On this page some information about the use of different currencies in Laos.
Lao Kip, the currency of the Lao PDR
The currency of Laos is the Lao Kip (LAK). Only banknotes are used in Laos and you can find banknotes worth 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000 Kip. Most transactions in Laos are done in Kip. Lao banknotes show the numbers in both Lao and ‘western’ numbers and all banknotes, except for the 500 and 1,000 notes, have the portrait of the former Lao leader Kaysone Phomvihane on one side. Changing Lao Kip outside of Laos will be very difficult and the best is to use or change the money before leaving Laos. If you are at home and you still have some Lao Kip left and you want to change it, contact us and maybe we can help you with it: email@example.com
The currency of neighboring Thailand is also used in Laos sometimes. The exchange rates at markets, in hotels and shops may vary and changing Baht to Kip before purchasing goods might sometimes be easier. Don’t expect everyone to accept Baht and they also don’t have to because Kip is the only official currency in the country.
US Dollars (or American Dollars, USD) are also used in Laos sometimes (banknotes only). If you need a visa to go to Laos you will need some of this currency (Thai Baht might also be accepted at the borders but the exchange rates they use will not be positive for you). Some transactions are possible in USD but not everywhere people will accept payment in USD. Use clean and non damaged notes, others may not be accepted. In some (mostly more expensive) hotels you will see a pricelist in both Dollars, Baht and Kip.
Euro, Swiss Francs and British Pounds
Normally Euros, Swiss Francs and British Pounds are not accepted as payment in Laos. You can change them in some places but can’t use them for normal transactions and payment.