Thai currency is decimal based and divided into baht
and satang. There are 100 satang to 1 baht.
are valued at 25 and 50 satang. "Silver" coins
are in denominations of 1' 2 and 5 baht. A 10 baht coin
is composed of both "silver" and "copper".
Banknotes are valued at 10 baht (brown), 20 baht (green),
50 baht (blue), 100 baht (red), 500 baht (purple) and
1,000 baht (khaki).
Credit cards including Visa, Mastcard, American Express
and Diner's Club are accepted at all luxury hotels and
the more expensive restaurants.
Traveller's cheques can be cashed at banks and exchange
counters in major towns and resorts.
ATM machines all over thailand accept the most widely
used cards including major credit cards and debit cards
such as cirrus and maestro cards.
Thai and foreign banks provide standard services nationwide,
Monday through Friday, except public and bank holidays,
between 9.30 AM and 3.30 PM.
Major banks such as Bangkok Bank, Thai Danu Bank, Thai
Farmers Bank and Siam Commercial Bank operate currency
exchange centres in most tourist areas from 7.00 AM to
9.00 PM, seven days a week, including holidays.
Many first-class hotels provide 24-hour money exchange
services, but only for major currencies such as American
dollars, British pounds, German marks and Swiss francs.
Travellers cheques are generally accepted only from bona
fide hotel guests.
1. Foreign tourists may freely bring in foreign banknotes
or other types of foreign exchange. Upon leaving Thailand,
a foreign tourist may freely take out foreign means of
payments which he brought in with him, with the exception
foreign notes or coins are limited to a maximum equivalent
of US$ 10,000 or the amount declared in writing to Customs
upon arrival. Failure to do so may lead to arrest, confiscation
of the excess amount involved and/or prosecution.
2. For travellers leaving Thailand, the maximum amount
permitted to take out without prior authorization is
50,000 baht per person
3. Foreign visitors may bring in personal effects and
other goods which are not prohibited by current customs
regulation. Other than personal effects, departing visitors
are also allowed to take out merchandise bought from
duty free shops, precious stones, gold and platinum ornaments.
4. Foreign visitors are welcome to open a foreign currency
account with any commercial bank in Thailand. As a special
gesture to nonresidents, no restrictions are imposed
on the maintenance of and withdrawal from the account,
as long as the funds originate from abroad.
Tipping and Bargaining
Tipping is not normal practice in Thailand, although
they are getting used to it in expensive hotels and restaurants.
Elsewhere don't bother. The exception is loose change
left from a large Thai restaurant bill; for example if
a meal costs 288B and you pay with a 500B note, some
thais and foreign residents will leave the 12B coin change
on the change tray. It's not so much a tip as a way of
saying "I'm not so money-grubbing as to grab the last
baht". On the other hand change left from a 50B note
for a 44B bill will usually not be left behind.
Good bargaining, which takes practice is another way
to cut costs. Anything bought in a market should be bargained
for; prices in department stores and most non-tourist
shops are fixed.
Sometimes accommodation rates can be bargained down.
One may need to bargain hard in heavily touristed areas
since the one-week, all air-con type of visitor often
pays whatever is asked, creating an artificial price
zone between the local and tourist market that the budgeter
must deal with.
On the other hand the Thai' aren't always trying to
rip you off, so use some discretion when going to bone
on a price. There's a fine line between bargaining and
niggling - getting hot under the collar about 5B makes
both the seller and buyer lose face. Likewise a frown
is a poor bargaining tool. In general start by offering
about 50% of the original asking price and work up form
there. Some times you can get up to 40% off the original
The cost of transportation between cities and within
them is very reasonable; again bargaining (when hiring
a vehicle) can save you a lot of baht.