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(?) When to Currency Exchange?


r2eady

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I will be flying from the USA to Thailand, in the not-so-distant-future.  When should I make my trip to the Currency Exchange?  Should I visit one while still in the USA, or at my layover location (assuming I have one), or should I wait until I arrive at the Thailand Airport?  Also, is BKK the best suited airport to fly into, in the case that I wish to spend all my time in Pattaya?  Once I arrive in Pattaya, should I have exchanged all my budgeted currency into Thai Baht, or should I visit other Currency Exchanges while in Pattaya?

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"The elevator to success is out-of-order—you will need to labor up the stairs." -- MJ DeMarco

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whatever you do, don't exchange to Thai Baht outside of Thailand. Baht rates outside of Thailand are a rip-off.

 

About the rest, you worry too much.

Start by exchnaging a small sum such as 300 USD at a bank booth and then if you got a sizable amount, visit one of the money exchnages that give better rates, wherever you are. For example VASU in BKK or Yenjit in Pattaya.

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You will land in Bangkok airport and if you think you will come back one day you might consider to open a Thai bank account. (follow link)

 

http://www.bangkokbank.com/BangkokBank/PersonalBanking/SpecialServices/ForeignCustomers/Pages/Openinganaccountnew.aspx

 

To open an account you will need your passport, a full Thai Adress (your hotel) and a Thai phone number. For your next visit you will be able to send your money or change everything in once and take out small amounts daily at one of the many atm's with very low costs or even free of charge. ( same bank, same town)

 

Note: i was unable to open an account in Bangkok with a touristvisa but had one in 20 minutes at the Kasikorn bank on Pattaya Avenue

 

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I will be flying from the USA to Thailand, in the not-so-distant-future.  When should I make my trip to the Currency Exchange?  Should I visit one while still in the USA, or at my layover location (assuming I have one), or should I wait until I arrive at the Thailand Airport?  Also, is BKK the best suited airport to fly into, in the case that I wish to spend all my time in Pattaya?  Once I arrive in Pattaya, should I have exchanged all my budgeted currency into Thai Baht, or should I visit other Currency Exchanges while in Pattaya?

- Change in Thailand, maybe a little at the airport (for taxi to Pattaya).

- Change the rest at a private booth for the best rate, NOT airport/bank.

- Suvarnabhumi Airport is the best and most airlines land there anyway.

- You can change money in Pattaya (there's a booth every couple meters on beach road)

- TT exchange on Beach Road or the exchange place above tops on the Central/2nd road intersection give good rates.

- Carry $100 bills for the best exchange rate.

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What boob said

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Thanks, Boob.

When you say to carry $100 bills for the best exchange rate, I'd imagine that once I leave the USA and the BKK airport, I won't have any way of obtaining USD, anymore, that I can exchange for Thai Baht.  Correct?  I don't want to have too many $100 bills on me, during the journey from Bangkok to Pattaya, or should I not be too concerned with this?  The taxis are generally safe, right?  Also, if I meet someone on the plane that's headed to Pattaya, is it something that's discouraged, to split the bill for the taxi ride?  Or should I find my own taxi and solo it to Pattaya?

--

 

 

"The elevator to success is out-of-order—you will need to labor up the stairs." -- MJ DeMarco

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Thanks, Boob.

When you say to carry $100 bills for the best exchange rate, I'd imagine that once I leave the USA and the BKK airport, I won't have any way of obtaining USD, anymore, that I can exchange for Thai Baht. Correct? I don't want to have too many $100 bills on me, during the journey from Bangkok to Pattaya, or should I not be too concerned with this? The taxis are generally safe, right? Also, if I meet someone on the plane that's headed to Pattaya, is it something that's discouraged, to split the bill for the taxi ride? Or should I find my own taxi and solo it to Pattaya?

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Don't worry so much. The more 100's the better. I carry 2k on me. Debit cards work. Just let bank know where you are going. Get own taxi. I use "the limmo pattaya" great service

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Thanks, Boob.

When you say to carry $100 bills for the best exchange rate, I'd imagine that once I leave the USA and the BKK airport, I won't have any way of obtaining USD, anymore, that I can exchange for Thai Baht.  Correct?  I don't want to have too many $100 bills on me, during the journey from Bangkok to Pattaya, or should I not be too concerned with this?  The taxis are generally safe, right?  Also, if I meet someone on the plane that's headed to Pattaya, is it something that's discouraged, to split the bill for the taxi ride?  Or should I find my own taxi and solo it to Pattaya?

