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Thread: Question about money

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1

    Default Question about money

    I'm going on my first trek soon and was wondering what to do when it comes to money. I'll be going on the everest trek, 2 weeks in all. How much cash in rupies and dollars should I bring? Where can I find ATMs? Is it safe to trek with all your money in cash? (guess theres not much of a choice...)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Espoo,Finland
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    618

    Default Re: Question about money

    As an old school trekker I take only cash (euros in my case) and exhange enough of them into rupees before the trek in Kathmandu where the rates are considerably better than in the hills (like 7% better). If I think I will need 20€ worth of rupees per day, I might change 30-40€/day just in case. As I usually stay in Kathmandu after the trek for several days all the possibly unspent money will be used there for the hotel, lavish diners & souveniers etc. I do not see why it would be unsafe to travell with cash, just keep it on you* at all times and do not show it around. Besides many local businessmen have a lot more with them all the time. Robberies are very uncommon.

    The total amout of money I take with me is 50-100% more than what I calculate I would need in the worst case. I just bring back the wads which did not get spent.

    Younger people want to use ATMs which you can find in Kathmandu, and they even work sometimes. Sometimes they do not work for days. You might also be hit by bank commissions.

    I have not used traveller's cheques since eighties.

    *) actually I have most of it hidden in my pack which is always with me.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Venice, Italy
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    Default Re: Question about money

    I'm an old school traveller and I totally agree with Petrus.
    The only difference is that I take USD, but I'm very old school

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Espoo,Finland
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    Default Re: Question about money

    Too old... If you change your Euros into dollars first, then Rupees, you loose one commission (1-2%). Euros are just as well accepted in Nepal as US dollars, except at the visa counter. I just have the visa cash in USD, the rest in fairly large denomination €uros to exchange pre-trek, then smaller bills to make exact smaller exchanges when the hour of departure nears.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Venice, Italy
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    45

    Default Re: Question about money

    I have some personal reasons to prefer USD
    1. they are smaller and fit better in my moneybelt
    2. wherever in the world people know the rate for USD. I had problems trying to get a fair rate for Euros in remote places
    3. I work in an exchange office therefore I don't pay commissions!

    Anyway: bring cash and keep your money with you all the time!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    201

    Default Re: Question about money

    Can anyone confirm that when exchanging USDs that $100 bills receive a better exchange rate then $20 bills? I have only used $20s before.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Venice, Italy
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    45

    Default Re: Question about money

    Usually big notes get a better rate.
    I bring only $100 bills and a couple of $10 (or $20) in case I need a last minute change.
    Last edited by zerostress; 29th March 2011 at 11:22 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    British Columbia, Canada
    Posts
    402

    Default Re: Question about money

    from January 2011...

    - bring cash on trek, almost all in Nepal Rupees
    Note: You can change dollars in Namche but the rate is indeed, terrible.

    - On trek: bring at least US$30/day in rupees -- I suggest $40/day if you like a drink or candy bar.

    - US dollars (and/or perhaps Euros) are good for extra unexpected needs on trek (e.g., helicopter out from Lukla/Surket...) -- people know the exchange rate for USD. Canadian dollars, Aussie dollars etc may be worth more but on the trek folks do not know the exchange rate.

    - There is no differential exchange rate for large vs small USD bills in Thamel -- though one can negotiate the rate when exchanging larger amounts.

    - I've had no problem exchanging (i) Canadian dollars in Thamel, nor (ii) with US or Canadian traveler's cheques in Thamel. (Yes, I still bring TCs as we still run into issues with ATMs.)

    - ATMs in Kathmandu work; HOWEVER, in Kathmandu, my bank's card never worked but my wife's bank card did (different banks). [We did not have this problem in Indonesia or Thailand].

    - Forget any idea of depending on ATMs on trek....

    - Contrary to what other posters have said, we rarely had a problem with 1000 Rupee notes (the largest NR bill) in the Everest region. Unfortunately, the bill often is well over 1000 rupees! (Below Lukla we also had no problem, and the bills were often <1000). Still, you should always be sure to keep some "change" in 100s and 50s etc in case of problems

    - Do NOT bring your passport on trek -- make a photocopy of details to bring and leave passport locked up in safety deposit box in Kathmandu

    - as said before: ALWAYS keep your money (and camera and other valuables) with you at all times. [Although we've found Nepalis on trek honest.]
    Last edited by Landfall38; 30th March 2011 at 04:06 AM. Reason: missing word added

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden.
    Posts
    516

    Default Re: Question about money

    Quote Originally Posted by zerostress View Post
    2. wherever in the world people know the rate for USD.
    My experience is rather the opposite, that no one, except those who work in
    exchange offices, manage to keep track of how far the dollar has fallen this week.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Francisco Ca
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Question about money

    Quote Originally Posted by Landfall38 View Post
    from January 2011...

    - Do NOT bring your passport on trek -- make a photocopy of details to bring and leave passport locked up in safety deposit box in Kathmandu
    This is the first I have heard that your passport should be left in KTM. Is this really recommended? Photocopy yes, but parting with it for the duration of my trek?

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