Which Currency to carry while travelling to Indonesia / Bali

It is best to travel with USDollar from India. Indonesian local currency is Indonesian Rupee (IDR).

Conversion Rate from

One Indian Rupee = 208 IDR Indonesian Ruppees

1 US Dollar = 13400 IDR Indonesian Rupees

USD is a best currency to carry Indonesia but also can be carried major currencies like Pound, Canadian dollar, Australian Dollar, Newzealand Dollar, Euro etc. In Bali one can have best conversion rates from any currencies to Indonesian Rupees than any other city of  Indonesia.

You can change any currency anywhere without any difficulty so there is probably no need to worry. Hotels and Banks will give you a lower rate – though not by much – than the myriad Money changers in the street stalls and shops. Generally the latter will quote one of two rates: the higher rate will have commission deducted from the total, the lower rate does not. In the end there is very little difference between the two.

If you are in restaurant and your food bill is Rupees 100000, don’t get shocked -its just 7 US Dollar.



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Travelling Singapore & Malaysia from India, which currency to carry

Local currencies are Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) and Singapore Dollar (SGD). But both countries  are good with USDollar, EURO, Pound,  Australian Dollar or Canadian Dollar can be easily converted into to their local currency. In India, if you don’t have SGD. In the local market, you need to have local currency only.

What is best to carry SGD, MYR, USD or any other currency??

  • There are no fees or charges to bring your home currency, and no fees or charges to exchange it into Ringgit in Malaysia and Dollar Singapore.
  • The rates offered in Malaysia and Singapore are always BETTER than you could get back home.
  • FOREX booths accept ALL MAJOR currencies.
  • DO remember to bring ONLY bank notes in good overall condition.
  • FOREX booths generally WILL NOT accept bank notes that are torn, ripped, damaged or are excessively marked/stamped.
  • It is the easiest to use, and in most cases the cheapest as well, but has obvious risks associated with loss.
  • You do not have to present ID to exchange foreign currency.

You can get some money changed up at India so you have enough for your incidentals when you arrive, or convert your other currency in your arriving airport.

There are lots of money changers in Malaysia and Singapore, especially in areas popular with tourist. The money changer is pretty straight forward – you give him your money, he will press a few buttons on his calculator and come out with the exchange rate. If you are happy with the rate you will convert your currency for Ringgits. They work exactly as a bank or Travel exchange.  Money changers will usually give a better rate than banks. Do check the money you are receiving is correct.

Debit or Credit cards / ATM / prepaid cash cards

  • Your Indian bank may levy a fee or fees.
  • Using ATMs is a safer option than cash and more convenient than T/Cs.
  • This may be an excellent option if your Indian bank does not charge high fees.
  • ATMs are plentiful and located just about everywhere.
  • *Prepaid Forex Cards – Like ATMs, may also be subject to fees by issuer as well as the local bank ATM.

Remember, you DO NOT need any Ringgit before your arrival as it will subject you to a considerably poorer rate of exchange plus probable commission fees.

The easiest and most secure method of getting your currency in Malaysia is no different than almost anywhere in the world. ATM’s are located at the major bank branches, most shopping malls, airports, bus terminals, etc. As normal, a 4 digit PIN is required, so if your password has more digits, change it before you depart on your trip.

Credit cards are widely accepted.  But be careful of possible scamming and do not let the card out of your sight.  Use credit cards for hotel deposits or payments or purchases in department shops.  Use an ATM for topping up your cash.  ATM’s to get out cash as needed -usually use May-bank or Public Bank with no problems as long as you tell your bank before you go.  ATM/Credit Cards will usually give good exchange rates but some banks do make a charge, check which bank cards give the best deal.

Currency to carry while travelling to Thailand

As on today 4th August 2016, with Indian Rupees INR,

  • THB available @ 1.98
  • USD available @ 67.60
  • And conversion rate from USD to THB is 34.83 THB per USD.

If you buy US Dolllar and convert it, 67.60 /34.83 = 1.94.  THB is cheaper by 0.04 paisa (2%).

Local currency in Thailand is Thai Baht (THB). You should carry THB with you if you have visa on arrival and/or if you need to pay for taxi or bus after leaving airport.

