IMG_4253On our last day in Asia, Miriam and I packed and repacked, balancing the weight between our two “free” checked bags and making sure only “allowable” items ended up in our carry-ons.

As I emptied out my purse, I saw that I still had a little currency from each of the three countries we’d visited. Very little. And that, of course, was a good thing.

Don and Chris will be visiting Japan next year, so I swapped out the yens (JPYs) and that money stayed with them. Then I decided to keep a couple wons from Korea and yuans (now called RMBs) from China as souvenirs. IMG_4250

It wasn’t that tough figuring out the exchange rates where we traveled. I’m pretty good at math, and in both Korea and Japan, it was mostly a matter of moving the decimal point on the paper money a couple hops to the left.

For instance, in Korea, 1,000 won (pronounced like “wand” without the “d”) equated to about 90 cents, but I rounded it off, and called it a dollar. So w3,000 for a bunch of bananas from the street merchants was a little less than $3.00.

IMG_4252In Japan, there was “one less zero” to deal with, and 1,000 yen was about $8, but I rounded that up too and simply moved the decimal point over two spaces instead of three spaces as in Korea. So Y1,000 equaled $10.

Confused yet?

Then we went to China, and 1,000 RMBs (also called yuans, pronounced like yawns) were worth $161, and figuring the conversion is a lot harder than just moving decimal points. But by dividing the posted prices by six, I found I was always “close enough.” For instance, an entree on the dinner menu that cost Y90 was actually only about $6!IMG_4249

So except for the unfortunate silk factory fiasco (see August 31st post), I knew how much I was spending at all times, and stayed well within my travel budget for this amazing 30-day Asian Adventure.