Currency of Thailand: A Guide to the Thai Baht

The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht or Baht. 1 Baht is divided into 100 Satangs, i.e 1 Baht = 100 Satangs. The Bank of Thailand is responsible for issuing the currency notes in the country. Banknotes of 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1000 Bahts are used. Coins of 1, 2, 5 and 10 Bahts are used. Coins of 50 and 25 Satangs are also used. The Baht has been used as the official currency in Thailand since 1902. Baht, according to a SWIFT survey done in 2017, was the tenth most frequently used currency for making payments.

Design of the Thai Baht

The currency notes have an image of King Maha Vajiralongkorn in the uniform of the commander of the Royal Thai Air Force on the front side. On the other side are images of former kings of the country. The coins also have an image of King Maha Vajiralongkorn on one side and a monogram of the King on the opposite side.

What is the Currency Exchange Rate in Thailand?

Currency in Thailand, Thai Baht
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The exchange rates of major currencies with the Thai Baht, as of January 2020 are as follows -

1 INR = 0.43 THB
1 USD = 30.56 THB
1 Euro = 33.74 THB
1 GBP = 40 THB

It is advisable to exchange large value notes instead of small ones. For example, exchanging 100 USD notes would give you a much better deal than exchanging 2 USD notes.

It is recommended to have your currency exchanged for the Thai Baht after reaching Thailand. It can be expensive to do so in your country of origin or a foreign nation. Once in Thailand, there are multiple places where you can get your currency exchanged. It is advisable not to exchange your money at the airport since the conversion charges are quite high and better deals can be found in many other parts of the country. Double exchange is not a viable option either since it is more expensive than a single exchange. In popular tourist areas, exchange offices are located every few meters away. Most exchange offices are operated by the country's major banks.

Origin of the Thai Baht

Currency of Thailand, Thai Baht
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Before the introduction of the official currency, shells, baked clay coins and pot duang were used to exchange goods in Thailand. But in 1853, under the reign of King Mongkut, foreign trade increased significantly and hence to accommodate the need for money, the first paper money, called Mai, was introduced. However, its usage never really became predominant, since people preferred to use pot duang. Later in the early 1870s, under the reign of King Chulalongkorn, Att Kadrat, another currency, was introduced. In 1890, Ngoen Kradat Luang, a form of paper money, was thought to be introduced by the government, but it never really came into existence. Finally, in 1902, with the introduction of the Thai Department of Technology under the Ministry of Finance, Baht came into existence. Since then, it has been the official currency of Thailand.

Using Credit Cards and Cheques in Thailand

Currency in Thailand, Thai ATM
Thai ATMs at the Phuket International Airport (Source)

Many shops and businesses in Thailand, large or small, accept card payments during transactions. Paying via card is a relatively safer option, since that way you have to carry less amount of cash with you. Withdrawing money from ATMs, however, may be a bit expensive as Thai banks impose 150 THB fee for every withdrawal by a foreign ATM card. One can also use traveller's cheques, which offer a much better deal than cash exchange. Exchange offices use traveller's cheques rates to attract tourists. However, a fee of 30 THB is charged for each transaction with a traveller's cheque. So it is advisable to use traveller's cheques for large transaction values.

How Much Money Should You Carry in Thailand?

Currency in Thailand
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In Thailand, the average daily cost of while on vacation can be between 250 THB to 300 THB. In this cost, you can get good meals and all the necessary facilities. Partying, adventure games, socializing and shopping might cost a few extra bucks. Here is the cost of some essentials shown in Thai Baht:

  • Bottle of Water: 12 THB
  • A Thai Meal: 40-70 THB
  • Guesthouse Room: 150 THB/ night
  • Movie Ticket: 80-120 THB
  • Newspaper: 20 THB
  • Loaf of White Bread: 40 THB
  • Beer in a Local Bar: 80-120 THB
  • 20 Thai Cigarettes: 20 THB

Tips and Additional Information on Currency of Thailand

Currency in Thailand
Source
  • Do not carry money in your back pockets. It is considered offensive to sit on the notes having the king's face on them.
  • Stepping on notes and coins deliberately is highly offensive.
  • Do not deface or throw away the currency notes in anger or so.
  • Tipping in Thailand is not compulsory. However, if you liked the service and want to tip the staff, then anything between 5-20 THB is appreciated.
  • It is advisable to change the currency in Thailand only. The exchange offers in any other country are not as good as in Thailand.


So, after learning all about the currency of Thailand, you can cut off one hassle off your mind. After all, the money shall not be a barrier when it comes to vacationing. With all these points in mind, an amazing trip to Thailand awaits you!

This post was published by Tina Garg

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