Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

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arjay
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Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by arjay » September 25, 2023, 7:09 pm

Does anyone know the up to date situation on buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos, or indeed when Laos people wish to travel to Thailand or further afield?

I understand due to the fall of the Laos Kip over the last couple of years the Laos central bank has tightened systems and requirements in order to protect their currency. This has amounted to, for example, Laos people holding bank accounts in US dollars or Thai baht, only being able to withdraw funds from those accounts in Laos Kip. I ponder how they then change currency to Thai baht if, for example, they are travelling to Thailand? I don't know personally, as I am not there currently, but I assume there are still ways, (above board and less so), whereby people can change Laos kip to foreign currencies like the Thai baht, the US Dollar etc. What if a Laos person goes on holiday to Singapore for example? And how do foreign tourists change Kip back to other currencies, when they leave Laos?

I recollect when I previously lived in Nong Khai that one could buy Laos kip at the the Bangkok Bank branch there. Though I can't recollect whether one could change them back again there, or not. I don't know if that is still the case.

Can anyone throw any more light on the current situation please?



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Laan Yaa Mo
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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by Laan Yaa Mo » September 25, 2023, 7:46 pm

Sorry, I can't help on the currency exchange question much. However, the country is Laos and the majority of people are Lao, who speak Lao (very similar to the Isaan language) and use Lao currency. There are many minorities in the country such as Black, White, Phu and Red Tais, Akha, Hmong, Alak and so on.

Seven years ago when I was in Laos I got kip from Lao banks at a poor exchange rate to the U.S. dollar and the Thai baht. At that time, the kip you took out of Laos could not be exchanged for anything. No country wanted it. It's like the Burmese kyat and the Cambodian Riel.
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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by deankham » September 25, 2023, 8:49 pm

I sometimes watch an aussie youtuber who has the channel 'now in laos'.

I remember him talking about currently exchange not long ago and stating that it is not possible to exchange Laos kip outside of Laos.
He was also talking about a crackdown on people holding dollars and baht and you are only permitted to hold Kip accounts in the banks.

Changing topics slightly, when I started watching his channel about a year ago I was really interested in exploring around Laos, now the more I've seen of it, it does appear a pretty boring place to visit based on what things I like to be able to do on holiday.

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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by arjay » September 25, 2023, 9:25 pm

deankham wrote:
September 25, 2023, 8:49 pm
I sometimes watch an aussie youtuber who has the channel 'now in laos'.

I remember him talking about currently exchange not long ago and stating that it is not possible to exchange Laos kip outside of Laos.
He was also talking about a crackdown on people holding dollars and baht and you are only permitted to hold Kip accounts in the banks.

Changing topics slightly, when I started watching his channel about a year ago I was really interested in exploring around Laos, now the more I've seen of it, it does appear a pretty boring place to visit based on what things I like to be able to do on holiday.
Yes, thank you. Indeed in the past when I used to visit Laos, you could use US dollars or Thai baht in most places, though technically the Gov there wanted kip to be used, and you invariably got given the change in kip!. Also, the more sophisticated Laos people did use dollars and kip in business and business transactions and many held bank accounts in those currencies. However, as I understand it, and as you say, the Laos Gov has more recently, clamped down on holding and using those other currencies, and forcing people to use Kip. Though I presume there must be a system for exchanging currencies within that country.

It might be an idea if you could post a link to the YouTubers channel, or send it to me in a PM?

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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by deankham » September 26, 2023, 1:45 pm

Here you go. I think he talks about currency in this video.

https://youtu.be/JziYFK8gMrs?si=6DMthdyd0nEup5-O


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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by tamada » September 26, 2023, 2:20 pm

Six months ago in Savanakhet, I only saw the locals paying with kip. I never bothered with exchanging anything and the hotel, shops, bars and restaurants accepted my baht and gave change in baht.
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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by 747man » September 26, 2023, 3:56 pm

tamada wrote:
September 26, 2023, 2:20 pm
Six months ago in Savanakhet, I only saw the locals paying with kip. I never bothered with exchanging anything and the hotel, shops, bars and restaurants accepted my baht and gave change in baht.
You mean you were actually able to change Yer Scottish Notes into Thai Baht first ?? :lol: :lol:

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Re: Buying or exchanging foreign currency when in Laos

Post by 747man » September 27, 2023, 11:34 am

arjay wrote:
September 25, 2023, 9:25 pm
deankham wrote:
September 25, 2023, 8:49 pm
I sometimes watch an aussie youtuber who has the channel 'now in laos'.

I remember him talking about currently exchange not long ago and stating that it is not possible to exchange Laos kip outside of Laos.
He was also talking about a crackdown on people holding dollars and baht and you are only permitted to hold Kip accounts in the banks.

Changing topics slightly, when I started watching his channel about a year ago I was really interested in exploring around Laos, now the more I've seen of it, it does appear a pretty boring place to visit based on what things I like to be able to do on holiday.
Yes, thank you. Indeed in the past when I used to visit Laos, you could use US dollars or Thai baht in most places, though technically the Gov there wanted kip to be used, and you invariably got given the change in kip!. Also, the more sophisticated Laos people did use dollars and kip in business and business transactions and many held bank accounts in those currencies. However, as I understand it, and as you say, the Laos Gov has more recently, clamped down on holding and using those other currencies, and forcing people to use Kip. Though I presume there must be a system for exchanging currencies within that country.

It might be an idea if you could post a link to the YouTubers channel, or send it to me in a PM?
Though I presume there must be a system for exchanging currencies within that country.....Yes There are They are Called BANKS !!!

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