AnneMarie and Andrew

Annemarie and Andrew – Trekking Asia

Cambodia: Mix & Match Currency

Paying for things in Cambodia is interesting. Everything is labelled in US Dollars and every price quoted is also dollars. But there are no coins, they only have the banknotes. Amusing that a country imported another country’s currency, but only bothered to use half of it. The Cambodian Riel can be used but it’s as if the money is tainted and everyone wants rid of if ASAP.

4000 Riel = 1 dollar.

So anything costing under a dollar is paid for in Riel, or you pay a dollar and get change in Riel (no coins = no cents). Last night our meal cost $10.50. We gave $15 and got $4, 2000 Riel in change. Our lunch cost $9, we gave $5 and a 20,000 Riel note and got 4,000 Riel change.

We can mix and match as we please and everyone is OK with this approach. Everyone wants to give change in Riel, it’s like a game; Get rid of the Riel and whoever has the least Riel at the end wins. I aim to ensure we have none left by the time we leave, but shops and restaurants keep using fractions of dollars so we always end up with Riel. We should only buy things which add up to whole dollars and no fractions…

Posted from Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

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