The Thai Baht

Local Currency

Thai money concerns are of great importance to all who travel throughout Thailand. Acquiring some prior knowledge of the Thai monetary system are all important factors for a stress-free travel experience. Below you will find some information and useful tips regarding the safety of your money.

The Thai Baht is the principal currency of Thailand, divided into 100 units called satang. This once stable Thai currency was devalued in 1997 when the markets went bust.

Since then the exchange rate, which for years hovered around at around 25 Baht to the US dollar, has risen to an average of around 32 Baht to the US dollar, 35 Baht to the Euro and 47 Baht to the British Pound. These are 2015 currency rates.

There is no currency black market that I am aware of in Thailand, unlike that of some of their neighbouring countries.

Thai Coins

Bank notes vary in colour and size according to denominations which include the 1,000 Baht note (tan in colour), 500 Baht note (purple in colour), 100 Baht note (red in colour), 50 Baht note (blue in colour) and 20 Baht (green in colour). I do believe that there is a 10 Baht note (brown in colour), circulating around but I have not yet seen one. Perhaps they are quite rare.

Coins come in five denominations including the 10 Baht coin (brass with a silver rim), the 5 Baht coin (silver with an eight-faceted rim), 1 Baht coins (silver). There are also two small coins of 50 and 25 satangs (brass) which are pretty useless and really only used in supermarkets and 7-Elevens. You can just give them away before leaving.

Although you would not be allowed to take out more than 50,000 Baht when leaving Thailand, there is no limit to the amount of currency you can bring into the country. Pretty much standard rules for most countries.

The Monetary System

Thai money concerns regarding major international banks are represented in Thailand. Cash and foreign exchange cards can be brought into the country and converted into Thai currency at any of the banks as well as at the many exchange kiosks found all around the country, including many shopping malls and supermarkets.

Note that foreign exchange cards receive a slightly better rate of exchange than cash at banks, but hotels and resorts, of course, do not generally give a favourable exchange rate and should only be used as and when necessary. Banking hours are generally from 8.30 am to 3.30 pm Mondays to Fridays, although some banks near major tourist areas are sometimes open longer for foreign exchange.

ATM Machines

Continuing with Thai money concerns, we now move on to the easily accessible ATM machines found all around Thailand. Just as we have at home, you will find ATM machines outside most banks which are open around the clock.

You’ll also find them at all the airports as well as in shopping malls, department stores and all major train and bus stations. For that matter, there is also absolutely no problem to find ATM machines within easy walking distance from your hotel.

Debit cards and credit cards are all accepted at any of the ATM machines. You will find that most banks display signs indicating which cards are accepted at their machines and even if not, chances are, your card will still be accepted.

Sometimes when travelling abroad, you have to be a little flexible, but if in doubt, ask one of the staff in the bank for help or advice. Remember that all currencies are dispensed with Baht only.

ATM Machine

Credit and Debit Cards

Further discussions on Thai money concerns, is the use of Debit and Credit Cards in Thailand. American Express, Diners Club, Master Card and Visa are widely used in all the tourist areas. Below, I have listed the various credit card company addresses.

American Express. Bangkok office open Monday to Saturday 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. S.P.s Building, 388 Thanon Phaholyothin. Tel: 0 2273 5050. Chiang Mai office is at the Bangkok Bank 2/3 Thanon Prachasampan. Tel: 0 5382 1089-91. Phuket office is at Phuket International Airport. Tel: 0 7632 8324

Diners Club. Bangkok office open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. Silom Complex, 12th floor 191 Thanon Silom. Tel: 0 2238 3660

Master Card International. Bangkok office open Monday to Friday 8.30 am to 5.00 pm. Sermmitr Tower, 11th floor, Soi 21 (Soi Asoke), 159 Thanan Sukhumvit. Tel: 0 2260 8572/3

Visa International. Bangkok office open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5pm. Sindhorn Building, 15F, Tower 3, 130-132 Thana Withaya, Pathumwan. Tel: 0 2263 2091

American Express – Visa – Mastercard