If you're planning any kind of trip to Asia, Thailand has to be on your list of destinations to consider visiting. This Southeast Nation boasts some of the warmest weather and best beaches anywhere in the continent, making it a great option for family vacations and romantic retreats.
As well as its coastal towns and soft sands, Thailand is also home to countless amazing temples like the War Arun, Wat Pho, and Wat Phra Kaew in Bangkok. Whether you’re headed to the capital city or somewhere else like Phuket or or Chiang Mai, you’ll need money to cover the costs of your trip. Here’s all you need to know about Thai currency.
Official Currency in Thailand
The official currency of Thailand is the Thai baht. The symbol for this currency is a letter B with a slash down the center of it, and its ISO code is THB. The baht has been used for centuries in Thailand, although its coins, notes, and values have changed over time. The Thai baht is issued by the Bank of Thailand. A single baht is divided up into 100 satang.
Like many other currencies all over the world, the value of the baht changes over time depending on various economic factors. A single baht is usually just a small fraction of a US dollar, but the rates can change a lot from one year to the next, so it’s always important to stay up to date with the latest currency conversion values.
Coins and Notes in Thailand
On your trip to Thailand, you may see and utilize the following coins:
- 1 satang
- 5 satang
- 10 satang
- 25 satang
- 50 satang
- 1 baht
- 2 baht
- 5 baht
- 10 baht
The small value coins (1, 5, and 10 satang) are made from aluminum. The 25 and 50 satang coins can be made of either copper-plated steel or aluminum bronze, depending on the year of minting. The 1, 2, and 5 baht coins are usually made from cupronickel or nickel-plated steel, while the 10 baht coins feature an outer ring of copper nickel and an inner section of aluminum bronze.
The coins of the Thai baht typically feature an image of the country's monarch on one side and can feature various images on the other side. It’s important to note that even though satang coins can still be found, many places won’t accept them anymore.
As well as the aforementioned coins, you can find the following notes in Thailand:
- 20 baht (green)
- 50 baht (blue)
- 100 baht (red)
- 500 baht (purple)
- 1000 baht (brown)
The notes used in the Thai baht feature a color code system and are quite easy to tell apart. They also get larger as the value increases. The notes are decorated with an image of the current monarch on one side and images of monarchs of the past on the other side.
Using Credit Cards in Thailand
Travelers heading to Thailand will be happy to hear that many hotels, restaurants, shops, and other businesses in this Asian country will accept card payments. Cash is still used quite frequently in towns and cities all over Thailand, but more and more people are starting to make use of cards for their transactions.
In line with this rising rate of card usage, Thailand also features a large number of ATMs. You can find ATMs quite easily in the big cities like Bangkok, and they’re not too hard to find in smaller towns too. It’s wise to have at least a little cash on your person while traveling in Thailand, but you shouldn’t have too much trouble using your card in most places.
Using US Dollars or Other Currencies in Thailand
Some countries sometimes accept US dollars or other currencies in addition to their own official currency. Thailand, however, is not one of these countries. The only currency accepted in Thailand is the baht.
Tips for Currency in Thailand
To have a great stay in Thailand, be sure to bear the following tips in mind:
- You’ll see a lot of street vendors around Thailand at markets and other locations. These vendors rarely take card payments, so you’ll need cash if you want to buy some street food or other items.
- It’s always a wise idea to keep some notes and coins on your person for those moments when cards aren’t an option.
- Traveler’s checks are still accepted at many hotels and restaurants around Thailand, so this is another form of payment you might like to consider.
- Be sure to let your bank know that you’re going to be traveling. This will prevent any alerts or red flags appearing when you start using your card internationally.
- Your bank may also charge you every time you use your card in Thailand, so speak to them about what charges you might incur and look into ways to save cash by buying some baht or withdrawing baht from an ATM when you arrive.
- Tipping is not part of Thai culture and you don’t need to tip anyone. If you want to, you still can and people will often be grateful, but sometimes a little surprised to be given extra cash.