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COVID-19 : some information, especially about transportation in Thailande are not accurate right now due to the modification of the frequency and timetables to cope with the decrease of passengers. Note that there are special measures in public places to limit the propagation of coronavirus in Thailand.

Money and change in Thailand

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Before traveling in Thailand

It is little known but since 1979, tourists entering Thailand must be able to prove that they have the necessary finances to pay for the expenses of their stay in the Kingdom. The official text mentions 20,000 baht per person (about 500 euros) or 40,000 baht per family (about 1000 euros) ideally to present in cash when you pass the Immigration on your arrival in the country or by showing recent bank statements. Thailand Immigration officials can perform random checks and ask you to provide proof of your resources. This is rare but know that it can happen so be ready. In any case, it is more interesting to arrive in Thailand with cash money and change it in Thailand than to make ATM withdrawals that will involve several types of fees.

How to manage your money while traveling in Thailand

The Thai currency is the baht (THB). For several years 1 euro is around 35-40 baht and 1 USD around 30-35 baht. In Thailand, we pay cash a lot (guesthouses, small hotels, taxis, restaurants ...) and paiements with credit cards are rare. That is why you should always have cash on you. With a Visa or Mastercard you can easily withdraw money in the many ATM present in the country but there is a 220 THB fee per withdraw no matter how much money you take.
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Thai currency

Thai baht bills range from 20 THB to 1000 THB. Some hotels and restaurants accept euros or dollars but not the majority of them. You can withdraw bahts when you arrive in the country (there are ATM in the arrival hall in the airport). Get used to pay everything in local currency and have always baht in cash on you.

Credit cards in Thailand

Most credit cards allowing the international payment and withdrawal are accepted in Thailand (Visa, Mastercard or American Express) and you will always find ATM, except in the most remote areas and several undeveloped islands, to withdraw cash. You should know that there are on average 220 THB fee per withdrawal (in addition to the fees from your bank) regardless of the amount withdrawn. The amount of each withdrawal is limited to 15 000 or 20 000 THB depending on the bank. If you can, choose a ATM attached to a bank, in case your card get swallowed it will be easier.                     

Important: tell your bank a few days before leaving for Thailand to prevent it from blocking your card. By seeing withdrawals from Thailand they may think your credit card was stolen and block it.

                    

You can usually pay by credit card in the big hotels and big restaurants, department stores and supermarkets. But always have cash on you for the rest. Thai people are use to get paid and pay in cash.

Change your money into Thai baht

In big cities and tourist destinations, you'll have no trouble changing your euros or dollars into baht. For other currencies, apart from Bangkok, it may be a bit more complicated. Any serious change desk will ask for your passport (it is the law). Only bils can be changed, the coins are not accepted.                     

Each desk has an exchange rate for the purchase and a rate for the sale of a currency and they vary depending on the change counter. In Thailand, Superrich is renowned for having the best rates, but they don't have branches everywhere. There are present at the lowest level at Suvarnabhumi Airport, near the Airport Rail Link. I can't really tell you if it is better to withdraw bahts several times during your trip or to come to Thailand with a large sum of money and change it in baht when you arrive in the country. Changing will cost less but you will have a large amount of money on you all the time which is not always easy to manage especially against the risk of theft which is not high in Thailand but still. Maybe the best solution is to mix between money you change when you arrive and some withdraws during the trip.

Cost of living

Due to the advantageous parity with western currencies, the cost of life in Thailand is very low for tourists. You can eat or find a place to stay for a few euros. For example, even in Bangkok, you can eat a plate of the famous Pad Thai for less than one euro or find a good hotel room for less than 7 euros. The trains or bus to travel from cities to cities are also very cheap. And if you want to stay in a luxury dream hotel with spa, pool, beach access, you will pay the price of a ordinary 2 stars room in Europe or in the States.
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