I'm guessing you're carrying cash from USA, so it'd be best to carry $100 bills instead of small denominations (Check out the rate difference for different bills - http://exc.yjpattayaexchange.com/ )

 

Its safe to travel from BKK to Patts as long as you book a good taxi service like Mr. T Taxi, Mr. Yo or P.T. Taxi. The cabbies you may find on the street are a bit hit and miss.

 

It's fine to share a taxi but I would only consider it with a Board Member or someone I know. Suppose the guy on the plane with you is carrying some questionable medications or drugs (Yikes), and he's caught getting in a cab with you.  At $30 (1000 Baht) one-way, I wouldn't take that chance or take a bell-bus (200-300 Baht) if you wanna spend wisely.

 

Like iluvasians/latins said, you can also carry a debit card or travel card if your bank has that option but keep in mind that there you lose a bit in exchange rate, home bank fees and ATM charges. You can also carry travellers cheques, which would be a safer option if you don't want to carry cash but you'll be fine with cash.

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Yep - what Boob_kook said....

 

I have had money left over from a prior trip on my last 2 trips, but I always suggest changing $100 USD at BKK airport to cover the taxi and getting started.  That said, if your flight lands really late (after 10 p.m. or so), some of the better money exchanges may be closed by the time you get to Pattaya.

 

For what it's worth, I am a big fan of the TT booths -- they always seem to have better rates.

 

I usually keep some hundreds in my room safe (others claim they are anything but safe), and I change a couple at a time.  You can change them all into baht when you arrive, but I prefer to do it as I go, and, because I use an ATM card, I usually come back with most of my hundreds and some left over baht.

 

For me personally, opening a Thai bank account doesn't hold much convenience/appeal, because of a fee-free ATM card through an account maintained here in the U.S. (sent you PM) - I just use it most of the time.

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You guys are AWESOME! Thanks for the replies!!

--

 

 

"The elevator to success is out-of-order—you will need to labor up the stairs." -- MJ DeMarco

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There's a 24 hours exchange place on Soi Arab off Walking Street if you get in late. Rates still way better than at the airport.

Edit: Change 'ATM' to 'exchange place'

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There's a 24 hours ATM on Soi Arab off Walking Street if you get in late. Rates still way better than at the airport.

For these ATMs, I'm only able to withdraw Thai Baht, correct?

 

Also, Andy...  Those were great videos!  Thanks for sharing!

--

 

 

"The elevator to success is out-of-order—you will need to labor up the stairs." -- MJ DeMarco

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Both manarak Post #2 & boob_kook Post #4 are spot on!

 

If you think you'll be visitng Thailand often then opening a Thai bank account might be a good idea.

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For these ATMs, I'm only able to withdraw Thai Baht, correct?

 

Also, Andy...  Those were great videos!  Thanks for sharing!

 

As far as I have seen, the ATMs only dispense baht.

 

Your bank will convert it to USD

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For these ATMs, I'm only able to withdraw Thai Baht, correct?

 

Also, Andy...  Those were great videos!  Thanks for sharing!

Oops I made a boo-boo, I meant 24 hour exchange booth. ATMs are 24 hours :P

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Hi R2eady,

The Thai baht is losing value right now due to political problems here. So the later you change your dollars, the more baht (or beers!) you'll get for your money.

Enjoy your visit!

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Hi R2eady,

The Thai baht is losing value right now due to political problems here. So the later you change your dollars, the more baht (or beers!) you'll get for your money.

Enjoy your visit!

Good tip

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As someone else mentioned - Bell Travel Service operate a bus to Pattaya bus station from the airport at 08:00,10:00,12:00,14:00,16:00.18:00 each day and provide transfer  by minivan to your hotel, which is very handy - especially for the first time. You can book in advance for the journey to Pattaya to be sure of getting aboard but I have always just turned up and got a seat.

 

The current cost is 250 baht each way, much cheaper than a taxi (1200 min). When arriving you can buy a ticket at the kiosk on Level 1 at the Arrival Terminal, you will arrive at Level 2, so take the travelator to your left down to Level 1 when exiting customs, where there are a number of kiosks selling tickets by the windows. The added bonus is that the bus is much safer in the even of an accident, they transfer you to your hotel and you save around 800-900 baht. Sorry if you arrive outside the times shown.

 

They also return to the airport from Pattaya bus station at, 06:00,09:00,11:00,13:00,15:00 which needs to be booked a day or so before, they will also pick you up at your hotel by minvan, saving the additional cost of getting to the bus station - don't just turn up at the bus station, it will possibly be full

 

You can check all this at the following web site - http://www.belltravelservice.com

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Great tips, guys!  For this bus deal, do they make a lot of stops along the way, or would we go straight to Pattaya, nonstop?  This factor would make my decision moreso than the much appreciated price reduction.  After flying for 24 hrs, I'm not too interested in riding in a bus for 4 hrs.  I'd be ready and excited to get to Pattaya ASAP!