For Thailand, GBP, Euro and USD is fine to carry, but for Indian it’s easy to buy USD from local market and you can get good conversion rate for Thai Baht all over the country. On every street you will find a Forex shop to convert your USD. But if you carry 100 dollar bill you’ll need to convert all of it and you won’t get change back in dollars and you will get lower rate for 20’s and 50’s bill compared to 100 dollar bill. Also note that you might get bad conversion rate at airport or hotel.

Prepaid Currency card of THB and Credit/Debit Card

Prepaid currency card are safe to carry, but it will cost almost 3% higher to carry and moreover if you withdraw cash from ATM in Thailand, card will charge you 100 Thai Baht extra for every withdrawal. Banks also charges higher conversion rate upto 3.5% for their Debit/credit cards. Indian Rupees can also be converted in THB, but rates are poorer and at every place you do not get it converted.

Carrying currency depend upon your length of stay and pattern of spending money.

Summarising : Best idea is to carry few Thai Baht and rest in USD.

Why Thai Baht ?

All of the below may not apply to you.

1. arrival visa – 1000 baht.
2. prepaid Sim card – 300 baht
3. duty free shopping – 1500 baht for a bottle of double black
4. Cab – 300 baht to Bangkok Hotel.
5. Hotel – 2000 baht( incase your hotel needs any deposit)

Almost 5100 baht.

Why US Dollar ?

  1. While you buy foreign currency USD Conversion rate is better. Converting to Baht will give you poor rates
  2. Again, while coming back with remaining Baht, you’ll face poor conversion rates than USD.
  3. USD will be less in volume so easy to carry.
  4. Not everyone in Thailand will exchange INR to Baht. USD can be exchanged anywhere.
  5. After returning back with remaining USD, you might just want to keep them for next travel/USD to go up and then exchange with INR.
  6. Also, on one hand you will lose some money during converting INR to USD, but, on the other hand selling USD back to THB could counter some of your earlier losses, as you have a leverage of a significant amount in hand.

Remember to carry a couple of passport size photographs. They need you to have a passport photograph to staple on your application, and take that with you or you will have to pay a large amount to get your picture taken.

Always use the Locker at hotel room to keep money safe.

Currency to carry while travelling Dubai (UAE)

The only currency you can spend in Dubai or Sharjah is the Arab Emirates Dirham (AED). So if you are not planning to shop much you should carry Dirhams with you. The currency in Dubai is the UAE dirham (Dhs or AED), which is pegged to the US dollar at the rate of US$ 1 = AED 3.67, this means it doesn’t change.

What currencies is best to carry while travelling to Dubai, US$ , AED or Indian Rupees.

You need Dirham everywhere to spend and shop but US Dollar is pegged to the conversion  rate of 3.67 and can be easily exchanged with Money Changer in malls and in shops.

During the month of December to February US Dollar is available cheaper than Dirham in Indian Currency market and if you want a big shopping in Dubai it’s a good idea to carry US Dollar.

With USD  you might be able to pay in the bazaar/mall, but the rates won’t be all that great, so its always better to have Dirham on hand. Convert your US Dollar to Dirham with Currency Exchange at mall or shops before you need it.

However do not exchange currency USD to AED in the airports or hotels as they give terrible exchange rates.

Somehow, Indian Rupees is also accepted by some of jewellers at Meena Bazar and Gold Souk. Dubai Jewellers might charge you extra for shopping with Debit/Credit card.

ATM are everywhere if you have your debit/credit card or foreign currency card. you as that way you will avoid paying a pointless ATM or over the counter fee and also Indian bank debit/credit card charges higher rate for conversion into foreign currency. Its not advisable use them as you are paying higher rate for foreign currency. Only use them if you are running out of money. But using a foreign currency prepaid card is advisable for shopping because the rate of currency are fixed with card.

Do not take traveller’s cheque with you in Dubai, very few places exchange them for currency.


Alcohol is expensive in Dubai Bars

If you prefer to drink in hotel room, you should buy couple of bottles from Dubai airport, duty free zone. Bottle of alcohol is not available in Dubai, you can only drink in bars or restaurant.

Drinks are expensive in Dubai and that you are recommended to buy it at the airport.

How much Foreign Currency can be carried while Travelling abroad?

Any person residing in India is allowed to carry foreign currency notes upto US $ 3000/- or equivalent currency of other currencies as per Reserve Bank of India Guideline.

So Indian Custom foreign currency limit is only US$ 3000 but in addition to this you can carry addition currency in form of Traveler’s Cheque, Foreign Currency Debit Card.  One can also remit the foreign currency to abroad. Following limits are in inclusive of Foreign currency notes.

