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Northern Asia Topics specific to Russia, Central Asia (also known as "the 'stans"), Mongolia, Japan and Korea
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Old 2 May 2008
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Money in the Stans, Russia, Iran

Hi all,

When I travel, I usually do the following: take out big amounts of local currency at ATMs when I arrive in the country, and keep on me around a hundred euros in cash in case I need to change money.

I'll be riding in Russia, the stans and Iran this summer and had intended to do the same there, but it just occured to me that it might not always be possible (no ATMs in dodgy border posts, situation in Iran, etc). Has anyone good advice on how to and not to proceed?

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Old 2 May 2008
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don´t know the situation in russia and stans.
but in iran atm`s don´t work with credit cards.
it´s sometimes also a hassle to find a bank, which changes money.
i would recommend to check the rate in internet and to change the assumptive money you need for the trip on the blackmarket on the border.(didn´t do this way and had to search for hours to find a moneychanger in orumiye)
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Old 2 May 2008
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Nostro, hi

ATMs (Bankomats) are everywhere in Russia. In major cities some even offer choices of currencies - Roubles - US Dollars - Euros.

Best to make sure you are using an ATM at/in a Bank and avoid the freestanding ones in shops, petrol stations, rail and metro stations etc. I have been warned that some of these are suspect and prone to fraudulent use of your card.
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Old 2 May 2008
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As stated, there are ATMs everywhere in Russsia. For the stans, there are banks in the big cities. In Iran same- there was a bank at the border I came in at (from Turkmenistan). If not, you should have enough cash on you to change at the border and get to a big town.
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Old 3 May 2008
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Same experience here, Russia is not problem, ATMs everywhere.

In 2006 we were worried about the money in Kazakhstan and packed rubles in Russia but it turned out, in Almaty you've got ATMs at every corner. Plus at the border you will usually find somebody to change your currencies. Finally we got to use our Rubles right after crossing from Kirgizstan to Tajikistan (some shabby border post, no money changer), we ended up in a small town and we had no idea what the local currency looked like or was worth. But the hotel accepted our rubles without any trouble, until we got to a big city and withdrew some money.

Advice if you go in the remote parts of the Stans: rubles may be easier to negotiate than dollars or euros (which means, you're less likely to be ripped off).

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Old 4 May 2008
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Thanks all,

I guess I'll hoard some rubles while in Russia fr the stans then. Tony, thanks for the tip (are you lurking in every thread concerning Russia ? )

pete, did your bank in Iran only work for changing money as I suppose? I'll be coming in the same way byt from all I read it seems you can't anyhow withdraw money in Iran.
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