:-)

--

 

 

"The elevator to success is out-of-order—you will need to labor up the stairs." -- MJ DeMarco

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All good tips I would say. I'll just add the fact that most upscale hotels will exchange money at the front desk at that day's exchange rate. And the "Share a Taxi" idea is not a good one unless you already know the person. It's best to set up your ride in advance, and it's easy to do with internet. Just grabbing a cab at the airport can get you stuck in a beater for the whole trip.

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As someone else mentioned - Bell Travel Service operate a bus to Pattaya bus station from the airport at 08:00,10:00,12:00,14:00,16:00.18:00 each day and provide transfer  by minivan to your hotel, which is very handy - especially for the first time. You can book in advance for the journey to Pattaya to be sure of getting aboard but I have always just turned up and got a seat.

 

The current cost is 250 baht each way, much cheaper than a taxi (1200 min). When arriving you can buy a ticket at the kiosk on Level 1 at the Arrival Terminal, you will arrive at Level 2, so take the travelator to your left down to Level 1 when exiting customs, where there are a number of kiosks selling tickets by the windows. The added bonus is that the bus is much safer in the even of an accident, they transfer you to your hotel and you save around 800-900 baht. Sorry if you arrive outside the times shown.

 

They also return to the airport from Pattaya bus station at, 06:00,09:00,11:00,13:00,15:00 which needs to be booked a day or so before, they will also pick you up at your hotel by minvan, saving the additional cost of getting to the bus station - don't just turn up at the bus station, it will possibly be full

 

You can check all this at the following web site - http://www.belltravelservice.com

 

The going rate for a pre-booked taxi through Mr. T, Ann's Private Taxi, etc.is 1000 baht (of course, I usually tip 200 baht if the driver is not completely insane)

 

While I agree that a bus is safer in a minor accident, there are plenty of horrific bus crashes that cost a number of lives.

 

Great tips, guys!  For this bus deal, do they make a lot of stops along the way, or would we go straight to Pattaya, nonstop?  This factor would make my decision moreso than the much appreciated price reduction.  After flying for 24 hrs, I'm not too interested in riding in a bus for 4 hrs.  I'd be ready and excited to get to Pattaya ASAP!

:-)

 

I assume Bell hasn't changed it's format since the last time I took them 2 years ago -- the bus goes straight to a depot in Pattaya, where they transfer you to a mini-van that takes you to your hotel.  There may be others on your mini-van and you may have a few stops before your hotel (or you may be the lucky one to get off first).  I think when I took it, there was one other person, maybe two in my mini-van.

 

 

My flights never seem to line up well with catching the Bell bus, so I have done a private taxi my past 3 trips.  For the trip I just booked, my flight lands at 1:30 p.m. -- doubt I can get through customs, get my bag and catch the 2 p.m. bus, and I'm certainly not going to wait at BKK airport 2 hours for the next one.  It is a "waste" of about 800 baht, but it's nice to have someone waiting at the airport (usually holding a sign by exit door 3) who takes me straight to my hotel.  I've also been lucky and ended up with sane drivers who reasonably obey the speed limit.

 

Here's a link to the website of lady I use:  http://www.pattaya-taxiservice.com/service%20rate.html   I have always had a good experience using her taxi service, but -- like anything in Thailand -- YMMV

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All good tips I would say. I'll just add the fact that most upscale hotels will exchange money at the front desk at that day's exchange rate. And the "Share a Taxi" idea is not a good one unless you already know the person. It's best to set up your ride in advance, and it's easy to do with internet. Just grabbing a cab at the airport can get you stuck in a beater for the whole trip.

 

In my experience, the rate at the desk at most upscale hotels is even worse than that at the airport.  I've even had the girl at the desk tell me that I was better off going out to a booth to change my money.

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I assume Bell hasn't changed it's format since the last time I took them 2 years ago -- the bus goes straight to a depot in Pattaya, where they transfer you to a mini-van that takes you to your hotel.  There may be others on your mini-van and you may have a few stops before your hotel (or you may be the lucky one to get off first).  I think when I took it, there was one other person, maybe two in my mini-van.

 

The big bus doesn't stop at all between BKK and the Pattaya bus depot, no. And that I've experienced, the minivan you get transfered to there will do from 2 to 5 stops, depending on how busy that day is. All in all, it's about 2 hours. Give or take 20%, I suppose.

 

Personally, I use Bell when I get to BKK so early in the day that there's no point in getting to Pattaya fast, i.e. when I'd get there so early in the morning that it's unlikely I'll be able to check into my hotel. If I fly in there around noon or later, then a taxi is the better option.

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