FEMA Limits

Purpose Limit
Basic Travel Quota (BTQ) – For Holidays, Personal visits etc USD $10,000 per Trip
Business Travel USD $25,000 per Trip
Immigration – For people who settle abroad in countries like Canada, New Zealand etc. USD $100,000 per year
Employment Abroad – For a person who is going to work abroad USD $100,000 per year
Medical Treatment – For people who are travelling abroad for treatment USD $100,000 per year
Studies Abroad – For students pursuing studies abroad USD $100,000 per academic year

Purpose of travelling abroad fixes the limit of Forex.

Personal visit or Holiday

Personal Visit or Holiday abroad may require spending in foreign currency for hotel accommodation, tour arrangements, shopping, etc. Under this category, an individual is allowed to draw foreign exchange up to $10,000 per Trip in a year for one or more private visits abroad.

Business trip

If you are going abroad for business travel, attending conference or specialized training, you can apply to your bank for release of foreign exchange up to $25,000.

Employment Abroad

RBI has allowed drawing foreign exchange up to $100,000 for taking up employment abroad.

Education – Studies Abroad

You can draw up to $100,000 equivalent per academic year for studying abroad. Studying abroad covers all expenses relating to education including admission fee, tuition fee and purchase of study material. However, if you require funds in excess of $100,000, you need to produce an estimate from the institute you intend to study to the concerned bank.

Medical treatment

An individual willing to travel abroad for getting medical treatment is allowed to withdraw foreign exchange up to $100,000 based on self-declaration of essential details without providing any estimate from a doctor or hospital. However, if the individual wishes to take money over the prescribed limit, she/he will have to provide an estimate from a hospital or doctor. In addition, a maintenance expense of up to $25,000 is allowed.

Emigration facilities

RBI has allowed withdrawal of foreign exchange for Emigration facilities up to $100,000 based on self-declaration or an amount prescribed by the country of emigration.

Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS)

In addition to these limits there is a scheme known as Liberalised Remittance Scheme in force since 2004 which allows resident individuals to draw foreign exchange up to a specified limit. The remittance limits under LRS keep changing and under the present limit an individual can draw up to $250,000 per year for the transaction permissible under the scheme. Under this scheme, an individual can freely acquire and hold shares, debentures, units of mutual funds, venture capital funds, unrated debt securities, promissory notes or any other instrument of like nature. Further, the resident can invest in such securities out of the bank account opened abroad under the Scheme. He can also set up a company, enter into joint venture or buy immovable properties abroad provided the law of the host country allows such transactions. Apart from the above, this scheme allows an individual to make remittance as gift or loan to his relative abroad who is a non-resident Indian i.e. an Indian.

Citizen who resides outside India. Further, where an individual has availed of a loan at a time when he was non-resident, he can take the benefit of this scheme to make remittance for repayment of loans.

How to buy Foreign Currency in India?

Foreign exchange can be purchased from any authorised dealer.

Passenger needs Valid passport, Air-ticket and Visa (if visa is not on arrival) to buy foreign currency notes. He can convert foreign currency upto Rs. 50,000/-  in cash per person and more than Rs. 50,000/- he has to pay through cheque.

Maximum limit per person to buy foreign currency notes is equivalent to USDollar 3,000. What does it mean by Equivalent? If USD to INR conversion is Rs. 67.00 per USD, limit to buy other currency is set to buy for INR 201,000/-. So if you are travelling Australia and want to buy Australian Dollar (AUD) @ convertion rate of Rs. 50.00 you can buy AUD 4,000.

How much Rupees (INR) can be carried while travelling abroad?

Any person resident in India, may take outside India (other than to Nepal and Bhutan) currency notes of Government of India up to an amount not exceeding Rs.25,000 (Rupees Twenty Five Thousand only) per person.

And an Indian may take or send outside India (other than to Nepal and Bhutan) commemorative coins not exceeding two coins each.

Officially, a person cannot carry more than Rs.25,000/- while travelling abroad in Indian currency. But while travelling abroad a person can carry foreign currency equivalent to US$ 3,000/- and upto US$ 10,000/- in other forms like Forex Card (Foreign Currency Debit card) or Traveler’s Cheque.

For more information visit : A.P. (DIR Series) Circular No. 45/2015-16 [(1)/6(R)