At early and mid-August, 1998, the exchange rate between US$ and Pakistani Rupee (Rs) is approximately $1 = Rs50+ for cash and $1 = Rs47+ for traveler's cheques. One might still prefer traveler's cheques over cash because they are safer. However, while cash is always welcome anywhere, traveler's cheques are only accepted by banks and some formal money changers, which sometimes can be hard to find, particularly if one travels to remote regions. I personally think that it is safe to carry cash in northern Pakistan (although this might not be true in Karachi and Sind Province, which is notorious for bendits).
A typical, modest hotel room with hot shower (may or may not be available 24 hours) cost Rs200 to Rs300 for foreigners. If you eat in the hotel restaurants, it's additional Rs100 or so. You may save a few tens of rupees if you have the time and are willing to explore some local Pakistani restaurants in the bazzards. For transportation cost, see main text.
The Chinese currency unit is Yuan (Y). It is sub-devided into 10 Jiao and 100 Fen. Despite the Asian financial crisis, the Yuan exchange rate remains relatively stable. The official rate for Yuan is about $1=Y8+, although black market rate might be slightly more favourable. It is difficult to tell how much things cost in China, since foreigners are often charged a few times more than the locals (the so-called two-tier system. Recently it has been eliminated for air fare). For cost of accommodation and transportation in China, see the main text.
go back to main text