How much american $ should I take to Thailand? - TravelPUNK Backpacker College Student Budget Travel Message Boards!



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Old 01-12-2006, 11:08 AM   #1
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I was going to take about $300 cash (+$100 for emergencies). Is this even necessary, or should I just stick with the ATMs?
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Old 01-12-2006, 11:15 AM   #2
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not sure how to answer this because i never use ATM's abroad... except for emergencies. i always carry all of my cash on my person - foolhardy, maybe? but i like having instant access to my funds and not having to pay fees, etc. IMO a single person on a 3-week holiday in LOS only needs about $1200 usd anyway, that's only twelve (12) hundred dollar bills - very easy to carry.

blah, blah - anyway, $400 is fine, why not?
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:32 PM   #3
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Well yeah- the cash was just to get started, not for the whole trip. I was wondering if it was even necessary to carry that much though. My ATM charges a 1% conversion fee. Where can I convert american dollars to baht at a better rate than that?
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Old 01-12-2006, 12:41 PM   #4
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your bank doesn't charge for using an out of network atm either? foreign atms willl also charge you for being out of network. you get ripped at either end. i dunno, in the calculations i did - exchanging cash direct was cheaper. by much? not really, but i'm weird anyway.

you should always carry $100 emergency cash when going abroad - no matter where, at least bring that.

cheers.
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Old 01-12-2006, 01:04 PM   #5
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i always just take money out of atms when i go away 'cause ive got and account that doesnt charge to take money out abroad
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Old 01-12-2006, 02:39 PM   #6
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Yeah- my bank is a little different. They don't even maintain any of their own ATMs, so they just reimburse you at the end of the month (as long as you don't abuse it). They just told me to save my receipts.

So where are the best spots in Thailand to change money? Banks? I hear the airport is a ripoff and I should just change $20 for the cab ride there.

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Old 01-12-2006, 02:47 PM   #7
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you won't even need $10 for the cab ride into town, but cashing $20 JIC is a good idea. i forget the name of the bank i use. i only know where it is in relation to siam skytrain station - i couldn't even articulate the directions either. sounds like the ATM bit will work out fine for you anyway considering the bank you use. BASTARD.

i just had to throw that in there so you know that i'm still deeply jealous over your leaving so soon - like tomorrow!?! BASTARD.

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Old 01-12-2006, 03:36 PM   #8
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I'm the opposite of Joanie. I only use ATM's abroad and maybe bring $100 USD emergency cash. I find I get a much better overall rate using an ATM than exchanging money even after including all fees, etc. My bank doesn't charge that much for fees and the rate they give is far, far better than the rate money changers give.

There are a million ATMs in Thailand, including right in the BKK and Phuket airports and all over the place in downtown BKK. I would recommend taking out 5,000 baht at the airport ($125) and that should last you awhile if you are fairly frugal (5,000 baht is the average Thai monthly wage). Cab fare is cheap - if you take a meter taxi (this is important to save money - ignore the touts - go out to the sidewalk line for meter taxis). A meter taxi from airport to downtown might run you 200 to 300 baht ($5 to $8 USD) even for a 45 minute taxi ride.
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Old 01-12-2006, 05:47 PM   #9
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Actually, I'm leaving the day after tomorrow, but thanks for the envy anyway I'm going to need it though- it has been hectic at work trying to get ready for three weeks off- I don't need the stress.

Anyway, back on topic- $8 for a 45 minute cab ride. Damn- I could probably retire there comfortably by the time I'm 40!
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