ATM vs. TRAVELERS CHECKS

Dec 28th, 2005, 08:08 AM
  #1  
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ATM vs. TRAVELERS CHECKS

Any thoughts on which is better to use while in Vietnam. Bangkok and Siem Reap? I have always used my ATM card and credit card (AMEX) while in Europe and Australia. I am really at a loss as to how much to bring with me. I am told that many merchants accept US dollars (low denominations and good condition). Plus there are the tips for tour director and local guides.... Just how big of a wad can you carry with you???? Any suggestions????
aussie417 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 08:19 AM
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I bring cash and credit cards. I pay for everything in cash except for hotels.
I exchnage the US cash for local currency at the exchange booths.
I carry a security wallet under my shirt and only carry a day's worth of cash at a time with the rest kept in the hotel room safe.
ATM's can charge large fees. Travelers checks are not accepted in many places- cash is king!
This has worked fine for me for all my trips. No worries about losing the money as its in your security wallet under your shirt!
BillT is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 08:23 AM
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I use ATM, credit cards for my rooms, and carry some U.S. cash...My bank account does not charge me extra for using ATM..I used to bring Traveller's cheques, but find they have become a hassel..I also carry my cash/passport in a money belt under my clothing or in a safe..
TracyB is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 08:52 AM
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In VN and Thailand, ATMs are readily available in all the big cities and (especially in Thailand) in the smaller cities as well. In Cambodia, there are no ATMs. The US dollar is the preferred currency in Cambodia, so do bring small bills for small purchases and larger bills to pay your driver. Many hotels and guesthouses do accept credit cards, but few will accept AmEx.

Do note that the VN dong and the Cambodian riel are worthless outside their country, so spend or exchange it all before you leave the country.

Also note that you will not use US dollars to buy things in Thailand or VN, use the local currency.
Kathie is online now  
Dec 28th, 2005, 01:39 PM
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Cambodia, does indeed have ATM's now, although only in Phnom Penh at the moment, all though they have been promised in Siem Reap for some time, so this may have changed. I have been reliably told that you can withdraw you money from a number of banks, but over the counter
alr837 is offline  
Dec 28th, 2005, 02:29 PM
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Last I heard the ATMs in PP would give you cash only if you had a Cambodian bank account. Do you have confirmation from someone that they were able to draw on a foreign account at an ATM in PP?

While you can get cash from banks with a credit card, the fees charged (by your credit card) are quite high.
Kathie is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:02 PM
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Hope this reply isn't too late. But there is an ATM at a new bank in Siem Reap now that gives American dollars. We used it last weekend and I think it had only been in service for a few days.
Clif is offline  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:40 PM
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Hey, Clif, this is interesting news, long rumored to be in the works. Can you tell us what kind of cards it took (cirrus network, plus network, AmEx...)?
Kathie is online now  
Jan 23rd, 2006, 07:50 PM
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Yes Cambodia has finally got some international ATM's mostly as yet in Phnom Phen (2 at the airport) and one just opened in Siem Reap by the old market. Those in PP have been operating since Oct/05. The two banks operating these are the Canadia, whose machines can handle Maestro/Cirrus/Visa and ANZ (Australia/New Zealand Royal Bank) which at the monent takes visa only. They will give you funds in US dollars and some in either Riels or $. Siem Reap airport will have one sometime soon. There have been reports of people using them with no trouble and some have not been able to use their debit cards but can get cash advances on their visa/master card. So be forewarned that this is Cambodia where things doin't always work properly and dependence on these machines would be a mistake until all the bugs get sorted out.
Scotters is offline  
Jan 24th, 2006, 06:08 AM
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Scotters, I'm aware of the ATMs in PP, but your warning not to depend on them is good. I've heard more reports that the ATMs don't work than that they do work!
Kathie is online now  
Oct 8th, 2007, 04:01 PM
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Oksy, it sounds like I don't have to worry about cash in BKK or VN, just use my visa and exchange dollars for local currency at a booth or in the hotel. , but I will need to take dollars in ones and fives for Siem Reap. Does that sound right? Kathie, are you familiar with 'travelers' clothing sold at Chicos? Can I take one of those to use as a sweater at night, or will it e too humid to wear it?
ylieberthal is offline  
Oct 8th, 2007, 05:55 PM
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There are now ATMs in Siem Reap that dispense US$. But you are wise to take small bills with you to Cambodia.

I am not familiar with Chico's travel clothing. But I'm not sure where you think you will need a sweater in SE Asia. Some people do find the ac in some of the shopping malls to be too cool for them and may take a very light wrap. But mostly expect it to be hot and humid everywhere.
Kathie is online now  
Oct 8th, 2007, 07:13 PM
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Ylieberthal...Are you talking about Chicos Clothing store? I've been shopping there for years, but have never considered them a so-called "travel clothing" store. My definition of travel clothes are Ex-Officio, Royal Robbins, etc...found at travelsmith.com, distantlands.com, and magellans.com and macabiskirt.com for those interested in a real good travel skirt although of course you can travel in Chicos clothing.It's just a bit too nice for me to do more hardcore travel in. I tend to leave the Chicos clothes at home and bring out the "travel" clothes when going to S.E.Asia unless I'm going to a really nice restauarant or something. But, my Chicos clothing is not used for everyday wear in S.E.Asia. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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I was thinking of a very light weight sweater to wear over a sleeveless top at night because I have hormone issues. I live in So Cal so I don't wear a lot of heavy clothes, but was concerned (after reading all the posts)that a sleevless top alone would ot be appropriate;If you think I won't need it that's great. Have I mentioned that I hate packing!!! I've been out all day trying to solve the shoe problem now that I've heard that tennies are not the best choice.
Back onto the money issue, do you usually arrive in BKK with some baht in your pocket? When traveling to Europe, i usually pick up some local currency before I go.
ylieberthal is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 03:14 PM
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You will want tops with short sleeves for visiting wats. A light wrap or a light sweater over something sleeveless would be fine. For shoes, you do want slip-ons that provide good ventilation. I just bought a new pair of Keen's for my upcoming trip. But any kind of semi-enclosed walking sandal would be good.

I never get foreign currency before I go, as you get a terrible exchnage rate by doing so. I use the ATM in the Bangkok airport or change a US$100 bill at the exchange window. Do ask for small bills at the exchange window so you have some change for your taxi or limo.
Kathie is online now  
Oct 9th, 2007, 04:29 PM
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I was looking at Keens...which ones did you get...the maryjanes? I was thinking of something with an open toe maybe. My sistetr-n-law said she had a great pair of Merrells. I'm going to go to the local sports and travel store to see what they have.
ylieberthal is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 04:44 PM
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I have a couple of different kinds of Keens. And I wore Merrils when we went to Angkor. There are lots of options. Most important, make sure the shoes are comfortable for you!
Kathie is online now  
Oct 9th, 2007, 06:56 PM
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Yielbertha...I also live in Southern California. Just pack a pashmina to throw over your shoulders when you're in cold air conditioning and there's plenty of cold airconditioning. And the pashmina can be used on the plane as a mini blanket,too. Happy Travels!
Guenmai is offline  
Oct 9th, 2007, 07:23 PM
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great idea about the shawl, thanks
ylieberthal is offline  
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