Thailand Currency – Thai Baht
Currency of Thailand
The currency used in Thailand is called Baht. This is issued by the Central Bank: Bank of Thailand. Symbols used to identify the Thai baht are: ฿ or THB. These can be found on price tags and receipts.
As with all major currencies, this can be used to pay for products and services throughout Thailand.
As you can see from the below images, all Thai Baht contains an image of the King. This is done as a tribute to the royal family of Thailand.
What does it look like?
The largest bill is the 1,000 (one-thousand) Thai Baht banknote. It’s brown is color with a white background. You’re likely to receive 1,000 THB notes from currency exchange or ATM machines. The 500 (five-hundred) Thai Baht Note is one of the most handy for western travelers, it’s slightly smaller in size, purple in color, and easy to recognize.
One of the most common is the 100 (one-hundred) Thai Baht note, which is deep-red in color. Next is the 50 (fifty) Thai Baht note, which is blue in color. Finally, the smallest, is the 20 (twenty) Thai Baht banknote.
Examples below of Thai Currency.
The Bank of Thailand has introduced the 17th series of notes. The fronts feature the new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun, and the backs features two kings in order of reign, along with images of memorable royal duties.
These will eventually replace the old bank notes in circulation.
Older versions of these bank notes can be seen below.
Thai Baht Coins
As with all major currencies, there are numerous small denominations that will be handed to you at some point. These include:
Coins: 25, 50 satang, ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10
Currency Sub-Units: Satang = 1/100 of a baht
Essential Currency advice
When going through immigration in Thailand you will be asked for proof of funds for your trip. This is a Thai law that has been re-introduced since 2010. The amounts can vary dependent on the type of visa your are entering on. As most people will enter the country on a visa on arrival (visa waiver) you must be able to show you have sufficient funds in cash.
The amounts vary for different visas:
1. Transit Visa holder: Must hold minimum THB 10,000 per passenger or THB 20,000 per family.
2. Tourist Visa holder: Must hold minimum THB 20,000 per passenger or THB 40,000 per family.
3. Visa on Arrival: Must hold minimum THB 10,000 per passenger or THB 20,000 per family.
4. Non Immigrant Visa holder: Must hold minimum THB 20,000 per passenger or THB 40,000 per family.
This is where this can get interesting. The amount of cash needed does not have to be in Thai Baht, it can be in the form of foreign currency. But you have to have cash with you when asked to produce it. If you do not have the cash, you will be refused entry into Thailand.
Benefits in Thailand
Another thing to note too is when traveling to Thailand it is generally better to change your money up when you arrive in Thailand. In many locations you could get a better exchange rate than in your departure country. This is of course your own preference and having some currency when you arrive at the airport is always a good idea. Remember though, when you are changing up your money, a lot of exchange points will not accept defaced notes. Even if they are still legal tender in you home country, they may still refuse to exchange them. This could leave you short of cash later on in your holiday.
If you are planning to visit some of the more rural areas of Thailand, it would be advisable to have plenty of small bills with you. Most stores do mot carry enough change to break a 1000 Thai Baht bill and will often refuse them.
If you do find that you will require some smaller denominations a good idea is to go and buy a small bottle of water from a 7/11. These stores along with many other chains of convenience stores can be found all over Thailand.
As ATM’s can be found all over Thailand you may be able to use your credit cards to withdraw money.It is a good idea to only use your credit card in an emergency. All withdrawals in Thailand come with a 220 Thai Baht fee. When taken into account with the exchange rate you will get back home, this can often make this one of the most expensive ways of obtaining money.
In many western countries, some people will use currency notes to write small messages on. You should be aware that it is an offence to deface Thai Money, in particular the image of the King. By doing this you could end up with a hefty fine or a possible stay in a Thai Prison. This relates back to a Thai Law that states that it is a serious offence to defame, insult, threaten or defile any image of the Thai royal family.