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Finance and money forum

Money in SE ASIA in general

Posted by dazm26 on 28/12/2007 at 01:21

Now Xmas is out the way i have one month until i go away to SE ASIA on my own and im just starting to come over with huge excitement quickly followed by a lot of nerves!!

I am wondering how best to take my money to SE ASIA, im going to Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and am taking about £2500, firstly is this enough im going for 3months????

How do i take my money i have USD in cash to take and i guess the resr in my Natiownide account i now have, should i take any travellers cheques???

Thanks guys!!!

Dazza

#1 dazm26 has been a member since 28/9/2007. Posts: 19

Posted by goo_stewart on 28/12/2007 at 11:56

Your money should be enough for your trip, depending on your social past times (drinking etc.).

As for how to take it, TCs are the safest, you can withdraw from ATMs in most countries (Visa is the most popular). Cash is a risk because of theft.

Whenever I go, I carry 400 USD at a time, enough to stop me going to the ATM frequently, no so much that I would be heart broken to lose it to a thief.

In Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam the local currency is the currency of choice, in Cambodia the USD is king.

#2 goo_stewart has been a member since 10/10/2007. Posts: 69
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Posted by Jon_Mak_Mak on 28/12/2007 at 16:42

Hey, Keep most of it in your Nationwide Account and take some with you in travellers cheques. Nationwide does not charge you for using the cash machines abroad so you can just get your cash out ATM's as and when you need it. I would recommend taking some T/C as a back up. If you lost your card you can fall back on them.

I always keep most in the account (Nationwide) and T/C but also take a couple of hundred cash aswell. Best not to have all your money in one place init. ;)

Have a nice trip.

#3 Jon_Mak_Mak has been a member since 21/2/2007. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 464
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Posted by exacto on 28/12/2007 at 22:49

Hi Dazm26,

Since the five countries you mention all have well-developed ATM networks, I'd just use your Nationwide ATM card to withdraw money from ATMs from time to time as needed. That's particularly true since, at Jon_Mak_Mak says, the Nationwide card is very low fee.
The ATMs typically dispense local currency, except in Cambodia where you get US dollars from the ATM, which is what everyone prefers anyway.

I'd keep a small reserve in Travellers Checks (particularly if you can get them for no fee) and a bit of cash on hand too for emergencies.

You'll find lots of other tips and good info about money and travel in SEA in the following Travelfish feature article:

https://www.travelfish.org/feature/103

Have a good trip.

#4 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,685
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Posted by mariongibbins on 6/4/2012 at 06:27

Am going to Vietnam and as I live in France have only € would it be better to buy a few dollars in France as well as my cash point Visa ,will be touring about and have only booked the first 2 nights hotel , 17 days holiday

#5 mariongibbins has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by mariongibbins on 6/4/2012 at 06:27

Am going to Vietnam and as I live in France have only € would it be better to buy a few dollars in France as well as my cash point Visa ,will be touring about and have only booked the first 2 nights hotel , 17 days holiday

#6 mariongibbins has been a member since 6/4/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by altmtl on 6/4/2012 at 06:59

I take a mix of cash, US$, ATM card, Credit card & TC's... The thing you have to look out for is all those fees charged at ATM's - i.e. 150 baht charge in Thailand (except for AEON) + what your bank charges.... so only withdrawing a small amount every few days will cost you big time. Make sure you contact your bank and get your daily withdrawal limit raised... and advise then you are leaving so they don't block your card. It happened to a guy a met in Laos.

If you're arriving in BK, only change a small amount at the airport and a larger amount at a SuperRich location (cash only) to get the best rate. Changing TC's at Thai banks is 33 baht per cheque, so make sure you have big denominations.

Sometimes you are in places where you don't have access to ATM's (certain islands for instance) - Sometimes the ATM's are down... I tend to carry more cash, despite the risk.

Make sure you have a backpack you can lock and always carry your cash/passport on you when in transit.

#7 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 996
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Posted by goonistik on 6/4/2012 at 19:31

I don't think it is necessary for you to buy US$ if you already have Euros. You should have no problems changing Euros into Dong in the major cities of Vietnam.

Though the US$ is more widely accepted, you would lose because you are exchanging Euro-$-Dong.

#8 goonistik has been a member since 7/1/2010. Location: Philippines. Posts: 563
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