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Notes Of The Lao PDR, Mobilizing Mind And Body: 1 Kip (Laos, 1979)-Article

Updated: Feb 10, 2022

This small Laotian banknote represents the 1st denomination of the Lao PDR Kip (Series 1979). The PDR Kip was introduced on16 December 1979. As a replacement for the Pathet Lao “Liberation” Kip, which replaced the Royal Kip, in areas under Pathet Lao control (1976-1979). At a exchange rate of 20 “Liberation” Kip to 1 Royal Kip. While the “Liberation” Kip was replaced at a rate of 100:1.

Unlike the previous banknotes of Royal Kip, PDR Kip features only Lao script. As the Pathet Lao saw the French language as a symbol of colonialism. All banknotes of the Series 1979 were retired in 2003. As inflation had caused their value to become impractically low.


The observe features a parade of armed citizens, of various trades. The flag of the Lao People's Democratic Republic can be seen hoisted. As Soviet influenced nation, Laos encouraged the concept of the citizen soldier and people's militia. Such examples include the East German Combat Groups of the Working Class.

As beforementioned all text is printed Lao script, although with standard numerals. The header reads "ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ", translated as the "Lao People's Democratic Republic". At the lower right is the note's serial number, it reads "AN 0214319".

To the right of the note's illustration is the National Emblem of the Lao People's Democratic Republic. This version of the National Emblem replaced the previous Kingdom of Laos Coat of Arms. It remained in use from 1975-1991, becoming revised after the Fall of the Soviet Union. A large blue floral pattern can be seen printed on the note's surface.

In regards to the observe frame, it resembles traditional stonework. A pair of guilloché can be seen on the upper-right and left corners. They feature number "1"s, representing the note's 1 Kip value.


The reverse depicts classroom of students during a lesson. When the Pathet Lao overthrew the monarchy in 1975. The Royal Lao government's educational system was restructured. Replacing the French language curriculum with one in Lao. As the Pathet Lao government planed to provide universal primary education, by 1985.

The reverse text is fairly simple, yet is surrounded by decorative embellishments. The header reads "ທະນາຄານແຫ່ງ", translated as the "Bank of Laos". There are number "1"s on the upper-right and left corners, representing the note's value. On the left is a floral guilloché pattern, it reads "One Kip" in Laotian.

The reverse border resembles traditional stone work, featuring a creeping vine pattern. Notably as the border is printed towards the note's center. It simplifies viewing the full surface watermark. Which features a repeating "Hammer and Sickle" pattern, when back lit.

Lao PDR Kip Gallery

(Gallery contains all banknotes of the 1979 Series)


Additional Notes

  • The note's dimensions are 99 x 49 mm or 3.90 x 1.93 in, smaller than a US Dollar.

  • The preferable method to preserve this note are side-opening protective sleeves, cut to size.

  • The Lao PDR Kip ISO code is LAK, it uses and ₭N as it's symbols.

  • The Kip is subdivide into 100 Att, although inflation has made it's use virtually non-existent.

  • Similar to the Uzbek Som, the Kip retires and adds denominations based on inflation.

  • The lowest commonly accepted denomination is the 500 Kip banknote.

  • The US Dollar and Thai Baht are occasionally used in place of Lao Kip.

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