Vientiane, Laos



Banks & Money Changers
Banks and money changers can be found concentrated in Vientiane's city centre. Money changer shops offer more competitive rates over banks. The best rates can be found at the shops along Rue Lane Xang in the section north of the Talat Sao (Morning Market).

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  • Banque Franco-Lao (BFL) on Lane Xang Avenue is the only European bank in Laos, with branches in Nam Phu, Talat Sao, Sihom, Talat Sikai and That Luang. The Nam Phu branch opens seven days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
  • Phongsavanh Bank on Thanon Samsenthai is Vientiane's newest and privately-owned bank, operating a currency exchange until about 8:30 p.m. on weekdays and for shorter hours on weekends.
  • BCEL operates foreign exchange counters on the corner of Thanon Fa Ngum (the river promenade), Thanon Setthathilath (near JoMa), Thanon Pang Kham as well as at the Friendship Bridge (just past the visa on arrival pick-up window). This bank charges no commission, gives better conversion rates and has longer opening hours than most local banks.
  • Home Ideal, a Chinese-owned store, offers good foreign exchange rates. The store is about two minutes walk on the next street over from Phongsavanh Bank.

Shop at Vientiane's Watty Airport by Paul Arps

ATMs are plentiful in Vientiane, but often cause problems such as "out-of-cash", "eaten card" and sometimes do not accept major international credit and debit cards. In addition, most ATMs have withdrawal limits of 700,000-2,000,000 kip and charge additional fees. 

  • BFL (Banque Franco-Lao) allows withdrawals up to 2,000,000 kip per transaction charging a 30,000 kip fee for each transaction. The limit is four transaction per day. Accepts Visa cards and has around 10 ATMs in the city.
  • ANZV allows withdrawals of up to 2,000,000 kip per transaction with a 40,000 kip transaction fee. ATMs supports both Visa and Maestro. There are ATMs at the main ANZV office located mid-way down Lane Xang. There are also ANZV ATMs at various locations, for example on the corner of Thanon Fa Ngum and Rue Chao Anou and at various mini-marts like City Minimart and at some M Point marts.
  • BCEL withdrawals are limited to 1,000,000 kip per transaction. However, you may make up to 10 transaction in one day. Mastercard and Maestro are readily accepted as well as Visa. BCEL charges a fee of 20,000 kip per transaction.
  • Joint Development Bank allows withdrawals of up to 1,000,000 kip per transaction with a 30,000 transaction fee. This bank also charges transaction fees on additional services like balance inquiry. Supports both Visa and Maestro.

ATM in Laos by GuillaumeG

Credit Cards
Credit cards are accepted by most travel agencies and in the better restaurants and shops. However, many charge a non-negotiable 3% fee of the total sale. Mastercard and Visa are the most common cards accepted. 
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