As cash payments are still preferred in Thailand, getting local currency is almost unavoidable when traveling around Chiang Rai. If you are looking for the money changer offering the best exchange rate in the city, check our review of currency exchange in Chiang Rai.
As you might already know, ATMs in Thailand charge extra fee for all international card withdrawals, so exchanging foreign currency is normally the cheapest option for getting Thai Baht (THB) here. Chiang Rai is not exclusion.
Money Changers in Chiang Rai
Even if money changers in Chiang Rai are not as numerous as in Chiang Mai, it’s not difficult to find one in the central area of the city where most of the tourists opt to stay.
Currency exchange at Chiang Rai Airport (CEI)
If you are arriving at Mae Fah Luang - Chiang Rai International Airport (CEI), you will find money changers right at the airport. However, currency exchange rates at Chiang Rai Airport are significantly worse than you can get in the city center, so exchanging your foreign currency here is recommended only if you need to get some local money for getting to central Chiang Rai.
Money changer near Chiang Rai Night Bazaar
Located on Phaholyothin Road, right by the entrance to Chiang Rai Night Bazaar and in a short walking distance from Chiang Rai Bus Terminal 1, this money changer is the one that you might pass very often when staying in Chiang Rai. Exchanging money here is convenient if you suddenly get short of Thai Baht while spending your time at the main Chiang Rai’s night time shopping venue.
However, currency exchange rates offered by the money changer near Chiang Rai Night Bazaar were the worst we could see while making our little research of currency exchange in Chiang Rai. For 1 US Dollar you could get only 29.095 THB, for 1 Euro – 32.098 THB, for 1 British Pound – 36.17 THB, for 1 Australian Dollar – 19.375 THB.
Depending on the currency, exchange rates here were about 4-9% lower than market rates. Definitely not the best rate, as they are stating. Even the banks and hotels in Chiang Rai were offering better exchange rates.
Money exchange at Chiang Rai Hotel
Another place that we have visited when looking for the best currency exchange rate in the city was Chiang Rai Hotel. Money exchange is offered at the lobby of this hotel.
Currency exchange rates offered by money changer at Chiang Rai Hotel were significantly better than we could get near Chiang Rai Night Bazaar as here for 1 US Dollar you were getting 29.43 THB, for 1 Euro – 33.13 THB, for 1 British Pound – 38.43 THB, for 1 Australian Dollar – 20.15 THB.
Depending on the currency, exchange rates here were about 1.6-4% lower than market rates.
Currency exchange at the banks in Chiang Rai
As there are not so many independent money changers in Chiang Rai, exchanging currency at the bank here is not such a bad idea if only you are looking for currency exchange during bank opening hours.
We are used to seeing independent money changers offering better exchange rates than the rates offered by the banks in Bangkok. In Chiang Rai situation seems to be a bit different, as here it’s not so easy to find a money changer offering a better rate than the bank.
On the day of our research, Krungthai Bank for 1 US Dollar was offering 29.88 THB, for 1 Euro – 33.18 THB, for 1 British Pound – 38.54 THB, for 1 Australian Dollar – 20.09 THB.
Exchange rates of the main currencies (USD, EUR, GBP) at the bank were about 1.2-1.5% lower than market rates. The gap between the bank exchange rate and market rate was bigger for less popular currencies.
Current currency exchange rates offered by Krungthai Bank can be found here: Krungthai Bank Rates.
Best exchange rate in Chiang Rai
Even if it’s not so easy to find, you still can get a better currency exchange rate in Chiang Rai than the one offered by the bank.
Super Rich Money Exchange has a branch in Chiang Rai that can be found here: location of Super Rich Chiang Rai.
If compared to exchange rates at the banks in Chiang Rai, Super Rich is offering better rates. At the time of writing US Dollar exchange rate at Super Rich Chiangmai was by 0.30 THB, Euro exchange rate – by 0.38 THB, British Pound exchange rate – by 0.56 THB and Australian Dollar exchange rate – by 0.48 THB better than at the bank.
For more information check Super Rich Money Exchange - Best Rates in Chiang Rai.
Other money changers in Chiang Rai
New money exchange office called S.M.S. Exchange (Safe Money Service Exchange) was about to open right by the Chiang Rai New Clock Tower during the time of our visit. Let’s hope that they will be able to offer competitive exchange rates combined with convenient location.
As currency exchange market is dynamic and some of money changers in Chiang Rai are closing down their businesses while others are just opening, it’s really worth to shop around before exchanging your money as every place seems to be claiming to offer the best rate in town even if in reality finding fair exchange rate in Chiang Rai is not that easy.
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