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Money & Currency in Tibet

Generally speaking, Chinese currency is accepted all the places in Tibet, while credit cards are more inconvenient when you travel in this region.
  • Cash
Travel in Tibet is not very convenient when you would like to pay by your credit cards or traveler’s checks. Although US dollars can be accepted in Tibet, there are many limitations for shops to accept American currency. Exchanging your money to Chinese currency will be the best option for you, which can be done at the Bank of China.
  • Credit Card
On one hand, because only the Bank of China in the central Lhasa provides credit card advances, Credit cards are not recommended as a way of payment in Tibet. And to the other hand, credit cards can only be used at some hotels.
  • Other tips on money matter
As in the rest of China, Renminbi (RMB) is the legal currency in Tibet. Only the Bank of China offers foreign exchange services and facilities in Tibet and certain up market hotels (Lhasa Hotel, the former Holiday Inn, and Tibet Hotel). The Bank of China has a main office (0891-6835078) and several sub-branches in Lhasa, which all cash travelers' checks while only the main office offers cash advances on major credit cards (MasterCard, Visa, Diners Club and Amex). Its main office is located on Lingkhor Bei Lu 28, north of the Yak Statue and its hours of operation are 9:30 am -1pm and 3:30 - 6:00pm, Monday to Friday. Another convenient sub-branch lies on Beijing Dong Lu, between the Kirey Hotel and the Banak Shol Hotel. Its hours of operation are 9:30am-6:00pm, Monday to Friday, and 11am-3pm, Saturday and Sunday. The Bank of China Shigatse office, near the Shigatse Hotel, can provide travelers' checks exchange services also. Cash advances on credit cards are not available here. Zhangmu has two sub-branches also. Due to a lack of conversion outlets, visitors may have to change their extra RMB on the black market before their exit.