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Currency Exchange in Thailand

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  • Currency Exchange in Thailand

    The Thai Baht - from top-performing to worst-hit currency in Asia

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    Before the pandemic, the Thai Baht (THB) was the strongest-performing currency in Asia. Now, it’s the worst-hit currency in the region, according to Japan-based Mizuho Bank. The Thai economy has been shrinking over the past year, hitting lows which some compare to the contraction during the 1997 Asian financial crisis. The Japanese bank says the under-performance of the Thai baht is “uncharacteristic” and renders it “the worst performer to date in 2021.”

    The financial analysis platform Refinitiv Eikon also found the Thai baht to be the weakest-performing currency in the Asia Pacific region. As of this morning, the Thai baht had dropped more than 10% against the US dollar year-to-date, according to data from the company. Against the US dollar, the Japanese yen dropped by almost 7% and the Malaysian ringgit declined by 5%.

    For Thailand, which relies heavily on tourism, the lack of international arrivals due to travel restrictions multiplied the “Covid devastation” on the economy, according to the bank’s head of economics and strategy, Vishnu Varathan. As of this May, Thailand only had 34,000 tourist arrivals. Before the pandemic in 2019, the country welcomed around 40 million tourists.

    “The sheer force of this ‘tourism multiplier’ means that it remains the decisive drag on THB… Further ‘variant risks’ and attendant rolling delays to tourism/travel resumption will continue to pose a clear and present threat to the THB.”
    Over the past year, Thai authorities have made attempts to reboot tourism after the halt on international arrivals. The Special Tourist Visa scheme, offering a 90-day visa that could be extended twice, allowing an up to 9-month stay, was started as an effort to draw visitors to Thailand during the pandemic. The catch… tourists still had to undergo quarantine and the thought of 14 days in isolation before a holiday drove away many potential visitors.

    To draw in more tourists, Thai authorities decided to come up with travel schemes without a mandatory 14-day quarantine. Thailand recently launched the “Phuket Sandbox” and “Samui Plus” reopening schemes, allowing travellers who are vaccinated against Covid-19 to enter the islands without undergoing quarantine.

    Priority was given to Phuket and Samui during the first phases of the vaccination campaign, as the tourist destinations were said to be of “economic significance,” and health officials accelerated the rollout of vaccines to inoculate at least 70% of the populations with their first dose in time for the reopening.

    But as the islands reopen, Thailand is grappling with its most severe wave of Covid-19 and the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant. Since July 1, only around 10,800 people have arrived in Phuket. And since Koh Samui’s reopening on July 15, just 35 people from overseas have arrived.
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  • #2
    Bank of Thailand updates 20 THB Banknote for improved hygiene and longevity
    20 THB

    The Bank of Thailand has launched a new 20 baht banknote made of polyester. The banknote is said to resist moisture and grime, resulting in a longer shelf-life. The central bank began distributing the shiny new baht greenbacks on March 24.2022

    The Bank of Thailand announced that people used the 20 baht banknote the most frequently, making them dirty and damaged. With an aim to offer residents cleaner and more durable banknotes, the material was changed from paper to polyester, which is a special plastic that doesn’t absorb moisture and dirt. Because the banknotes are now more durable, they can be used for a longer time, which will help decrease banknote production and is benefit for the environment.

    The new banknotes come in the same pattern and colour as the old ones, but its texture is different because of the new material. The bills have a slicker plasticky texture that’s also thicker and crisper than their predecessors. The new bills are also more secure; they now feature a transparent spot in a Thai pattern, which is apparent on both sides for added security.

    The bills are being distributed mainly by Siam Commercial Bank, as well as some specialized financial institutions. Meanwhile, the old bank notes made from paper can still be used as normal.


    • #3
      Is the Thai Baht falling in value?

      Yes. And no. Depends on which currency you want to compare it to. Against the mighty USD, absolutely yes. In February this year, the USD was valued at 32.12 baht to the dollar. Now it’s 36.48 baht to the dollar. Good news if you’ve got USD and heading to Thailand.
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      But the story isn’t the same against many of the other world currencies. In fact the USD has surged against almost every currency over the past 6 months, seen as a flight to the ‘trusted’ greenback as financial, stock and cryptocurrency markets crash in a worldwide slow motion train wreck since the end of last year.

      Against the Euro, the THB has strengthened, from 39.28 THB to the Euro (it’s highest value over the past year), to 36.53 as of today. Much the same situation with the British Pound. The GBP has fallen from 46.41 THB to the Pound, at its highest over the past 12 months, to 43.19 THB now.

