Money and Banking in Yunnan

Money and Banking in Yunnan mainly introduces money used in Yunnan, main places for exchanging money, how to tell fake notes during Yunnan Travel and some travel tips on money if you plan to take a tour in Yunnan.

Money Used in Yunnan

With the establishment of the People’s Bank of China on December 1st 1948, the first edition of Chinese currency was issued. To date, five sets of currencies have been published, circulating the last edition from October 1st 1999. The currency used in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan is different. Other places, including Yunnan, use Renminbi.

Basic Information of Renminbi

The legal tender of the People’s Republic of China, issued by the People’s Bank of China, is the Renminbi, literally people’s currency. Renminbi bank notes are available in denominations of 100, 50, 20, 10, 5 and 1 Yuan as well as 5 (0.5 ¥) and 1 (0.1 ¥) Jiao. Coins are available in denominations from 1 Jiao to 1 Yuan (0.1¥, 0.5¥, 1¥).

  • Short official name: CNY (China Yuan)
  • Abbreviation: RMB
  • Chinese: Ren Min Bi (人民币)
  • Symbol: ¥
  • Monetary unit: Yuan (元)
  • Fractional units: Jiao (角) and Fen (分)

Main Places for Exchanging Money

It is quite easy to exchange money in Yunnan and the rates will be more favorable, but it is advisable to exchange a small amount in your country before leaving.

Usually, four-star and five-star hotels offer exchange service, but only for their guest. Mostly people will go to banks. Remember to take your passport, which need to be presented when converting currency in the country. However, for remote areas, it is difficulty to exchange currency or use a credit card, so it is advisable to take enough money when you are going to visit the remote area. In Yunnan, the following banks can provide the money exchange service:

  • The five major state-owned banks including Bank of China, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China and Bank of Communications can provide money exchange service.
  • Some joint-stock banks, such as China Merchants Bank, China CITIC Bank, Industrial Bank, Shanghai Pudong Development Bank, etc., also provide money exchange service.
  • Most Foreign Banks, such as HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, can provide money exchange service.

Matters Need Attention

  • Choose a bank which is the nearest to your hotel if you are going to exchange a large amount of money or you can exchange in your hotel directly if it offers this service.
  • Do not exchange money in the street or the small shops which is mostly illegal and sometimes forgeries may be given.

How to Tell Fake Notes During Yunnan Travel

Like many countries in the world, China is also suffers from counterfeiters. Therefore, it is possible to find fake notes in Yunnan. You should be much more careful when you receive a big note (100 Yuan or 50 Yuan); make sure that the note is not a fake. The specific methods to tell fake notes are as follows:

  • The fifth edition of Chinese currency has a watermark on the left of the front side. You can see it clearly in the authentic paper money against the light.
  • There is a security line in the middle of RMB100, RMB50, RMB20, RMB10 and RMB5 (the fifth set).
  • The Denomination ID in bottom-left of the front side color change hologram effect: seen from different angles, the denomination ID of ¥100 changes from green to blue, and that of ¥50 changes from golden to green.
  • Because of its special material, the authentic RMB will make a ringing sound when being snapped.

Travel Tips on Money during Yunnan Travel

  • ATMs and banks like Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Agricultural Bank of China or the Bank of Communications are very common in Yunnan Province. However, it might be hard to get cash in rural areas of Yunnan. Please be ready for enough cash.
  • Please don’t expect that paying in US Dollars, Euro or any other foreign currency will be accepted. It is recommended to have a fair amount of cash RMB on hand.
  • The acceptance of foreign credit cards is rather low in Yunnan. Most places only accept Chinese bank cards or cash.
  • The coin used is 1 Yuan and 5 Jiao. In some places of Yunnan, especially Shangri-La, the coins are not accepted.

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