Foreign Exchange Guide to Laos
In this guide we review :
- Laotian kip info - general info about the Laotian kip
- Laotian kip in the markets - recent LAK moves and predictions from the FX markets
- Travelling in Laos - currency & money saving tips
- Buying Laotian kip cash online - travel money for Laos
- Sending money to Laos - save on Laotian kip bank transfers to Laos
- Laotian kip exchange rates - latest info & charts.
Laotian kip (LAK) general currency information
Laotian kip (LAK) in the markets
The chart below shows the LAK to USD exchange rate for the previous 3 months with rate alerts for days when the exchange rate moved up or down significantly or for 30 day highs and lows.
Currency and money saving tips for Laos
US cash and Thai baht is commonly used for larger purchases. Kip is a non-convertible currency, meaning once you have left Laos, it's useful only as wallpaper. Banks outside Laos will not accept nor exchange kip. International access ATMs dispensing US dollars can be found in most major tourist centres across the country.You will need to have USD20 for the Cambodian visa and USD30 for the Laos visa.(Don't forget to have your passport photos handy). Just check the cost for your Lao visa - prices vary a little depending on where you are from. You should use the ATM's for local currency (Kip). Some take USD, but not everywhere and local is preferred. Credit cards are not widely used - some very high end restaurants may have facilities but certainly no street restaurant will.
Public transport is relatively comprehensive and inexpensive, but very, very slow. Driving standards are woeful and seatbelts are close to non-existent, but speeds do tend to be slow. Motorcyle taxis are a very common way to get around. Don't expect the bus to leave on time, nor for your mojito to have ebough mint in it. The tourism industry is developing and considerable resources are being poured into training, particularly in Luang Prabang. Outside of the main tourist centres, don't be surprised by the complete lack of tourist infrastructure. Don't let the slow buses put you off. Laos is a fascinating destination. It takes a long time to get around -- especially in the north -- so don't try to bite off more than you can chew. In Laos, less is more: See fewer places for longer stretches and you'll have a better time.
Laos Trip Checklist
Travel money for Laos
Save money and time by Ordering your Laotian kip online from Travelex, you get better rates and can pick up the LAK cash locally or even on travel day at the airport.
Another popular option is to use a Pre-paid Travel Card. Your Debit/Credit Card provider will charge you 2% from market mid-rate, but your bank may also charge an extra 3% as an “Overseas Transaction Charge” plus “Overseas ATM” fees for withdrawing cash.
For card purchases if offered a choice of currencies always select to Pay in Laotian kip otherwise you may get much worst exchange rates.
Travel Money for Laos
Sending money to Laos
When sending money to Laos it’s important to compare your bank’s rates & fees with those we have negotiated with our partner money transfer providers. To get a better deal you should follow these 3 simple steps :
- Open an account with a BER reviewed FX provider (id docs may be required)
- You specify the local or Laotian kip amount you want to transfer
- Make a local currency domestic transfer for the requested amount to the provider's bank account in your country
- Once your funds are received by the provider the converted LAK amount will be transfered to the recipient account you specify in Laos.
Bank Transfers to Laos
By comparing the rates of FX specialist providers rates versus your bank's standard rates you can hopefully save around 5% and maybe more - end result is more Laotian kip deposited into the recipient bank account in Laos and less margins and fees kept by the banks!