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Thailand forum

USD/THB & Currency

Posted by Yun on 2/10/2007 at 09:20

I was wondering how widely accepted USD is in Thailand - is it possible to get around BKK/KPN/Koh Tao withOUT any THB?

I assume THB is advantageous and expected especially in markets and stalls.

In this case, I'm coming from Australia. Today the Exchange rates online are:
- AUD1:28.37THB or USD1:31.84.

Would I be best doing:
1) In BKK, changing AUD to THB?
2) In Australia, changing AUD to USD, then in BKK changing USD to THB?
3) Just carrying USD and getting THB in change off the street?

Can anyone tell me what the airport/bank/street exchange rate for USD to THB is today?


#1 Yun has been a member since 18/8/2007. Posts: 25

Posted by Yun on 2/10/2007 at 09:37

Interestingly, last week I paid a deposit for accommodation online, and got an exchange rate of AUD1:THB29.47 (which is well above the cash exchange here today of 25.24)

Perhaps going cash-free with credit cards and cash withdrawal is the best way to go (as even with withdrawal fees up to 2.7%, I might gain up to 16% in better exchange rates)

#2 Yun has been a member since 18/8/2007. Posts: 25

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Posted by somtam2000 on 2/10/2007 at 10:57 admin

Hi Yun,

You'll absolutely need THB for day to day use in Thailand. The vast majority of places will accept nothing but Thai baht.

Regarding where to change your money, I'd strongly suggest changing it anywhere except Australia. Australian banks have a far larger spread on the exchange than in Thailand, so you will, absolutely, get a better rate in Thailand.

There's no need to change A$ to US$ (unless you need US for something) rather, just wait till you are in Thailand, go to an exchange kiosk and exchange the A$ straight into Thai Baht.

Hope that helps

#3 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by cybervlad on 2/10/2007 at 11:28

Yun, you also can withdraw cash (local currency) in ATM using your VISA/MasterCard. And, of course you can use your card for payment :)

#4 cybervlad has been a member since 6/6/2007. Location: Thailand. Posts: 182
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Posted by khunwilko on 4/10/2007 at 08:41

There is no point whatsoever in using your home currency in Thailand - especially the dollar.
You will get a better rate of exchange here in Thailand too - much better! It will be accepted in quite a few places but you won't get a good rate and you will be short-changed.

When you come bring a credit card and debit card - or several if you have them.
Tell your bank you are going abroad - they may block your card otherwise.
Find out what the o/seas fees are.
Use the ATMs that are everywhere or go to a bank or bureau de change with your passport and buy Baht with your card.
Fraud is no more prevalent here than anywhere else.
You might want to bring Travelers cheques as back-up in an emergency.
Tailand has an "off-shore" and "on-shore" rate at present and the on-shore - home rate is best so don't come with a lot of baht bought at home just enough for a taxi out of the airport and a few bits and bobs.

#5 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by khunwilko on 4/10/2007 at 08:42

Sorry I've just seen you're talking about the Aussie dollar which is holding better than the US - but essentially the same applies to all above.

#6 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by Yun on 8/10/2007 at 09:44

Thanks for your advice. Because I'm going to Cambodia first, I'm changing for USD in Australia for that reason. Just wasn't sure whether to get some extra for Thailand.

Does Suvarnabhumi Airport have an ATM to withdraw cash from?

In Cambodia, do the ATMs withdraw cash in riel or USD? Do they have better rates than overseas also?

#7 Yun has been a member since 18/8/2007. Posts: 25

Posted by khunwilko on 8/10/2007 at 09:50

If you're going to Cambodia - take A LOT of US 1 dollar bills....that way you don't accumulate heaps of Cambodian Riel in change.

#8 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by exacto on 8/10/2007 at 11:51


i haven't been to the new Suvarnabhumi airport yet. but since the old Don Muang airport had several ATMs and exchange booths, i'll bet money that the new airport has you covered.

the ATMs in Cambodia distribute USD to foreign ATM cards. i can't comment on the rates, since we were pulling dollars from a dollar-denominated account in the states. but since it was an ANZ bank ATM, i imagine the rates would be about what you'd get in Oz or NZ.

excellent tip by khunwilko too about taking small bills with you to Cambodia. nice, clean, new, crisp bills will get you a smile too, since most of the USD there is a bit gamey.

concerning your original question, i had two comments to add. first, it is usually a good rule of thumb to buy your currency in the country where it is used. by that i mean that you'll get a better rate for thai baht in thailand than you'd possibly find outside of thailand. second, the only places in thailand that tend to accept dollars are jewelry shops and tailor shops.

i hope this helps. have a good trip. cheers.

#9 exacto has been a member since 12/2/2006. Location: United States. Posts: 2,764
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Posted by khunwilko on 8/10/2007 at 14:54

Suvarnabhumi is littered with ATMs - don't bother queing at the one outside the arrivals gete, there are plenty of others within a few metres.

#10 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

Posted by travelsalone on 13/10/2007 at 23:34

Suvarnabhumi Airport has ATM machines and multiple exchange booths. When I moved here I couldn't find my ride and all I had was $1USD and the guy at the exchange booth changed it into baht without a fee so I could make my call, even though there was an ATM nearby...pretty funny, and nice!

#11 travelsalone has been a member since 19/3/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 41

Posted by Helmet on 15/10/2007 at 15:51

Im presuming i should get travelors cheques for Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia in USD, yes?
Also my bank in Australia is offering 0% commission rates on purchase of American Express travelors cheques, is this a good offer or does it still depend on the exchange rate i get?

#12 Helmet has been a member since 11/8/2007. Posts: 4

Posted by khunwilko on 24/10/2007 at 13:10

In Thailand I don't use TTs - only have them for emergency bach-up

#13 khunwilko has been a member since 27/1/2007. Posts: 560

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