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Old 04-02-2013, 05:15 PM   #1 (permalink)
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What is the best way to take money to Laos from the UK?

Hi there all!

I am off to Laos next week! The intention being to live there so of course I am going to need to take some funds with me!

Right then what is the best way to take my money with me?

I'm not overly keen on taking loads of cash with me to be honest so I'm thinking of different options....

My idea is to take say 2000 Cash with me, open myself a Lao bank account and then do an international bank transfer from my UK account to the Lao account.

My bank (Santander) In the UK have said that it is a 25 transfer charge however a Google search found this:

Exchange Rates, Best Foreign Currency Exchange Rate | TorFX

Who seem to do it for no charge. Now the thing is the transfer rate is according to the Lao bank so is doing a international bank transfer a good idea or would I be better to risk it and carry my money with me in cash? Or Perhaps I should even change my in the UK to $ USD And take that with me?

I've never done this before so please excuse my Naivety but of course I want to get the best deal I can!

Thanks for the advice in advance!
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Last time I went to Laos (3 years ago!) no one liked Kip, they all wanted dollars. Dunno if that will be an issue or not. If you do take it over there in cash I recommend soppository style might be best.
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Old 04-02-2013, 05:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The last time I was in Laos I had no problem with kip at all, the only time that people don't like it from what I have seen is when it involves larger amounts as of course the figures get crazy.

To be honest I don't really fancy putting money in my ass Ha ha however you are right in a way because I'm sure there is a maximum amount that you are allowed to carry, 10,000 isn't it?
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Dunno the limit mate. I do remember getting confused as hell using kip, though, and I remember a preference from locals for either baht of dollars. I was pretty drunk the whole time so safe to disregard.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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take $9.999 and then get someone to western union the rest of it to you . or just use your card. Have a great time the big V, nice french sticks/sandwiches. Alas it is ilegal to have "relations " with Lao national if not married! Buggers

Last edited by Breny : 04-02-2013 at 08:22 PM.
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Old 04-02-2013, 07:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Theres a few on here who will take it over suppositry style for you
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Fxck i do that just going to the 7-11 , And its in coins
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Send it to me and I'll drop it off to you. Promise!
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:20 PM   #9 (permalink)
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leave it in a your bank back home and take your cash card
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:30 PM   #10 (permalink)
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^expensive
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:33 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Breny View Post
take $9.999 and then get someone to western union the rest of it to you . or just use your card. Have a great time the big V, nice french sticks/sandwiches. Alas it is ilegal to have "relations " with Lao national if not married! Buggers
lol.what's wrong with just declaring it?
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:38 PM   #12 (permalink)
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You can be taxed on it if you declare it a customs man told me and if you do They look into all of your credit history, they contact the tax people, you have to sit in the naughty chair and alot of the time people miss their flights. They believe that they are tackling money launderers and drug dealers by doing this.
I speak from experience. Gatwick to Bahrain 2010
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:32 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supernovadw View Post
Hi there all!

I am off to Laos next week! The intention being to live there so of course I am going to need to take some funds with me!

Right then what is the best way to take my money with me?

I'm not overly keen on taking loads of cash with me to be honest so I'm thinking of different options....

My idea is to take say 2000 Cash with me, open myself a Lao bank account and then do an international bank transfer from my UK account to the Lao account.

My bank (Santander) In the UK have said that it is a 25 transfer charge however a Google search found this:

Exchange Rates, Best Foreign Currency Exchange Rate | TorFX

Who seem to do it for no charge. Now the thing is the transfer rate is according to the Lao bank so is doing a international bank transfer a good idea or would I be better to risk it and carry my money with me in cash? Or Perhaps I should even change my in the UK to $ USD And take that with me?

I've never done this before so please excuse my Naivety but of course I want to get the best deal I can!

Thanks for the advice in advance!
You have the right idea.

Nobody will do a transfer for no charge, it will be built into the rate you are being quoted.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:38 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Right sorry if I've not been too specific here.

I am moving to Laos, not going on holiday so using my UK bank card all the time would not be a great option.

I am married to a Lao woman and am going over there to work/try and start my own business.

Anyhow keeping on topic other than taking cash or doing a bank transfer are there any other options? Western Union is not an option to be honest as it's pretty expensive commission.

Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 09:48 PM   #15 (permalink)
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nope .
although I did get some sort of big check from Santander and pay it into another foreign bank once .
took ages (20+ days)
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:24 PM   #16 (permalink)
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do the transfer of a fair sum to get you started, and only have one way to access it,
ie: one atm card and keep that very safe.

just incase it goes tits up in laos like
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:39 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by supernovadw View Post
Right sorry if I've not been too specific here.

I am moving to Laos, not going on holiday so using my UK bank card all the time would not be a great option.

I am married to a Lao woman and am going over there to work/try and start my own business.

Anyhow keeping on topic other than taking cash or doing a bank transfer are there any other options? Western Union is not an option to be honest as it's pretty expensive commission.

Thanks.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:57 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Pretty sure Nationwide don't charge for overseas transactions via an ATM, they never used to,
just the bank exchange rate which is lower than your local money exchange.
Is it too late to open an account? What about Santander, what do they charge?
Is the transaction rate+exchange rate less than the local Lao exchange+commision?
If you can get a good rate you'll be better off leaving it in UK.
If you can get a joint account with one of you relatives, they can handle any hicups while your abroad.
You'll spend less that's for sure.

One thing I will add, it's good advice I was given and I'm sure many of the old hands will agree, don't let anyone know how much you have or how much your worth, a large amount of cash can give even the most righteous people very bad ideas, and the real scumbags need no encouragement at all.
If you can avoid it, don't take it all with you.
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Old 04-02-2013, 11:58 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Thanks for the replies all!

I'm going to take 2000/3000 In cash with me, change the money from to Kip when I arrive in Lao and open a bank account and then do a transfer from my UK account to the Lao account.

I'll probably just stick with my own bank to do the transfer after looking in to all the available options as it's only 25 plus of course it's all sound and guaranteed and no middle man involved.

Thanks for the advice everyone!
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:03 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neo View Post
Pretty sure Nationwide don't charge for overseas transactions, just the bank exchange rate of course which is lower than your local money exchange.
Is it too late to open an account? What about Santander, what do they charge?
Is the transaction rate+exchange rate less than the local exchange+commision?
If you can get a good rate you'll be better of leaving it in UK.
You'll spend less that's for sure. If you can get a joint account with one of you relatives, they can handle any hicups while your abroad.

One thing I will add, it's good advice I was given and I'm sure many of the old hands will agree, don't let anyone know how much you have or how much your worth and a large amount of cash gives some people very bad ideas.
If you can avoid it, don't take it all with you.
Thanks for the advice!

Nationwide do charge now, they didn't used to (Hence why I opened an account lol) But this changed a couple of years back. Santander also charge, I believe it's 2.75%.

The last time I changed money in Lao I got a really good exchange rate! (Better than using my own card)

I'm certainly not going to be taking loads and loads of money with me but I will of course need to take a decent ish amount to get myself going as I need to buy a motorbike etc.. I shall certainly also be leaving some of my money in the UK just in case, after all you never know what will happen hey.
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:10 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:11 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Old 05-02-2013, 12:19 AM   #23 (permalink)
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Old 05-02-2013, 03:55 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Quote:
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I believe it's 2.75%.
3% seems to be the norm so thats not bad, just bring a couple of grand set up an account Locally and transfer the rest, Set the wheels in motion straight away though because you never know how long it will take to land in your account first time i transferred money out of australia to Laos it was in my account within 3 days the next time i waited over 2 weeks , Also they (The Govt) have been trying hard to get people using the kip more than accepting baht and dollars and i notice that the banks here will give you anything up to 8% for a fixed term $ USD or Baht account and upwards for a Kip account, Ive set up Kip accounts for my kids and i give them 1 million kip a month each for a saving plan, Been doing it for years now (they are Millionaires) the idea is when they are older and want to buy a car or something then they wont have to hit up there old dad who will likely be old and fucked by then, Also with a locally opened account you pay zero per withdrawel at the ATM as opposed to 40 000 kip using your card from another country, hope all that helps, oh and there is now a 100 000 kip note in circulation which is handy
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Old 05-02-2013, 04:18 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Travellers cheques.
I saw one in a museum once, looked fragile.
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