About money

money notes kips

Banks and ATMs - Getting money in Don Det with a credit card

There is no automatic teller machine (ATM) on the island, nor in Don Khone. Nevertheless, a number of money changers and guesthouses allow you to use your card to withdraw kips from your account at the 6% fee.
At BABA guesthouse, we accept Visa, MasterCard, and UnionPay.

Three ATMs and one bank are located on the mainland (Nakasang, 15 minutes by boat). The ATMs are open 24h/24 7d/week, but are sometimes temporarily out of service for maintenance. The bank provides Western Union and Money Gram services (open from Monday to Friday 8:30-15:30).

Changing or paying with foreign currencies

The Lao money is the kip, and most of the transactions are made in the local currency. However, thai bahts and US$ are commonly accepted everywhere (restaurants, buses, shops, etc.) with your change converted and returned in kips (everyone has a vague knowledge of the current rates).
In July 2019, 1$ = 8700 kips, 1 = 9780 kips, and 1 baht = 283 kips.

Be aware there's no place here to change Cambodian riels, so if you come from Cambodia, the border is your last chance to convert them in kips or in dollars.

money-tree

Shopping and local products in Don Det

There are a few shops spread over the island that sell all kind of items, but no daily market. In some of them, you'll be able to find fresh products like fruits or bread, but most often only biscuits, crisps, fresh drinks and necessaries like soap.
There's a kind of minimart in the center of Don Det, near the pier, which is filled with quite an exhaustive range of diverse western products, like Muesli cereals, chocolate bars, ice-creams, pistachios, flip-flop shoes, etc., and that accepts credit cards.

To find a real traditional market, you'll need to get to Nakasang, at 15 minutes by boat from Don Det, before 8:30am. Be on time because after 9am the place becomes nearly desert. This market is easy to find, located 500 meters from the Mekong, behind the banks. Follow the crowd : this is the main destination for most of the locals getting there by boat from the 4000 islands, in the early morning.

morning market

Traditional market in Nakasang

To buy recharges for your mobile phone if you use a Lao SIM card, go to the minimart in the center of Don Det, or to Nakasang, by boat.
All the pharmacies are also settled in the mainland.

For a souvenir, Don Det t-shirts are sold at Adam's bar, in the center, as well as in Don Khone, near the Liphi falls.

To print documents like a Cambodian VISA (or eVISA) stored on a USB key or from a mobile phone, you need to go to Nakasang, and find the shop selling mobile phones, 200 meters on the left side of the village when you arrive by boat. There are computers with internet there, and color inkjet printers.

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