Cash Vs. Travelers Checks in Thailand – Why Neither Are A Great Idea

A lot of people come to Thailand with travelers checks and end up having a hard time cashing them and being charged high fees when they do. Others bring cash, which is a mistake I did when I first made my move to Thailand; I brought most of my savings (about $3,000US at the time) in cash thinking it would be the best thing to do. Turns out, it was a nightmare.

Cash Vs. Travelers Checks in Thailand – Why Neither Are A Great Idea Photo Gallery

First, I was ultra-paranoid carrying around my life’s savings with me during the first two days it takes to get from the airport to where I was actually going to be staying in Koh Tao. I was afraid to keep my money in my hotel room so carried it on me at all times which was a bit scary, as well. I tried to get a Thai bank account but they wanted a lot of paperwork that I couldn’t provide as a tourist.

I ended up stashing the money in a locker at some shop which, in retrospect, wasn’t the best idea either! Eventually, I convinced a Thai person to help me open an account and I deposited the money but it wasn’t worth the hassle. In Thailand, unless you have crisp, brand new $100US bills some places won’t even take the money and, if you have smaller notes, they actually give you less value for them. For the past two years I’ve only carried $200US cash for emergencies and the rest of my money I withdraw through ATM.

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