Money - Currency, Bangkok
On my two trips to Bangkok in the last 12 months I have found that Siam Commercial Bank consistently has the best exchange rates, at lest for US dollars to Thai Baht. I always comeppare and at several different SCB branch. Some occasions I have found that SCB is 1 Baht higher than competitors. I have no explanation for this but it always works out to my benefit. This is the bank Iuse the exchange money. However, this doesn't stop me from checking where the best exchange rate is.
By the way, you do not have to go in the bank to exchange money. SCB has plenty of satellite exchange booths through the cite.
NOTE: you must show your passport to change money!
Bank's offer lesser rate then the private exchange compnies. I have found the Rainbow Exchange at Khosan Road offering better rates then anyone 32.20 Bhat for USD 1 (25 may 2010) (they only Buy - and do not sell and US$100-50 bills fetch little more then the smaller 10's and 20's while the Highest Rate offering by Bank 32.07 by kasikorn Bank
Location is the first shop on the right when you enter Khaosan Road there is a large/colorful Sign Board.
They also have another branch at Soi Rambutri right beside the Massage Home (same color sign board)
When i travel abroad i always try to get familiar with the local bank notes a little bit, just to be sure that i won't be paid with a counterfeit bank note. By the way i didn't meet any of it them in Bangkok during my holiday but it's better to be prepared... On the web site of Bank of Thailand i found a great overview of all the security features of the Thai Baht banknotes (in English):
FX booths are very easy to find in Thailand as are ATMs. They are all bank run and the official rates are posted daily in the Thai Newspapers including the English language ones. There can be minor differences from one bank to the next, but it is normally not more than a fraction of one Baht. If cashing TCs you will need to show your passport. The rate for TCs is a bit better than for cash, but you pay a charge for each TC so that may mean any benefits of an improved rate are negated.
There is a very popular foreign exchange that offers the best rates in town (much better than what we have exchange back at home). The rates are significantly higher, so it's worth changing there if you have a few hundreds to change. It's called "Super Rich" with a green and white signboard (not the "Super Rich" with an Orange signboard). Its usually full of people, but the Q moves very quickly and you'll be done in 15 mins. I'm not sure of the exact address. But I hope to remember it by the following landmarks.
Walk along the street opposite to Centre Point and turn left into the street when you see Dragon Seafood & Sharkfin Restaurant. You'll see "Super Rich" at the end of the roll of shop-houses.
Thai notes are in the following denomination:
1000 = gray
500 = purple
100 = red
50 = blue
20 = green
10 = brown
Coins: 10 baht, 5, 2, 1. 50satangs and 25.
Fondest memory: Tourist change currency in city proper instead of airport since airports offer lower than city rates. I usually change just enough for transpo charge.
Major credit cards (CC) are accepted in the major cities like Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Pattaya, etc. Some companies levy an additional surcharge when purchasing sale items. Amexco, Visa, Mastercard, JCB are all accepted.
Notes are always accepted by currency exchange kiosks while Traveler's Cheques have a lower rate than notes.
Some rural places do not accept CCs.
Fondest memory: Most people smiled and accommodated our requests.
Being a tourist friendly country, Thailand has lots and lots of money exchange shops aorund the country and at the Airports and evn in Bangkok, they offer competetive rates than in hotels or at banks but a word of caution! since money exhange shops are numerous and are situated near each other, I would advice that you first check their rates of exchange for your international currencies and travellers cheques into thai baht as they will have different exhange rates for each currencies like for example, the US dollar to a thai baht will be 1 US Dollar is 29 thai baht in some and 31 thai baht in others so that you must check the different money exchange shops before deciding on where to exhange your hard earned money as to have extra thai baht for shopping and more!
Fondest memory: there are literally tons of money exhange shops in and around the bangkok area.
Thailand uses the Bath as it's currency, each Baht is divided into 100 satang but since 1 bath is just 3 cents (dollar and euro) For the Bath there are three different coins: the 1 bath coin, the 5 bath coin and the 10 bath coin and 5 different bank notes: the 20 Bath note (Green), 50 Bath (Light Blue), 100 Bath (Light Red), 500 Bath (Purple) and 1000 Bath (Gray/Brown).
Fondest memory: The most important thing you have to remember in Thailand is that most shops or taxi drivers do not have change for 500 or 1000 Bath notes. Make sure you always have change in the form of 20 and 100 Bath notes, a good place to obtain your change is to buy something at a 7-Eleven or Family Mart, shops that are open 24 hours a day.
X ONE Currency Exchange Center
S.R. Spirits 2000 Co Ltd
149/7 Surawongse Rd
Tel: 02634 1155 (autoline)
Fax: 02634 2255
*Opposite Krung Thai Bank, 2 or 3 blocks fr Patpong Rd
*When other shop's rate is (SGD1)= 23.1 to 23.4, theirs is 23.7 to 23.8, that's a huge difference. They surely have the most generous rates I found all over Bangkok I make it a point to visit them.
Beyond doubt.....The best currency deals can be found at 'Siam Exchange' - It is conveniently located by the BTS National Stadium station. (Opposite MBK)
They have a live web site that is up dated a couple of times a day...So you can see what the rate is before you visit. Google http://www.siamexchange.co.th - They also have a map on the site to pin point its exact location.
You must present your passport to exchange you currency. - They are very fast and efficient commission free service for cash transactions.
Fondest memory: A vibrant city.