Unlike Europe, Asia doesn’t have a common currency which you could use in various countries. Thus, it is important to understand the currencies of the countries you want to visit in Asia. As of this writing, I’ve already been to Cambodia, Indonesia, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam. Each of these countries has their own local currency. If you want to learn more, then read on!
The local currency in Cambodia is riel (KHR) but US dollar is widely used as well because of its history of being colonized by Americans. This is amazing because you don’t have to exchange your money if you are using USD. I’m from the Philippines and I always exchange my Philippine peso into US dollar whenever I travel. Then, I exchange my US dollars to the local currency of the country I’m visiting. It is easy to exchange money in Cambodia because there are enough foreign exchange stores around.
If you will be travelling the Indochina route (Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam), I suggest you put Cambodia in the middle of your trip. And oh, don’t exchange all your money into the countries’ local currencies at once before you leave your home country. Only exchange when you are already in the country. By doing so, you could avoid having more or less money than you actually need. In Cambodia, you could freely use USD. If you become short of cash, just withdraw money from the ATMs. They dispense US dollars!
USD 1 = PHP 51.87
PHP 1 = KHR 78.35
USD 1 = KHR 4,064
The official currency in Indonesia is Indonesian rupee (IDR). Knowing that Indonesia doesn’t have enough public transport, I decided to exchange my money at the airport. I stayed in Kuta and there are a lot of foreign exchange stores. However, most of those stores require a minimum amount for exchange. This means you can’t just exchange your USD 1 or USD 5. Although the exchange rate of PHP 1 is IDR 274.20, the lowest coin in Indonesia is IDR 500. Just like Vietnam, money here has large denominations.
PHP 1 = IDR 274.20
USD 1 = IDR 14,222
The official currency in Taiwan is the New Taiwan Dollar (NTD). Most blogs would warn you not to exchange money at the airport due to poor rates. However, this is not the case in Taiwan. Almost all of the bloggers reassured me that the foreign exchange stores at the airport offer competitive rates. Thus, I exchanged mine at Taoyuan International Airport.
PHP 1 = NTD 0.61
USD 1 = NTD 31.37
The official currency in Thailand is baht (THB). There are a lot of foreign exchange stores in this country especially in Bangkok. When I travelled to Indochina, I budgeted and allotted specific amount of US dollars in each country. My money was enough for the whole duration of my trip in Bangkok.
During my last day, I decided to spend more and deduct from my budget in my next country. However, I had trouble exchanging money because I wanted to breakdown my USD 100 into lower bills and only exchange USD 10. Every store told me that it is illegal to breakdown USD into smaller bills. Crazy, right? So I ended up not replenishing my budget and just squeezed my THB 45 cash on hand before heading to Cambodia.
PHP 1 = THB 0.60
USD 1 = THB 31.24
The official currency in Vietnam is Vietnamese dong (VND). Based from experience, there are only few foreign exchange stores in Ho Chi Minh City. When I visited, it took me a while to find a bank to exchange my money. Although the exchange rate of PHP 1 is VND 447.90, the lowest bill in Vietnam is VND 500. It is also important to note that even if money in Vietnam is in large denominations, the cheapest product you could buy amounts to VND 5,000. As much as possible, I buy the cheapest stuff and the cheapest I found was a small piece of bread amounting to VND 5,000 from a convenience store.
PHP 1 = VND 447.90
USD 1 = VND 23,233
And of course, Philippines! How can I forget my home country? If you’re planning to visit the Pearl of the Orient because of its wonderful beaches and 7,000+ islands, know that it won’t cost you a fortune.
USD 1 = PHP 51.87
EUR 1 = PHP 58.83
In this section, I will provide the other Asian countries which I haven’t visited yet and their corresponding currencies. I will also update this post and explain more about the country and its currency once I travel there. 😉
|Country||Currency||ISO-4217||PHP 1||USD 1|
|China||Chinese Yuan Renminbi||CNY||0.133||6.910|
|Hong Kong (China)||Hong Kong dollar||HKD||0.151||7.843|
|Israel||Israeli new shekel||ILS||0.069||3.576|
|Macau (China)||Macanese pataca||MOP||0.156||8.074|
|Myanmar (formerly Burma)||Myanmar kyat||MMK||29.360||1,523.00|
|North Korea||North Korean won||KPW||17.329||899.744|
|Palestine||Israeli new shekel||ILS||0.069||3.576|
|Saudi Arabia||Saudi Arabian riyal||SAR||0.072||3.750|
|South Korea||South Korean won||KRW||22.790||1,182.00|
|Sri Lanka||Sri Lankan rupee||LKR||3.402||176.500|
|Timor-Leste||United States dollar||USD||0.019||1.00|
|United Arab Emirates||UAE dirham||AED||0.071||3.673|
Take note that foreign exchange rates vary from time to time. The value of your money today might be less or more than yesterday. The rates are just guides for you to have a better understanding of the currencies in Asia. Also, if you are looking for countries found both in Asia and Europe (like Russia) and they’re not on this list, you may find them here.
Did I help you understand the currencies in Asia better? What are your suggestions for this post? Let me know by commenting down below!
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