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[Photos] Check out Indochina's Colorful 19th-Century Bank Notes

If you ever get bored of looking at the same set of images on Vietnam’s current bank notes, this set of old Indochinese bills will provide a glimpse into what the region's denizens used to spend when buying fish sauce and rice wine.

When the French invaded Indochina, they replaced the existing Chinese-style coins with the French Indochinese piastre – piastre de commerce in French, đồng or bạc in Vietnamese – inspired by and equal to the Spanish and Mexican pesos.

From 1885 to 1952, the piastre was the official currency of the entire Indochinese Peninsula, thus explaining the mix of Vietnamese, Khmer and Lao on each note. A piastre was equivalent to 100 cents, and each cent was made up of two to six sapèques, depending on the era.

Take a peek at Indochina’s old bank notes, thanks to Photobucket user Tran Phu, below:

[Photos via Photobucket user Tran Phu]


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