Thailand: Money & Costs

For buying baht, US dollars are the most readily acceptable currency and travellers cheques get a better rate than cash. British pounds are the next-best option. Credit cards are becoming increasingly acceptable in quality shops, hotels and restaurants. Visa is the most useful, followed by MasterCard.

Currency of Thailand is Baht. Baht notes come in denominations of 20 (green), 50 (blue), 100 (red), 500 (purple) and 1000 (beige).

There are 100 satang in one baht; coins include 25-satang and 50-satang pieces and baht in denominations of 1, 5 and 10.

Changing Your Money – Banks or legal money-changers offer the best rates. ATMs that accept Visa and other credit cards are widespread throughout Thailand, and many exchange booths will give you a cash advance on your credit card.

Money Tips- If you’re travelling on a budget, you should be able to get by on around 500 Baht a day anywhere in Thailand. Visitors staying in comfortable hotels and eating at restaurants should budget around 600 – 1000 Baht a day outside Bangkok and around double this amount when in the capital. If money is no object, you can spend to your heart’s content in Bangkok, since the capital has several of the world’s most sumptuous hotels and some unbeatable shopping diversions. Your spending levels will be curtailed by the scarcity of luxury accommodation and quality restaurants when you get off the beaten track.

Items sold by street vendors in markets or in many shops are flexibly priced – that is, the price is negotiable. Thais respect a good haggler. Always let the vendor make the first offer then ask ‘Is that your best price?’ or ‘Can you lower the price ?’.

This usually results is an immediate discount from the first price. Now it’s your turn to make a counteroffer; always start low but don’t bargain at all unless you’re serious about buying. Negotiations continue until a price is agreed – there’s no set discount from the asking price as some vendors start ridiculously high, others closer to the ‘real’ price.