Solomon Islands Dollar - SBD
There are many countries in the world that use some form of the dollar. One of them is the Solomon Islands. As the name suggests this country is comprised of a variety of islands, and we’ll find out more about them later on.
What coins and notes are available for this currency?
As you’d expect from a dollar currency, each dollar is divided into 100 cents. There are a few coins available in both dollars and cents as you’ll see here. You can find the 10, 20 and 50 cent coins and also the one and two dollar coins.
Aside from these there are five banknotes, which are the $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100 dollar banknotes. The dollar sign comes before the amount as it does in a variety of other versions of this currency. In this case it is preceded by the letters SI for the Solomon Islands, to give us SI$.
From past to present – the history of the Solomon Islands dollar
The Solomon Islands introduced their own dollar back in 1977 when it became an independent country. Before this point it had gone through a number of currencies including the Solomon Islands pound as it was known and the Australian dollar as well. Indeed the Aussie dollar was the currency that was used at the time the Solomon Islands dollar was introduced. The change was made with one dollar of the Solomon Islands currency worth exactly one Australian dollar.
How to get hold of the Solomon Islands dollar
Getting your cash in the Solomon Islands is not as easy as it is in some other countries. Indeed you may not be able to get hold of any until you get there, as it is rare for a bureau de change outside the country to have this particular currency. It is quite a rare demand to make as there is not a lot of call for this currency. This means you will very likely see your first Solomon Islands dollars once you touch down at the airport and get some cash there.
You can use traveller’s cheques but only if you are in a major city or large town. Elsewhere you are very likely to find they won’t be accepted. You will be able to get access to cash machines when you need them, but again you will probably find you can’t always rely on using them in more remote places. This is particularly applicable where tourists don’t often tread.
You can also use credit cards in some places but you shouldn’t assume they will always be accepted. It is a good idea to ask before you go into any location to see whether this form of payment will be acceptable. In any event it is a good idea to make sure you always have some Solomon Islands dollars on you.
How to find out the latest exchange rate between your home currency and the Solomon Islands dollar
You can find out the latest information regarding the latest exchange rates for this currency by looking for a currency converter. Many converters only update now and then but some do update their rates every minute or so. If you want the most accurate rate this is the type of converter you need.
It is however worth remembering that you will be charged commission when you try to convert your own currency into that of the Solomon Islands dollar. Therefore whatever the latest rate is, it won’t be the same as the rate you are charged.
If you wish to find out further information about the Solomon Islands you can go to the government’s official page for the UK and Solomon Islands at https://www.gov.uk/government/world/solomon-islands.
Travelling safely with the Solomon Islands dollar
Generally speaking the Solomon Islands are quite safe to visit. However there are some areas that can present more problems than others. For this reason you should check the latest travel advice regarding the area you intend to visit before you book anything or make your journey.
One of the main dangers when visiting the Solomon Islands is actually from forces of nature. The country has a cyclone season and it also has crocodiles and sharks in the surrounding waters. For this reason you may not even want to consider swimming in the sea. Always look out for the latest warnings and alerts regarding dangers such as these.
As for safeguarding your cash, it is wise to take the same precautions you would whenever you go anywhere. Don’t carry any more cash than you really need to and keep your valuables to a minimum. This holds true for anything you are wearing, i.e. jewellery, as well as things you are carrying in pockets. Pickpockets are not exactly very common but they are around so make sure you are no bigger a target than you really have to be. Keep your bag closed and secured at all times and make sure you have your bag strap over your opposite shoulder.
This can be quite alarming but you should remember that the vast majority of people who decide to visit these islands do so without any trouble at all. If you can remain alert to the potential dangers it becomes far easier to enjoy your time there and not worry too much. Reducing the odds of getting involved in a crime can be the best way to make sure nothing happens.
Where to spend your dollars in the Solomon Islands – and what to spend them on
If you look on a world map and find Australia, the Solomon Islands are located off to the north-east of the country. Papua New Guinea is situated to the west of the islands.
The capital of the islands is called Honiara, which is on Guadalcanal Island. There are many landmarks you can see here including the central market. You should be careful here though because pickpockets and other criminals are known to work around the market area. You can also see the National Museum which will give you a better idea of life on the islands through the years. There are also artefacts dating from the battles that have taken place here in the past.
If you’d rather see some of the natural sights the islands have in store for you, why not visit the Mataniko Falls? These aren’t too far from the capital and they are well worth the journey because they look stunning. There is a cave just underneath the falls as well. This was used as a refuge for Japanese soldiers in the Second World War. It seems strange to think of this when you see it today.
One of the islands is named Kennedy Island, after the famous US President. He, along with the other members of his crew, swam here to survive when their craft was sunk by the Japanese during the Second World War. Although many people know it as Kennedy Island its real name is Kasolo Island. This is the name it is known by locally. There is no one living on the island but many tourists come here to see what such an island is like. It is indeed a rather captivating experience.
As we have seen some of the islands are inhabited while some are not. One that is goes by the name of Rennell Island, although you may also see it called Mugaba. There is a lake here known as Te Nggano, or Lake Tegano. There are some houses along the edge of the lake which make it look rather appealing. If you have the chance it is worth visiting this island to see how people live here. It may be very different from what you think.
The islands are good for water sports but as we have already mentioned the area has more than its fair share of sharks and crocodiles in some places. Always check out the warnings and follow all instructions and advice wherever you can. It would be great to explore these islands and still come home in one piece!
Most people don’t know that much about the Solomon Islands. Some who know a little about World War II may know their history as the location for some of the fighting. However the best way to learn more about the islands is definitely to give them a visit. This gives you the ability to see everything up close and to wander around towns and on beaches, soaking up the atmosphere.
The fact that you can visit unpopulated islands as well as those that have a solid infrastructure means you get to see both sides of the Solomon Islands too. If you are looking for a holiday with a difference, and one that does allow you to get away from it all, perhaps this could be the ideal solution for you. These islands have plenty to offer if you are willing to go and see them up close for yourself. It could just turn into the most fascinating holiday you have ever had.