      The Australian dollar, has had a slight rise, from 23.08 AUD to the THB at its lowest in the past 12 months, to 24.67 THB to the Oz dollar today. Same with the Canadian dollar (CAD) which has gone from 25.21 THB to 28.02 THB to the Canadian dollar today.

      The Singapore Dollar (SGD) has also risen nearly 10% against the Thai baht since its lowest point in the past 12 months. Whilst the Japanese Yen has gone the other way, dropping nearly 20% against the Thai baht.

      But the Governor of the 100% state-owned Bank of Thailand, Sethaput Suthiwartnarueput, says he is not overly concerned about the Thai baht’s current performance, noting that the ‘fundamentals’ of the baht and the Thai economy, generally, were in “good condition” and any similarities to the 1997 financial collapse are completely mis-interpreted.

      So, if you’re a US citizen, visiting Thailand at this time, you are going to get record exchange rates. Whilst, if you’re from the UK or Europe, you are getting around 10% less baht compared to the high spot for your currency over the past 12 months.
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      • #4
        Where to Exchange Money in Bangkok or other Cities in Thailand ?

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        Let talk a bit about Bangkok’s money exchange scene before pointing out places with the best rates. In Bangkok, one can easily find a money exchange booth at any street corner across the city. This suggests that there are a large number of this kind of service in Bangkok. The suggestion is confirmed if you ask a local-savvy local. Bangkok money exchange services are available in forms of large currency exchange centers and small money changer kiosks. The good news is that they are all licensed. Foreign exchange service providers in Bangkok are categorized into 3 groups:
        • Money Exchange booths operated by Banks
        • Currency Exchange Chains
        • Independent Money Changers.
        Rates vary between different providers, and also between different branches of the same chain. Among those kinds of service providers, currency exchange chains and independent money changers have the better rates. There is one thing we know for sure: Converting currency in Bangkok will always get you more baht than in your country. Even if you engage a forex service at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi airport. But we can always have the best among the best. With our money changer guide on hand, you will easily get to a reliable service that is close to your hotel or BTS and MRT stations. Make sure that your passport is there with you whenever you show up at a money changer. It is legally required.

        Super Rich

        Super Rich Thailand has come into the scene for more than 50 years. This reputable money exchange chain has won people’s hearts through its excellent service and good rates. Their rates are usually the best in Bangkok. All of 14 money changers of this chain are in close proximity to tourist places or busy shopping areas, including one kiosk at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport. A Super Rich Thailand branch is easily recognized through its green branding color. Website

        Super Rich 1965

        Operated since 1965, Super Rich 1965 is the biggest money exchange chain in the capital of Thailand. This chain has 22 handy-located branches; all offer good exchange rates, which are very close to the rates provided by Super Rich Thailand. Rumour has it that the founders of Super Rich 1965 and Super Rich Thailand are brothers, but please keep it to yourself. Orange color is a sign that helps you recognize a Super Rich 1965’s money changer booth. Website


        • #5
          Thailand: Check your 20 THB bills, they might be worth more than you think…

          A Thai coin and banknote collector is offering big cash for a rare kind of 20 baht bill that could be in anyone’s wallet in Thailand. Some of the new plastic polymer 20 baht bills which entered circulation last year were printed without a vertical line on the left-hand side, as seen in the picture. “Gig” the rare money collector is offering up to 3,000 baht for the bills depending on the condition. One month ago, Gig was offering up to 1,500 baht, but since no one has come forward he has doubled the offer. The collector started looking for these rare banknotes last year in May but recently reshared his Facebook post because he knows there are still some of the notes out there somewhere.
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          Gig says he is happy to travel to collect the lineless 20s, just contact him via Facebook or Line on @suriya888 and send him a picture of the note in question. Gig said that he would offer between 50,000 to 150,000 baht for one (“naeb”) of the rare notes, which is a stack of 100 banknotes. He also offers cash for other rare, defective and old currencies, for example, Gig is offering 500 to 1000 baht for error 20 baht notes which have mismatching Thai and Arabic nine-digit numerals.

          In September last year, the Bank of Thailand (BOT) revealed that a batch of new 20 Thai baht bills was printed with errors – with the Thai and Arabic numerals not matching up.The central bank said they were working on removing the errored notes from circulation. In the meantime, Thais can legally use the banknotes only at commercial banks. If you want to make some money from the rare notes, get in contact with Gig. Or, keep it safe to sell in the future. For some super rare and old coins, Gig is offering much bigger cash rewards.