Currency & Money:
During your tour, it is essential that you bring enough money to cover the cost of any meals not included (claimed by us when we send to you the final itinerary) and for drinks, tipping, other activities such as shopping, optional tour paid on-site. It is suggested that you have access to at least two sources of money whilst travelling in Asia – the first one is cash (better exchanged to the local currency), and credit card (Visa and MasterCard are most popular), ATM debit card as most renowned international banks have branches in Asia. They will ensure both the flexibility and security during your travel.
Counterfeit cash is a serious issue in Asia. Hence, bank vendors and clerks, as well as hotel exchange desks are often precautious when it comes to accepting notes in ‘not so good’ conditions. Do not accept notes that are torn, faded significantly, have different shade, ink stamps or any writing on them. Once you accept the notes and sign the exchange receipt, you won’t be able to exchange them if you notice problems.
Cash on tour
We suggest you, during the first few days of the tour, bring enough cash in hand. Once the tour has begun, you will automatically get a sense of how much, how often you need to exchange money. Please don’t leave it till the last minute to exchange as unanticipated things might happen: desks close, ATM not available or run out of cash, or even unexpected changes in your schedule.
Please also retain several exchange receipts. This is used for converting any unused notes into USD or your national currency (if applicable) at international airport exchange desks before you depart. To exchange, you will need to present your passport, flight tickets and several money receipts for money exchanged/withdrawn during the time you are visiting the country.
Please aware that outside of major towns, banking is less reliable so we recommend you to plan ahead. If you are travelling to remote area during the tour with us, please bring USD as those currency notes are the most recognizable one.
Credit cards are accepted at major hotels, large tourist souvenir shops and larger restaurants. Visa, MasterCard and American Express are the best choices due to their popularity. Please be advised that small business hotels, small shops and small restaurants generally do not accept credit cards. The credit card company will charge service fees for credit card transactions, so please try to reserve the cards for major purchases. Or ask the owners first before paying by credit card to get whether a surcharge applies or not. However, when travelling to rural areas (this applies mostly to Indochina, Sri Lanka and India), it is wise to carry cash, as credits cards and debit cards are not usually accepted and ATMs are rarely found there. Please check with your card issuers and inform them you are travelling overseas before you go, as some block their cards standard for several regions due to fraud risks.
ATMs, in general, are a reliable source of travel money, especially when travelling in major cities. However, please do not rely on this method. ATMs might seems to be widely available but they often run out of cash, different minimum withdrawal amounts vary, might not have English as chosen language or reject foreign cards. Please try to withdraw as few times as possible because withdrawal fees can be high. Consult with your bank about the fee charged and other necessary information before leaving for the tour.