Should you change currency in the UK or get Thai baht in Thailand?
A reader e-mailed us to ask, if they are planning a trip to Thailand, should they change UK pounds into baht while still in the UK or should they wait to change pounds for baht in Thailand? Which option would get them the best exchange rate?
Without a doubt, do not change pounds into baht in the UK as you will get a much lower baht to the pound exchange rate there. Instead, wait until you get to Thailand, and then change your pounds into Thai baht here.
Currency exchange booths and banks in Bangkok
The preferable way is to bring pounds and change them into baht at a currency exchange booth or bank in Bangkok, as you will get a lower rate if you exchange your currency at Suvarnabhumi or Don Mueang airports.
However, if you need money for a taxi to get you into Bangkok, then change £20 at the airport. That will get you enough baht for a taxi into Bangkok, as well as enough money for breakfast, lunch or dinner on your first day here.
Once in Bangkok, you can then exchange your UK pounds for Thai baht at a bank or a currency exchange booth. They are on just about every street, they are open seven days a week and, often, up until 10pm at night — even banks.
Larger denominations of British pounds will get you more Thai baht
You will usually get the best rate for your currency exchange of UK pounds into Thai baht if you a) bring larger denominations (you get a higher exchange rate for a £20 note than you do for lots of £1 notes) and b) if you ask at your hotel for their recommendations about the best places to exchange money.
The hotel reception will often know about the best currency exchange booths in Bangkok, that will often give you a slightly higher rate than the closest Thai bank.
Remember too, many Thai banks and currency exchange places will not change old notes, so bring new or new-ish British pounds with you so you have no problem exchanging them.
Finally, read this if you are wondering which bank offers the best currency exchange rates in Bangkok.