My husband and I will be travelling through Laos in Dec/Jan 06/07 for approx 4 weeks and after reading guidebooks etc think we should be taking some US$ cash, mostly US$ travellers cheques and some Thai Baht cash. I travelled through S.America using a debit card and so am not used to carrying large amounts of cash. Basically my questions are:
1. do flashpacker guesthouses have safes (presumably if we go swimming etc we need to leave the loot somewhere)?
2. Is it safe carrying around lots of US$ (I get the feeling Laos is much safer than other destination but caution should still be taken)
Any other advise on split etc would be much appreciated.
#1 messej01 has been a member since 29/5/2006. Posts: 10
Would agree with tsargood that safes, particularly in budget places are very few and far between. Often you can leave stuff with reception, but safes in rooms are very rarea outside of the top-end hotels.
If you're carrying a lot of money, I'd opt for some cash, travellers cheques and the balance on a debit card (while there are very few ATMs, you can get cash advance over the counter).
Thanks Somtam and Tsargood,
So most flashpacker guesthouses would have somewhere at reception you can leave your money (I don't really need an in room safe)?
My husbands concern is if we go swimming etc, where does one leave the money (I've seen some waterproof money holders but they are very small).
#4 messej01 has been a member since 29/5/2006. Posts: 10
Regarding the waterproof money holders I voted that as the 'most useless item ever taken travelling' winner. I never used mine once. And they look really silly.
#5 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
Yes most (though not all) will have some sort of facility to leave your valuables behind the desk. They often store it in envelopes and you sign across a seal so that you can tell if the envelope has been opened. These are normally then tossed in a lock drawer or something like that -- so I wouldn't leave the crown jewels there, but other valuables should be ok.
With swimming, I've also been one to take as little as possible to the beach -- ie I don't expect to need to use my credit card and passport to buy a beer and ice-cream -- and what I do take I just toss under my towel, and keep an eye on the stuff from the water. Bear in mind it is unusual for beaches to be AS crowded as beaches in say the States or Europe, so it is generally not too difficult to leave your stuff somewhere where it is easy to see from the water.
I used to bury my stuff under the sand, but on more than one occasion I really struggled to find it again!
Hope that helps!
Marian congrats and thanks for 100 posts -- I'll shout you a beer in Bangkok!
I noticed the upgrade from traveller to adventurer and your metamorphosis into cartographer. After 1000 posts do you become a deity and get to fly without the aircraft?
#7 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
Ha - cartographer - I didn't even notice that.
I think perhaps after 1,000 posts the title should be "Newly unemployed" -- anyone who has the time to make 1,000 posts obviously isn't giving their day-job the attention they should be.
When will you be in Bangkok? ... I'd hate to miss out on a free beer - will even rearrange my itinerary.
Can only hope the posts are constructive and not a waste of space!
Hopefully will have heaps of input to the site when I return home.
#9 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270
Am heading to Bangkok early November 3rd or 4th I think -- baby due Dec 8 but early Nov is the latest any airline will let my rapidly rounding other half get a flight. Will be in Bkk till January as we have to wait for the Oz embassy to convince themselves the bub is Australian.
Only kidding about rearranging the itin. We'll be flying into BKK on the 16th Nov 1010 then onward to CNX at 1250. We fly back to Oz on the 27th Jan but because our plans are so fluid have no idea how long we will be in BKK before we leave. We will exit Laos on the 27th Dec so 30 days for Cambodia, Koh Chang? (we're not lying on the beach frying types ... we live near a beautiful, nearly empty beach, would you recommend still going?) and whatever else takes our fancy. So maybe next time.
#11 marianwarren has been a member since 12/3/2006. Posts: 270