Currency (Laos)

The local currency is the 'kip', however the economy runs on USD and Thai baht. It is available in notes of 1,000kip up to 20,000kip. Usually you will be given kip as change for amounts under US$1. You will need to have a supply of USD notes of US$20 or less, as the locals often do not accept notes above that value.

We recommend you take cash in USD which can be exchanged at major (Thai) banks in Vientiane, or at upmarket hotels in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. It is easier and you will get a better conversion rate if you buy USD before leaving home.

There are ATMs in Laos, mainly in Luang Prabang and other major cities. The most convenient are those found at the airport and the bank near the post office. Only a few upmarket hotels and tourist shops in Vientiane and Luang Prabang accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard (but will charge high commission).

Your Local Guide will advise prior to travelling to areas where the area no exchange or ATMs facilities.

Here is a reference table of approximate exchange rates (for up-to-date exchange rates, please check before you travel):

1 unit of current Laos LAK
AU$1 13,518
NZ$1 12,576
US$1 20,612

Correct as of December 2023