Facts about Utania - 32
Travellers should cash travellers cheques as soon as they land in Utania, for outside Luka and Utan Krysaror, few stores will accept travellers cheques. Most stores in major cities will accept credit cards, but beyond there cash (and bartering) is the only accepted currency. Banks in the major cities will accept currency from most major foreign countries, particularly Westria, Whitlam and Christiana, but only the largest banks will accept other currencies.
Vexa is the most widely accepted credit card in Utania, closely followed by Westrian Express, and most cities will have offices for those cards, allowing travellers cheque conversion or cash advances made.
It is worth noting that travellers cheques would be most wisely converted to Christiana Crowns or the Utanian Pund (if you can get them in the latter!), for exchange rates against other currencies are often extortionately poor.
The Utanian currency is the Pund, Û, and it equals 100 cents. It is currently fixed to the ChC (Christiana Crown) in the ratio of 1ChC = Û 3.00. This is a good deal for tourists, for there are plans for the currency to be floated and monetarists are projecting the currency has been set too low so as to encourage exports.
The notes are Û2, Û5, Û10, Û20, Û50, Û100, and Û500, though few stores in Utania will be able to offer change on the Û500 note, and in some cases the Û100. The coins are 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c, and Û1.
There will be, in most banks, a fee of up to 3% charged for currency conversion, rising the further you get from Luka and Utan Krysaror, or another city or major town. Currency exchange offices are unknown outside Luka and Utan Krysaror. The best rates will be obtained from the major banks, in the major centres, and although there are few foreign banks in Utania yet, the First Bank of Lasanne, National Bank of Utania and Arjura Banke Utani are both reliable and trustworthy local banks.
Costs in Utania are equivalent to the Christiana Crown price. For example, a meal which might cost ChC20 in Christiana will probably cost Û20. A reasonable hotel off the tourist track will cost about Û50, and therefore travelers should find that they are able to survive quite comfortably on less than ChC30 per day.
This rule is null and void at any tourist establishments, or whenever the vendor, especially less established vendors such as in street markets, detects "wealthy foreigners". In tourist establishments or others catering to tourists, costs rise to Christiana Crown equivalent costs: hotel rooms costing ChC100 or Û300 per night, meals ChC30 or Û90.
In addition, imported goods will retain their imported price, plus a margin. So, if you are desperate for that "special taste of home", be prepared to pay the normal "home" price, plus up to 50%.
There are few discounts offered in Utania, though, once more, in Luka and some other major centres there is discounts for the elderly and youth. Haggling is normal in street markets, particularly if they are aimed at tourists. For non-tourist street markets, haggling by foreigners is sometimes considered poor form, so you may not get the discount you may be expecting.
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