Currency to carry while travelling to Thailand

As on today 4th August 2016, with Indian Rupees INR,

  • THB available @ 1.98
  • USD available @ 67.60
  • And conversion rate from USD to THB is 34.83 THB per USD.

If you buy US Dolllar and convert it, 67.60 /34.83 = 1.94.  THB is cheaper by 0.04 paisa (2%).

Local currency in Thailand is Thai Baht (THB). You should carry THB with you if you have visa on arrival and/or if you need to pay for taxi or bus after leaving airport.

For Thailand, GBP, Euro and USD is fine to carry, but for Indian it’s easy to buy USD from local market and you can get good conversion rate for Thai Baht all over the country. On every street you will find a Forex shop to convert your USD. But if you carry 100 dollar bill you’ll need to convert all of it and you won’t get change back in dollars and you will get lower rate for 20’s and 50’s bill compared to 100 dollar bill. Also note that you might get bad conversion rate at airport or hotel.

Prepaid Currency card of THB and Credit/Debit Card

Prepaid currency card are safe to carry, but it will cost almost 3% higher to carry and moreover if you withdraw cash from ATM in Thailand, card will charge you 100 Thai Baht extra for every withdrawal. Banks also charges higher conversion rate upto 3.5% for their Debit/credit cards. Indian Rupees can also be converted in THB, but rates are poorer and at every place you do not get it converted.

Carrying currency depend upon your length of stay and pattern of spending money.

Summarising : Best idea is to carry few Thai Baht and rest in USD.

Why Thai Baht ?

All of the below may not apply to you.

1. arrival visa – 1000 baht.
2. prepaid Sim card – 300 baht
3. duty free shopping – 1500 baht for a bottle of double black
4. Cab – 300 baht to Bangkok Hotel.
5. Hotel – 2000 baht( incase your hotel needs any deposit)

Almost 5100 baht.

Why US Dollar ?

  1. While you buy foreign currency USD Conversion rate is better. Converting to Baht will give you poor rates
  2. Again, while coming back with remaining Baht, you’ll face poor conversion rates than USD.
  3. USD will be less in volume so easy to carry.
  4. Not everyone in Thailand will exchange INR to Baht. USD can be exchanged anywhere.
  5. After returning back with remaining USD, you might just want to keep them for next travel/USD to go up and then exchange with INR.
  6. Also, on one hand you will lose some money during converting INR to USD, but, on the other hand selling USD back to THB could counter some of your earlier losses, as you have a leverage of a significant amount in hand.

Remember to carry a couple of passport size photographs. They need you to have a passport photograph to staple on your application, and take that with you or you will have to pay a large amount to get your picture taken.

Always use the Locker at hotel room to keep money safe.

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