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Carrying a Wad Full of Won around SE Asia

 
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The Donkey



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere drinking, smoking and using foul language

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 11:27 pm    Post subject: Carrying a Wad Full of Won around SE Asia Reply with quote

So I am going to be a lucky ducky at the end of April...for I am getting the hell out of SK. Off to the wonderous lands of SA Asia for a month.
Wondering if anyone has some advice as to what to do for currency. ( I will have 5.4 million won or there abouts in my possession) I dont feel like carrying that much around with me obviously. Suggestions welcome!
Thanks
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The Lemon



Joined: 11 Jan 2003

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2003 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Money tips from someone just back from an annual SE Asia trip:

1. Most countries in SE Asia will exchange Won. This is relatively new - prior to 1999 or so, the Won was not a convertable currency outside the country.

2. If you don't like carrying around cash, you can get travellers cheques. The problem with T/Cs is many places (particularly banks) in SE Asia will charge hefty fees to cash them.

3. Similar to #2: Don't be afraid of money-changer booths, particularly in Malaysia and Singapore. They look fly-by-night but in fact are (in my experience) pretty honest, and if you're changing T/Cs, are a much better deal than established banks.

4. Some Korean banks issue cards that work outside the country. Some don't. Some issue cards with Plus and Cirrus symbols that don't actually work abroad, though they should. Some offer special "international cards". Some banks claim these are illegal for foreigners to possess.

All of this means, don't count on using your Korean ATM card abroad. It *might* work, but IMO it's too risky to put all your eggs in that basket and find out once you're there that you're out of luck.

T/Cs and moneychangers, or US dollars (though carrying cash is scary) might be the best ways to go.

Have a great trip! Wish I was going back.
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The Donkey



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere drinking, smoking and using foul language

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 2:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the reply.
I think I will check out those islands you were talking about in Malaysia while I am over there.
So what you are basically saying is that I have to carry around all of those god damned man won notes with me huh? Or change it all over to US dollars and take all that cash with me...I was hoping for a better solution...
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lawyertood



Joined: 17 Jan 2003
Location: Seoul, Incheon and the World--working undercover for the MOJ

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 4:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't recall for Malaysia but my Korean ATM card worked in Thailand (PLUS system) I would recommend taking dollars just to be on the safe side as you never know if they'll take won on an island. Of course, since Malaysia has a large Muslim population--who knows, they may be prejudiced against anything American these days,
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The King of Kwangju



Joined: 10 Feb 2003
Location: New York City

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2003 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Donkey -

A few words of advice from the road:

1) Get a good money belt. Get one that really is a belt, that has a zipper in the side of it : you can hide all your money in here and no one will ever find it. Forget about those pouches where you can keep your money, psspt, tickets, etc under your shirt - too bulky.

Between $$, psspt, and tx, $$ is the most important. It can get you the other 2, so guard it wisely.

2) Bring 70% VISA t/c's. $100 increments, with 2 50's just in case. Change at money changers for best rates. In most SE Asian countries, you can negotiate with moneychangers for better rates than posted. Wrap t/c's in plastic (prevents sweat from destroying them) and put them in your belt.

3) The rest of your money should be cash - real US$$. Very few situations can't be solved with a Ben Franklin. Part of it is psychological - something about the US greenback is so assuring and tempting, esp when waved in front of a greedy man. May also be able to negotiate better exchange rates if bills are new and crisp.

4) Get rid of that Korean money as quickly as you can - preferably at your local bank before you leave home. Otherwise, it will assuredly be an albatross around your neck.


KoK
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The Donkey



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Location: Somewhere drinking, smoking and using foul language

PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2003 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanks for the help guys. Does anyone know if there is such a thing as a pre paid credit card? I was thinking maybe I could get something from American Express and put some cash on it then use it overseas.
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Geoff



Joined: 11 Feb 2003

PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2003 11:17 pm    Post subject: cash limit at Gimpo departure Gate ? Reply with quote

hi, does anyone aware of the cash amount (whatever currencies) limit that can be carried out of S.K. ?
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