Whether to carry Indian rupees to Thailand, and exchange them for Thai Baht after getting there? This is a frequently asked question on my YouTube channel. The reason people would like to carry Indian currency while going to Thailand is totally understandable. The exchange rate for INR>>THB in India is not so good. Thai currency is available with money changers in India, but they sell it at a high premium, which is usually upwards of 6% over the official exchange rate.
Actually, Thai currency can be purchased in India at a premium of just 5%. But only those fortunate enough to be staying in a city serviced by BookMyForex will be able to get it. The rest of us will end up paying upto 10% extra for buying Thai currency in India.
Now, if you think a 10% premium for buying Thai Baht in India is too high, consider this. In October 2022, when I visited Thailand for the first time after Covid-19, some of the exchange counters at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok, were exchanging Indian rupees for Thai Baht at an exchange cost of 34%.
In other words, if you exchanged Indian rupees for Thai Baht at Suvarnabhumi Airport at that time, you would lose 34% of your money at the exchange counter itself. (Watch my YouTube video on this)
That was outright robbery. But it was happening. And to my utter dismay, I saw the staff at the visa on arrival counter trying to force Indian tourists to exchange their Indian money into Thai Baht at those fraud exchange counters.
That was the normal visa on arrival counter, where the regular VOA fee of 2000 Baht was charged. And if someone went to the “fast track” VOA counter, where the visa fee was 2200 Baht, they were not even asked to show proof of funds. But of course, that is not the point of this article.
The point is, you should never carry Indian currency to Thailand. Even if you escape the fraud exchange counters at a Thai airport, the money changers in the city (Bangkok, Pattaya, or Phuket), will still rob you. You will lose 10% or more of your money exchanging it for Thai Baht.
That too, if you are exchanging INR 500 notes. If you happen to have INR 100 notes, those will be either rejected, or you will get punished in the form of a worse exchange rate.
So, What Is The Alternative?
The better way is, either buy Thai currency in India at approximately 5% premium, or buy USD at near about 2% premium. USD can usually be exchanged in Thailand at good rates, provided you go to the right money changers.
I have posted a few really helpful YouTube videos on Thailand Money Exchange, covering the best money changers in different cities and locations, an ATM Guide, and the ATMs with the lowest transaction fee. This is the link to the playlist: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLcii2WHhv2RsC8SdEYpufzToOinX_WPEw&si=kdS1Xw0GC5cKYOqT
Watch the playlist, and if you need any clarification or more information, feel free to write a comment on the YouTube video, or on this page using the comment form below. I will reply to your comment in the shortest possible time.
Thank you for reading this article.