Travel Money Tips for East Asia

Travel Money Tips for East Asia

From the rugged, wild beauty of Himalayan mountains to white powdery snowfields in Hokkaido, and high-tech cities, East Asia offers Australians a diversity of travel experiences.

We’ve put together a list of top money tips for travelling around East Asia. Plan your trip with this handy money guide.


China Mountains with Clouds

China is a land of the Rising Sun – and a place of contrasts. From the bright lights of Shanghai and Beijing to the wonders of the Great Wall of China to fascinating destinations like Yading, with its untouched natural beauty, China has it all.

Whether you plan a budget backpacking holiday or want to live it up in style at a luxury 5-star resort, China caters to every traveller and budget.

Currency you’ll need:
Renminbi (RMB) or Chinese Yuan (CNY). Chinese use the word ‘kuai’ to refer to money, which is similar to saying ‘bucks’.

Money tip:
The most widely used bill is 100RMB which is the denomination distributed at ATMs. A few weeks before your trip, inform your bank of your travels. Card activity during your international travels may be mistaken as fraud, and you do not want your card to be frozen. Although ATMs are readily available in towns and cities, some do not accept foreign cards, and withdrawal limit may be low.

Exchange foreign currency in Australia before your trip. The benefits include:

  • Save money. At Crown Currency Exchange you never pay fees or commissions.
  • Set budget. Avoid overspending with a daily budget for your trip.
  • Cash is king. This is the best option for street food, souvenirs, budget restaurants and taxis.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong Skyline at Night Time

Hong Kong is a vibrant cosmopolitan city and a shopping and food lover’s paradise. This city offers everything from colourful night markets to mega-malls. Buy designer brands, choose from a vast selection of on-trend fashion or head on a shopping expedition at Hong Kong’s many thrift shops.

From traditional Chinese cuisine to sleek, modern restaurants, Hong Kong caters to every taste. And, if you think that Hong Kong is not a nature lover’s paradise, then you’ll be surprised to know that it has an impressive array of nature reserves, including Mai Po Nature Reserve, botanical gardens and mountain ranges.

Currency you’ll need:
Hong Kong dollar (HKD)

Money tip:
Although RMB is accepted in some stores, you will usually get a poor exchange rate. Pay with local currency, and you will save money on foreign currency exchange fees and high commissions. Save your cash for shopping and souvenirs.

Do you plan to use US dollars in Hong Kong? Think again as very few shops and restaurants accept USD.

Banks usually do not keep foreign currency on hand, and it may take up to a week to process your order. Exchange Australian dollars (AUD) to Hong Kong dollars (RMB) before you leave Australia.


Japan Pagoda with Mountain in Background

Japan is a diverse destination that caters to every traveller. Be swept away by the fast pace of Tokyo, or chill out in a relaxing hot spring onsen. Get your heart racing with sensational snow powder skiing in Hokkaido or marvel at the beauty of cherry blossoms in full bloom. Soak in the crystal clear waters of Japan’s numerous tropical islands or hike in Kamikochi, in Japan’s Alps. It’s little wonder that Japan is a favourite destination for Australian travellers.

Currency you’ll need:
Japanese Yen (JPY)

Money tip:
Japan is a cash economy. Take enough local currency to cover your trip as it surprising how many businesses do not accept credit cards. Many Japanese ATMs do not accept foreign cards.


Mongolia river and green fields

Want to explore the ultimate adventure-loving travel destination? Mongolia is a rugged and remote wilderness, where you can experience the nomadic culture and vast beauty of untouched landscapes. Mongolia is home to an abundance of wildlife, tranquil lakes, mountain peaks and the spectacular Gobi desert.

Stay in a herder’s ger (traditional felt yurt), explore Gurvan Saikhan National Park, with its sweeping dunes and mountain ranges or visit during the annual Naadam Festival, where archers shoot arrows from the same type of bows that were used during the Genghis Khan era.

Currency you’ll need:
Mongolian Tugrik (MNT)

Money tip:
In the countryside, you will need plenty of local currency on hand. It is advisable to always carry small change with you.

South Korea

South Korea is a mix of modern and traditional. Hike the rugged Seoraksan or Bukhansan mountain ranges – particularly beautiful during the autumn months – or shop in downtown Seoul. Take a boat to the secluded island of Deokjeokdo, and relax in a laid-back beachfront setting or explore the hiking trails. Visit Busan, which has a mix of stunning beaches, historic buildings and modern skyscrapers.

Currency you’ll need:
South Korean Won (KRW)

Money tip:
Although South Korea is a modern economy, you will need cash for your trip. Use it for street food, public transport, smaller restaurants and stores. Some merchants won’t accept credit cards for purchases under 10,000 won, while some ATMs do not accept international cards.


Taipei SkyScrapers

Taiwan is an often overlooked travel destination for Australians. It is one of Asia’s best-kept secrets. As home to some of the world’s most delicious food, it offers you an incredible range of Chinese cuisine (Taiwan’s street food is unforgettable!) and the tastiest Japanese food outside of Japan.

In Taiwan, you’ll find a mix of classic Chinese architecture, modern city skyscrapers and untouched wilderness. Visit the famous Taroko Gorge, which many believe is as magnificent as the Grand Canyon. Chill out on a tropical beach or get away from it all in relaxing hot springs.

Currency you’ll need:
New Taiwan dollar (TWD)

Money tip:
Some hotels and department stores will allow you to exchange USD to TWD, but you will usually get a poor rate.

Request a quote today from Crown Currency Exchange. We have over 80 currencies in stock and never charge fees or commission. This means you have more money to spend on your East Asia trip.

For your convenience, Crown Currency Exchange has over 25 locations on the East Coast of Australia. Find your closest store now!

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