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Notes Of The Lao PDR, Opening New Markets: 100 Kip (Laos, 1979)-Article

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

This Laotian banknote represents the 6th denomination of the Lao PDR Kip (Series 1979). The PDR Kip was introduced on 16 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 group of rice farmers, using threshing machines. This process removes the husk and bran, creating white rice. Which could be traded at a higher value, than common brown rice. Notably Pha That Luang (the Grand Stupa) and powerlines can be seen in the background. Thus pointing to this farm being near Vientiane, the Laotian capital.

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 "VN 5800301".

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 yellow sun pattern can be seen printed on the note's surface.

In regards to the observe frame, it resembles traditional stonework. A pair of guilloché bands form the upper and lower borders. On the lower right and left corners are number 100s, in Lao numerals. Representing the note's 100 Kip face value.


The reverse depicts a bridge across the Mekong River and a soldier guarding grain silos. The bridge appears to be the later built First Thai-Lao Friendship Bridge. Which due to lack of funding was not built until 1994. The trucks on the bridge represents the rice seen on the observe, being traded to Thailand. The soldier guarding grain silos, represents the surplus created from mechanization.

Notably reverse border is highly ornate, with decorative embellishments. The header reads "ທະນາຄານແຫ່ງ", translated as the "Bank of Laos". There are number "100"s besides the header, representing the note's face value. On the lower-left is text in Lao script, it reads "One Hundred Kip".

The border resembles traditional stone work, featuring Devas (celestials beings) and floral patterners. The sides feature Devas standing on stylized deer. As Buddha was said to be so peaceful, that even the deer would listen to his teachings. Below the lower border depicts dogs and lotus flowers. The dogs represent the student, while the lotus represents purity of body, speech and mind.

Notably as the reverse art 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 130 x 65 mm or 5.12 x 2.56 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 was 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.

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