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Banking and Currency
The official currency in Laos is the Lao Kip, although United States Dollars and Thai Baht are widely accepted. Currency exchange is only permitted at official bank outlets. Exchanging foreign currency at unofficial shopfronts is illegal and may lead to detention or imprisonment.
There are very few ATM facilities in Laos that accept international credit cards, including the capital Vientiane. Banks offering these services include the BCEL, JDB and Lao-Viet Banks. Several banks offer over-the-counter credit card cash advance services during bank opening hours. Travellers should note that there are no ATM facilities that accept international debit cards in Laos. Those facilities are widely available in Thailand.
Credit cards are not readily acceptable outside of major tourist hotels and restaurants.
Money transfers are available through a number of banks.