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Finance and money forum

Currencies and amounts to take for 5 weeks in SE Asia

Posted by Nixxypie on 18/7/2011 at 19:32

Hi, myself and one other female friend are travelling to Thailand and Cambodia for 5 weeks next month. We plan on spending about 1 week in Cambodia and the rest in Thailand. For obvious reasons we do not want to carry large amounts of cash around with us, and I am taking a credit card which offers free withdrawls and perfect exchange rate so I can withdraw more money while I'm out there.

My question is how much do you recommed I take to get me started? I was planning on taking £200 of Thai Bahts and £100 of US dollars, as I've read dollars are used for the Cambodian visa and in most shops there. I will probably have about £20-£50 sterling with me as well as I have to travel from Newcastle to London and the same on the way home.

Do you think this is too much to be carrying around or just the right amount to last the first week or so without having to worry about finding ATMs or places that accept credit cards? I plan on getting a money belt for extra protection.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated as I'm ready to order the currency asap. Thanks.

#1 Nixxypie has been a member since 27/4/2011. Posts: 55

Posted by eastwest on 18/7/2011 at 20:09

In both countries there are plenty of ATMs to withdraw money so I wouldn't bother too much with cash.
It also depends a little on whether you visit Cambodia first or last.

- Bringing in Baht from England seems unneccesary. Plenty of ATMs in the airport and exchanging in England will probably be at a worse rate. But if it makes you feel better do it but I'd only change 50 pounds or so.

- Bringing a few dollars is not a bad idea. $100 per person is enough. ATMs in Cambodia dispense dollars so you can withdraw more once there and you won't be left with useless Riel. Perhaps bring a few more dollars as "backup" for Thailand if Cambodia is at the end of your trip. If by any chance you might have an emergency you could use the dollars as back up and spend them all in Cambodia.

So in short: I'd bring $200 and 50 pounds cash because it's only 5 weeks and you're traveling with a friend who would assist if anything goes wrong.

#2 eastwest has been a member since 17/12/2009. Posts: 778
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Posted by Nixxypie on 18/7/2011 at 20:18

Thank you that's really helpful. I was most concerned about arriving in Bangkok late at night as our hotel is booked but we have only paid the 10% deposit, so we need to travel to the hotel and pay the rest of the amount and will probably be hungry and thirsty which is when I thought I'd need the most money. And in the first few days an unexperienced backpackers we'll probably waste a lot!

We plan on going to Cambodia half way through. We're going to Bangkok, Kanchanaburi, Chaing Mai for the first 30 days of the tourist visa, then into cambodia for a week or so, then back to Thailand for the last 15 days of the tourist visa.

Thanks for your advice, I realise now I was thinking of taking far too much.

#3 Nixxypie has been a member since 27/4/2011. Posts: 55

Posted by savorygal on 21/7/2012 at 09:00

I would recommend taking a few single US dollars. When I went to Cambodia last year the VOA is something like 22 USD, then there is a one dollar "health" fee and another 2 dollars for some other "fee" .

Agree that you don't need much as ATMs are plentiful.

Happy travels

#4 savorygal has been a member since 16/7/2010. Posts: 174
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Posted by littletimmy on 19/8/2012 at 10:23

What credit card is it your using?

#5 littletimmy has been a member since 19/8/2012. Posts: 22

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