Opening a bank account in Thailand


In my serie This Is Thailand (see label below) here a story about something that I would say This Is Thailand. In 2016 we moved to Nan province, I love it here in the mountains. And due to inter-regional bank costs I wanted to open a new bank account in Nan. Inter-regional bank costs? Well every time I use the ATM with my account from Khon Kaen I pay 20 - 30 THB transaction fee. Yes this in itself is already a This Is Thailand thing. The banking system here is about 100 years behind the rest of the world. But in the now more as15 years living in Thailand I have openend & closed at least a dozen bank accounts and never had any real problem. So I went to a bank in Nan town.

Bank : "You need work permit"
Me : "No I don't, read your own rules" 
Bank (reading) : "O .... you are right, not need work permit"
Bank : "But we need pasport, adres, etc. etc. etc. etc."
Me : "You need to know when I go toilet?"
Bank : "And HQ in BKK have to approve"
Bank : "You have already bank account with us? You can have only 1 bank account"
Bank : "So you first have to go to the bank where you opened that account and close it"
Me : "That is 500 km away, you think I am crazy?"
Me : "But Thai can have 100 bank accounts!"

As you understand I walked out and went to another bank. The conversation was like-wise with the exception that the lady was so clever to have me talk to the customer center from Bangkok.

This was one of those moments that I thought "If I would not have a family here I would leave this country right now and never ever return". Luckily a good friend helped me out and I went to another bank where I could open a bank account without any problems. Efficient and friendly.

Luckily my negative feelings are more as compensated by the people living in our village. They are so welcoming, so friendly! When we had a problem in our new house, someone was there to help. They bring us fruit from the mountains. They bring us food and help us to settle in the village. We needed a gas-bottle for cooking ... 10 min later someone came by (with a gas-bottle) to sale us a gas-bottle. We needed to move some heavy furniture ... 10 min later some people came help us. A lovely community! As community they will have to support each other .... because nobody else is going to do it. Yes, this is the Thailand I did fall in love with about 20 years ago.

One night in Bangkok and the world is your oyster

The journey of Traveling 2 Thailand did begin with One Night in Bangkok in 1985 and since 2009 it became a personal non-commercial travel blog as inspiration for traveling & motorbike riding in Thailand. Made just for the sheer love of traveling and sharing experience about traveling in South-East Asia. To travel beyond the beaten track & highlights. Enjoy!