I'm currently in north Vietnam and am planning to hop over to Laos quite soon via a land border, hopefully Na Maew. The only trouble is that, due to some poor planning earlier on in my trip which resulted in my bank account being dry for a while, I had to use a lot of my travellers cheques and US$ stash and then didn't refill it when I could. This means I have $240 in cheques and $50 cash, which I fear will be too little for about two weeks in Laos and about another two weeks in Cambodia, places where access to my account may be rare.
When I realised that would probably need more dollars I tried to get some from a bank but they said they were only allowed to change into dollars if I could show them a ticket out of the country.
So two questions: Should I still go ahead with the land crossing or just fly to Vientiane and make good use of the exchange facilities in Hanoi airport? And if I do do the land crossing, how do I get rid of any excess dong?
#1 Stig has been a member since 8/7/2006. Posts: 2
I can't help you with the exact questions you've asked about the land crossing, but just to let you know that there is an international ATM in Vientiane that allows you to withdraw Lao kip. Perhaps that will help you stretch the US$ and TC's you have on hand. The fee to use the ATM is 20,000 kip (about $2), but the withdrawl limit is pretty high, so you could get a boatload of kip that way.
I saw several places in Luang Prabang that will also do a cash advance for you on a credit card. I don't know what the fee is, but if you get stuck, at least there is that option.
Also, the guy who runs the TalesofAsia website just told me that you can withdraw US dollars from the ATMs in Siem Reap. Again, that's another way to replenish your stash if you are heading that way.
Hope that helps. Cheers.
Stig, if you are in Hanoi you can easily get USD with a credit card. Try the exchange place in Hang Bac street, they don't ask to see any papers. Another option is to get VND out of an ATM and change back to USD in a chinese jewellery shop in Ha Trung street. You should be alllright.