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Laos forum

€uros in Laos?

Posted by Pjotra on 17/7/2009 at 20:12

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

#1 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 39

Posted by nathandjen on 17/7/2009 at 20:19

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 nathandjen has been a member since 5/7/2009. Posts: 8


Posted by Rufus on 18/7/2009 at 14:54

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 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by BruceMoon on 18/7/2009 at 15:04

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 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Pjotra on 18/7/2009 at 19:15

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 Pjotra has been a member since 17/7/2009. Posts: 39

Posted by BruceMoon on 19/7/2009 at 06:08

Pjotra

THB is universally accepted in Laos.

Cheers

#6 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Rufus on 19/7/2009 at 10:10

"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 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by BruceMoon on 19/7/2009 at 14:43

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 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by scomoore1 on 28/7/2009 at 03:58

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 scomoore1 has been a member since 30/7/2006. Posts: 33

Posted by nathandjen on 29/7/2009 at 11:18

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 nathandjen has been a member since 5/7/2009. Posts: 8

Posted by BruceMoon on 29/7/2009 at 11:33

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 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by Rufus on 30/7/2009 at 13:33

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 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by rideLARA on 31/7/2009 at 13:28

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 rideLARA has been a member since 31/7/2009. Location: Laos. Posts: 5

Posted by Rufus on 31/7/2009 at 18:02

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

#14 Rufus has been a member since 22/4/2007. Location: Laos. Posts: 973

Posted by pabloeskimo on 4/8/2009 at 03:18

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 pabloeskimo has been a member since 30/6/2009. Posts: 19


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