On our travels to some of the world’s least travelled destinations, we come across some interesting currencies that not many people get to use, let alone have ever heard of.
Here are our top 10 currencies that you’ve probably never used!
1. Iraqi Dinar
Useful on our Kurdistan tour in Northern Iraq, there aren’t many out there that can say they have ever had any need for the Iraqi Dinar.
2. Mongolian Tögrög
With images of the dearest Ghengis Khan, Mongolian currency is especially useful for those wanting to join our Eurasian Adventure tour which crosses the Gobi desert on the trans-Siberian. 1 USD will give you about 2,400 TG at today’s rate which will mean you’ll be a millionaire for your short stay!
3. Transnistrian Rouble
This has to be one of the strangest currencies we have ever come across. Transnistria is not a recognised country, officially being a part of Moldova, however it has its own money. The most bizarre thing about the Transnistrian Rouble, is not the fact that it belongs to a country that “technically doesn’t exist” it is that they have plastic coloured coins, which are not found in any other country in the world.
If you’re looking to collect strange currencies, this is a must-have.
4. Moldovan Lei
The small European nation of Moldova in which resides Transnistria also has one of the least known currencies on the European continent. Images of past kings show off the proud history Moldovan’s have. When you visit you won’t need much Lei though, things here are cheap! With a bottle of Moldova’s famous wine setting you back about 3 USD or 60 Moldovan Lei.
5. North Korean Won
Just like in South Korea, North Korea also uses the Won. However, this one is much less accessible for foreigners. In fact, it is not permitted for foreigners to use the local currency in North Korea. There is only one place (Kwangbok Department store) where foreigners are permitted to change and use local currency, however they must be changed back before leaving the store. If you would like to see some North Korean Won in person, come with us to the DPRK where we can take you to Kwangbok, a great place for buying local products for souvenirs.
6. Myanmar Kyat
As Myanmar opens up more and more, the Kyat (pronounced “chat”) is sure to become more and more recognised like the neighbouring Thai Baht, however for now it remains relatively unknown. With its circulation in Myanmar itself becoming more and more common and ATMs now distributing Kyat, the USD dollar will become less and less commonplace over the coming years.
7. Belorussian Rouble
Another Rouble on this list and the most valuable of the world’s Roubles. While the Russian rouble runs at about 60 Roubles to 1 USD, the Belorussian Rouble is 2 to 1. This is essential to note once you’ve crossed that border so you don’t waste your money thinking things are outrageously cheap. They are but a beer will cost you about 2 dollars, not 0.004 cents.
8. Iranian Riel
One of the most inflated currencies still in regular circulation. The Iranian riel has two exchange rates, the official and black market. When in Iran always go for the black market rate, as it will give you about 10,000 more riel for each dollar.
It is important to note with the Riel, that as numbers run so high, Iranians have a special way to call high denominations. The word “toman” is used to represent 10,000. So, when you’re in Iran and someone tells you the price is 10 toman, they mean 100,000 riel, not 10 riel.
9. Somaliland Shilling
Another currency from a country that is unrecognised. The north part of Somalia known as Somaliland has declared its independence since the early 90s. It has its own government, passport and of course (just like Transnistria) it’s own currency. Only found within Somaliland you’ll find yourself carrying around large wads of cash with exchange rates up in the many thousands to 1 USD.