Changing Money, Ko Samui
Most hotels offer a money exchange service where you can exchange travellers cheques for Thai baht. I have found that the exchange rate they offer is not as competitive as the local banks.
Unique Suggestions: If you do need to change money/travellers cheques in the hotel then don't exchange a large amount of money, just enough for what you need in the short term.
Fun Alternatives: I used to go to one of the local Thai Siam banks and got a better exchange rate for my money.
I also found that I was charged commission for each traveller cheque I exchanged, so it can be an advantage to take a higher denomination of cheques. For example I found I was charged more commission for exchanging 5 US 20 dollar travellers cheques than if I had exchanged 2 US 50 dollar traveller cheques.
I`ll describe 2 traps in 1 tip,
1st one - check your money before changing
2nd one- The amount of money you carry
Unique Suggestions: No 1 -- Always double check the amount you are about to exchange,this is common sense, however on my last trip I went to exchange $150AUD(3 $50 notes) counted twice went to F/X , signed reciept & was about to walk away,luckily I hadn`t left the window while I counted, the lady had only given me the equivelent of $100AUD, what happened was 2 notes had became stuck together (damm plastic money) anyway that`s what I would like to think happened, I had changed money with her before & no problems.
No2 -- Try to limit the amount of money you carry at any given time, there is nothing more appealing to a shady character than a "farang" who every time he goes to his pocket he pulls out a wad of Thai baht, especially after a few drinks around the night club scene. While I`m on that be careful on what denomination your handing over in the dark nightclub/bar. This is a foreign currency to us & we normally don`t have trouble with it during daylight hours, trust me that changes in dimly lit clubs & bars when your half full of giggle juice.
When you have to exchange money be careful where you change your money.Every second shop,travel agent, even your hotel/resort will offer money exchange.
Unique Suggestions: There is no need at all to be suckered here
Fun Alternatives: The best way to get value for your money is to exchange money at the numerous exchange booths around the island all these booths are afilliated with the major financial institutions,e.g Siam Commercial Bank, Bangkok Bank , Kasikorn Bank (formally Thai Farmers Bank) Krung Thai Bank , Western Union Money Transfer and so on.All these places will display F.X rates for your money to the Thai Baht equivalent.These places are generally open from 9.00 am till 10.00pm(some open earlier/shut later than others) but it is no problem exchanging your money.
Remember if you are changing travellers cheques it is essential you have your passport with you.