The Laotian national currency is the Lao Kip (LAK) and is presented in denominations of 500 LAK, 1,000 LAK 2,000 LAK, 5000 LAK, 10,000 LAK, 20,000 LAK and 50,000 LAK. 

The relative instability of the local currency is exemplified by flagrant disregard of a law passed in 1990 outlawing the use of foreign currency to purchase goods in Laos, which are nevertheless widely and openly priced in both US dollars and Thai Baht and preferred by most traders. The three currencies are habitually used in roughly equal measure. 

In major tourist centres, the most convenient currency for most purchases will be the Thai Baht, whilst for expensive high-end purchases US dollars may be required. If making small purchases or travelling to remote areas the Kip will be the most useful currency.

With limited facilities for exchanging travellers cheques and ATM machines still fairly thin on the ground, cash is generally the most useful way to carry funds. Credit / debit cards accepted only by some hotels and businesses in Vientiane and to a lesser extent Louang Prabang.