Friday, June 13, 2014

Foreign Friday

Money from Malaysia, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore,
Philippines, and Japan
1979 - 1980
When traveling it is important to carry coins and bills from the countries you are visiting. Having the foreign money provides peace of mind that you can purchase food, pay for a taxi, make a phone call, and tip if appropriate. It's never wise to cash in or spend all of your foreign money before leaving a country because the unexpected can always occur.

I came home with a few dollars from some of the countries I visited. Of course, most of the money is from Japan. I never bothered to exchange any of the money when I returned to the base or even when I returned to the U.S.

The exchange rate for a U.S. dollar was very good in 1979, nearly $2.30 for 100 yen; the exchange rate now is closer to $1 to 101 yen. According to, the Japanese yen in the photo would total approximate $17 at today's exchange rate. Today, the Thai bhat is worth $2.75, Singapore dollars and odd coins approximately $2; the two Malaysian ringgits approximately 62 cents today. The odd coins from the Philippines and Hong Kong are probably less than a dollar each.

The exchange rate is fluid and changes from day to day. A wise traveller keeps an eye on the rate and tries to exchange money when the value is the greatest.

Have you kept foreign money as a souvenir of your travels?


  1. I've only crossed over the border into Mexico and Canada for short day trips and never needed to exchange money. Good advice though about not changing all your money before leaving a country.

  2. My smart Neighbor Abby who is a world traveler kindly gave Zach Mexican money on his first trip there for school. It was a huge relief to know he could hail a cab, eat etc if he needed to the first day

  3. We have a cookie tin loaded with foreign bills and coins my husband acquired while in his Navy career. They're fun to look at.....some of the bills are so pretty!

    And we had a good laugh when we drove into Canada last year. We hadn't been in many years, and I remembered we had some Canadian bills, so I brought those to use! I guess it had been a very long time since our last visit, because they were now using coins for their dollars, and when we gave the young gal at the coffee shop the bills......she looked at them, turned them around many times, called another gal from the back room, and the older gal told her what they were! She'd never seen them before, and didn't know they were real! Of course they were both speaking only French, and we were grateful when another customer came in to translate.....then we all had a good laugh! :o)

  4. Yes, I always come back with some coinage. I think it's interesting to have a little collection of foreign coins. It's amazing how the rate fluctuates so much!

  5. I think I still have German Marks (DM) from 1970. The exchange rate was fantastic when we were in Germany but things have changed drastically. I wonder if my Marks are worth something because they are no longer in use. Hmmm I'll have to check that.

  6. I do still have some German money from 1971 when I was an exchange student in Hamburg. And I have some Euros that one my students brought me years ago when she returned from a year in France as an exchange student.

  7. I did keep some money from Japan in 1970.... Brian is more a collector than me! He has some Mexican too....

  8. I have never traveled out of the U.S. so the only foreign money I have is the odd Canadian penny or dime that finds it's way to Orlando.

    Steve has been all over with work --- he brought back some money from Scotland for me. I am part Scot.

  9. As a child, I thought people went to great efforts to sneak foreign currency to me. I'm not sure I have anything other than British and Canadian.


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