The most difficult part of my trip to Bangkok is the money exchange. When I arrive in Bangkok on weekends, money changers are not open, ATMs are unbelievably expensive, and credit cards can’t be used in most places, which is really troubling.
This time, I will compare the rates and fees of the exchange and ATM I used in Bangkok, and search for a convenient and economical exchange method.
Credit Card Acceptability in Bangkok Worst …
I usually use my credit card when I travel abroad, so I only change 3,000 to 5,000 yen in cash. Since prices are low in Thailand, I thought it would be much less, but it was sweet!
This time, I was only able to use my credit card at a large supermarket and a restaurant in the shopping center, and I had to pay in cash for everything else. Aside from street stalls and small shops, it’s a bit surprising that you can’t use it in major tourist spots like the Royal Palace (Wat Phra Kaeo).
Because of that, I had to exchange money 3 times even though I stayed for only 2 days, but thanks to that, I was able to understand the exchange situation in various places, which might have been good for me. Also, if I carry a lot of cash with me at …, it might be lost or stolen, so I need to be careful about that.
Good exchange rate at Suvarnabhumi Airport
Let’s start with the money exchange at Suvarnabhumi International Airport. According to the advance research, there is an area where money changers gather in the passage leading to the underground railway station, so I tried to go by escalator from the arrival lobby.
There are Seven-Eleven stores and cafes in the basement, and on the other side of the passage there are signs of “Express Line” and “Airport Hotel”, so go in that direction.
On the way, I found an area where many money changers such as “SuperRich” gather!
But all the money changers here close at 23: 30. At this time, the time was already 23: 35 …, maybe I was a little late …
But I found only one store open! It is in a different passage from SuperRich and the like “ValuePlus”. The exchange rate from Japanese yen was 0.3045 (10,000 yen → 3045 baht). However, when I looked carefully, I heard that this shop is open until 23: 30, which was miraculously good. I’ll just exchange 3,000 yen for a taxi to the hotel.
By the way, I took a look at the currency exchange in the departure lobby of Suvarnabhumi Airport, and the exchange rate was very bad, 0.2815. This place was open after 23:30, but if you want to change money at the airport, it’s better to go to the underground money changer even if it takes a little time.
Currency exchange in front of Nana station “VASU EXCHANG”
Next, I went to the money exchange in the city, and the one I used was the one in front of Nana station of BTS near the hotel where I stayed “VASU EXCHANGE”.
There are reviews saying that this place is “have a good rate”, but please note that the business hours are limited from 9 o’clock to 18 o’clock, and Sundays are closed.
When I walked in, there was a man (brother) in a rather cool security outfit who asked me to show him my passport. A copy of your passport is taken here, and you line up at the counter with the copy.
At the counter, if you give a copy of your passport and the amount of Japanese yen you want to exchange, you will be given a number and told to wait in the store.
There are sofas in the shop like this, and it is a very conscientious place. At that time, there were other people who were thought to be Japanese.
Waiting for about 3 minutes, I was called “Nidjuban” in broken Japanese. Do many Japanese usually use here?
At that time, considering the high importance of cash in Bangkok, I exchanged 10,000 yen. The rate is 0.3035 yen, which is almost the same as the exchange rate at the airport, although the date has changed.
I was grabbed 1000 baht of large bills, but I was able to break them easily without any complaints at the Wat Pho ticket office or station window! Maybe he’s a little more forgiving because he can’t use his credit card?
Open on Sundays “WESTERN UNION”
The above mentioned VASU EXCHANGE is closed on Sundays, but I found a money exchange that is also open on Sundays! The name is “WESTERN UNION” and I used a shop along Rachadamri street (Ratchadamri Rd) where many large shopping centers such as Isetan gather, but there seem to be many other shops according to the website.
The rate is 0.3003, which is not very good compared to what I’ve seen so far, but I’m glad they’re open on Sundays. In addition, the canal at Ratchadamri Street is closed.
ATMs with unruly fees
Lastly, I would like to introduce exchange at ATM. I was going to exchange money at WESTERN UNION on Sunday, but I forgot my Japanese yen at the hotel! It’s troublesome to go back to get it, so I had no choice but to use an ATM nearby …
It can be used in the same way as in other countries, and when you put your credit card in the place where it lights up, the transaction starts. Type the Pin code and press Enter.
Japanese is supported! You can specify the amount as you like, but you can withdraw up to 25 bills at a time.
In spite of such kind Japanese service, the handling charge is 220 baht! I was hesitant to pay more than 700 yen as … suggested, but considering the time and effort to go back to the hotel, it can’t be helped …
When I exchange 1400 baht (≠ 4,600 yen), the ATM charges me more than 700 yen, and I also have to pay 216 yen for my credit card, so I can’t stop crying. Well, it can’t be helped because it’s my fault that I forgot the cash.
The exchange at the underground of the airport is cheap and convenient!
So, I cut my own money and looked at the money exchange situation in Bangkok, but I found that it is the easiest and the best rate to exchange money in the money exchange area in the basement of Suvarnabhumi Airport. We want to make sure that we never use ATMs with fees that are unbelievably high worldwide.
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