This discussion has been very interesting to me because I can't
remember the last time I purchased travellers cheques. It may have
been as far back as 20 years ago. We carry as little as $100 U.S.
with us (for emergency purposes and in $1 denominations only) and $100
in the local currency and then rely on our bank cards to get cash from
an ATM. We have never been faced with a situation where a merchant
would not honour our Visa or Mastercard and if the hotel or restaurant
owner wanted cash (which we have encountered in Europe but not Asia)
we have simply walked off to a bank machine to get the cash we needed.
I once went to a bank in Bangkok and withdrew $1000 to pay for our
hotel and airfare and there were no questions asked. I may have
incurred a few dollars in service charges but it was small in
comparison to the overall cost of the trip and is long forgotten.