retailers, GH, etc. have Visa & Mastercard & Cirrus logo's on their windows, but what they really mean is that you can go get money at a money-laundromat along the street using your credit cards: costly!!

    Cheers

    #4 Posted: 18/7/2009 - 15:04

  • Pjotra

    Joined Travelfish
    17th July, 2009
    Posts: 35
    Total reviews: 9

    Thank's , you Fishermen/girls.
    A great help. I think we'll just take THB and EUR across the border and exchange cash as we go. Our French card allows only 600€ per week, but our Dutch card goes to 500€ a day, so sufficient means for troubles on our way.

    Hartelijk bedankt, as we say in Dutch or Cheerio!

    #5 Posted: 18/7/2009 - 19:15

  • BruceMoon

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

    Pjotra

    THB is universally accepted in Laos.

    Cheers

    #6 Posted: 19/7/2009 - 06:08

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 954

    "But, the ATM's have a limit of 700,000 kip (about Eu60). So, a larger exchange could be an advantage."

    Bruce, a number of ATMs now allow more. The ANZ ATMs to start with, as well as one or two others.

    #7 Posted: 19/7/2009 - 10:10

  • BruceMoon

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

    Rufus

    I was of the understanding that you won't find ANZ ATMs other than in Vientiane: certainly not in the north where they are all BCEL - and it is BCEL that imposes the limit.

    Cheers

    #8 Posted: 19/7/2009 - 14:43

  • scomoore1

    Joined Travelfish
    30th July, 2006
    Posts: 32
    Total reviews: 8

    In mid-July, nobody seemed to be having any luck getting any of Luang Prabang's ATM's to giving them money. Several nationalities with several ATM networks... no luck. I'm glad I took some USD and THB cash and that VISA was accepted by the hotel, etc. Had I not had the cash, I would have been leaving early, or cutting way back on expenditures. I declined to make some crafts purchases because I didn't have the ATM cash source.

    Note to Lao banking authorities... people will spend money if you allow them to do so.

    #9 Posted: 28/7/2009 - 03:58

  • nathandjen

    Joined Travelfish
    5th July, 2009
    Posts: 8
    Total reviews: 6

    Sorry,

    Thought you meant accepted as in 'at hotels' not at exchanges!

    Obviously Euro's are accepted at exchanges but some HOTELS in Vientiane and Luang Prabang now also accept Euros as payment, at bad rates.

    We are actually currently in LAOS and have had the same experience with ATM's.

    The main problem seems to be BCEL ATM's. Even worse, when they take the money from the account they don't supply a receipt! It just says 'Bank down for maintaince' and returns the card.

    All other ATM's have been fine.

    Avoid BCEL.

    Cheers

    Nath

    #10 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 11:18

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  • BruceMoon

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

    Nathan

    Make sure you keep the print out given out by the ATM.

    When this has occurred to me, I've taken the printout to my bank (in Australia) and they have reversed the 'action' (ie, reimbursed me).

    But, without the paper slip, I doubt anyone would believe me.

    Cheers

    #11 Posted: 29/7/2009 - 11:33

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 954

    Disagree with this. BCEL is one of the better banks around. I have had $ and Kip accounts with them for 3 years. I have also used their ATMs regularly and never had a problem.

    Bruce, to the best of my knowledge there will be ANZV ATMs in LP shortly. You are right in that there are none there now. BCEL is not the only bank that imposes a 700,000kip limit. ANZV ATMs have a limit of 2 million kip

    #12 Posted: 30/7/2009 - 13:33

  • rideLARA

    Joined Travelfish
    31st July, 2009
    Location Laos
    Posts: 5

    Hi...

    Rufus, doesn't BCEL allow you make multiple transactions, I thought to 4,000,000 kip? I remeber doing 6 transactions, back2back. I can't be sure tho because I like to use Bank NZ..there is a 20,000 kip fee from all of them. But the others WILL let you do 2 transactions back2back for 2 million each. I think the diff is with BCEL you must do several, again, at 20k each.

    hope it helps....

    #13 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 13:28

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 954

    Yes Lara, that's correct. I am not sure what the upper limit is though.

    #14 Posted: 31/7/2009 - 18:02

  • pabloeskimo

    Joined Travelfish
    30th June, 2009
    Posts: 19
    Total reviews: 2

    We had the same "down for maintenance" problem in Paksé. We desperately needed to some cash because we were going to Don Khong and we knew there were no ATM's there.
    We tried 3 different ATM's in Paksé & all were down for maintenance, receiving no money & no receipt. Now when we are back home we see that the transactions have been taken from the account anyways, 300 euros have been taken from the account & we did not get that money or receipts.
    We will contact our bank & BCEL, along the way we found some people in Luang Prabang & Vang Vieng who had the "down for maintenance" message & were affraid the money might have been taken from the account anyways.

    THIS HAPPENED LIKE A MONTH AGO JULY 2009

    I strongly advice all travelers to avoid using BCEL ATM's in Laos, try to use your credit card at the bank. It will safe you a lot of money & stress.

    #15 Posted: 4/8/2009 - 03:18

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