Cash in SE Asia

Oct 28th, 2005, 03:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 79
Cash in SE Asia

Traveling to Myanmar, Cambodia, Thailand, and Vietnam. Does our American currency have to be brand new (2005), or should it just be unwrinkled, clean, and "crisp"? Our small town bank can not get us the unused bills before we leave. I am considering washing and ironing the ones I have!!
Also,I think I have read somewhere that one of the countries will not accept $100bills that begin with the serial number CB or something. Is this a fact or did I dream it?
Thanks for your help!
rbphilly is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 03:41 PM
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Be careful laundering your money!
cruisinred is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 04:18 PM
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The only thing I look at before carrying US$100's is that they are the "new" style with the larger face in the center, and that the bill isn't too washed out. I've had to take back a bill that had too much wear on the crease area that "distorts" the face. The currency exch place did not want to take it. Your 100's don't have to be unwrinkled or clean, just not too worn out. Laundering is not necessary! LOL
simpsonc510 is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 04:58 PM
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Some places are pickier than others. The CB issue is primarily a concern in Burma (has to do with counterfitting). Choose bills as clean as possible and not heavily creased.

In my experience, the places with the grungiest local currency are the places most concerned with "clean" US bills. It's an interesting dynamic.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 07:43 PM
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the thing to watch out for in general is that they are not old or torn and dirty...some places prefer the new bigger face bills also...i have not had any trouble in any of those thailand you do not use dollars however, nor in is their currency...
rhkkmk is offline  
Oct 28th, 2005, 11:27 PM
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Just about to buy U.S. dollars for upcoming trip including Cambodia and Laos. As I live in the UK how do I identify the new bills? How do I know if they have the larger face in the Centre?
Kippy is offline  
Oct 29th, 2005, 08:36 AM
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The newest bills are multi-colored.
Kathie is offline  
Oct 29th, 2005, 08:40 AM
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kippy, the newest bills also do not have an oval outline around the head.
laurieco is offline  
Oct 29th, 2005, 02:07 PM
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Thanks - I've had to order them and have requested mint condition notes, so shouldn't need to do any laundering!
Kippy is offline  
Oct 29th, 2005, 03:44 PM
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I read a travel tip from someone in a travel magazine that stunned me. The guy not only carefully hand-washed his currency but lightly starched and ironed it so he would have crisp bills!

I'm glad you won't have to do that - lol!
Kathie is offline  
Oct 30th, 2005, 02:31 AM
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In Myanmar and Cambodia they gladly accepted USD. In Thailand and Vietnam, use local currency. We also found that in Cambodia they accepted Thai Bhat.

If using USD, go with small denominations, relatively new (no creases, folds, torn corners) with new faces and tri-color for those bills that have these. The USD$1 still has the old smaller face and not in tri-color, nor is the $5 in tri-color, yet.

Recently issued 2005 bills aren't necessary, but in some countries they prefer bills not to be more than 2 to 3-years old. It seems, locals figure anything older doesn't have the same value.

No need to print or "launder" your own.

Happy travels.
Nov 25th, 2005, 06:30 PM
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 53
Wait a minute! We just returned from Veitnam. They LOVE US currency in Vietnam. Many, many items, especially in the tourist areas, are priced only in US dollars. They will also accept Vietnam dong where the prices are in USD, but you have to ask. We found US dollars to be universally accepted, even preferred, in Vietnam. That said, things are so cheap over there, I would not take anything larger than a twenty. And take lots and lots of ones. Just take bills in fairly new condition with little wear and no tears, and you should be fine.
Juju2 is offline  
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