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"Money - Should You Take Your Plastic Cards?" Tibet Packing List Tip by Maria81

Tibet What to Pack: 15 reviews and 10 photos

  Pilgrims in Jokhang
by Maria81

Miscellaneous: My old (2005) travel guide gave the general impression that taking a debit/credit card to Tibet, and especially replying on it, is nothing short of madness. And if you're going outside of Lhasa without a ready supply of cash you must be certifiable. Thankfully, Tibet has gone a long way since then - I've visited Tibet relying entirely on plastic and managed to survive and tell the tale.

There are plenty of ATMs now in Lhasa, with several in Shigatse as well. Some of the smaller banks will not take foreign cards and may refuse to dispense money, but I've always found the Bank of China a safe bet in this regard in both cities. Most of the handicraft shops will also take credit and debit cards. The only potential problem is that ATMs will tend to dispense 100 RMB notes (a bottle of green tea costs 2-3 RMB, so they're not very handy for small purchases) - thus it's still a good idea to carry smaller local notes if you want to buy items from stalls or pay the monasteries' interior photography fees.

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 3, 2011
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