Thailand Currency Exchange Guide

Thailand is a land of stunning natural beauty, rich cultural traditions, and friendly people. From the white-sand beaches of the Andaman Sea to the verdant hills of the north, Thailand offers something for everyone. Visitors can enjoy world-class diving, hiking, and rock climbing or simply relax in one of the many spas and resorts. With its diverse landscape and vibrant culture, Thailand is an ideal destination for travellers looking for an unforgettable experience.

General Thailand Currency Information

What is the currency of Thailand?

The official currency of Thailand is the Thailand baht (THB).

What do Thailand notes & coins look like?

thai bills

There are many distinct banknote denominations for the Thai baht, including ฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, and ฿1,000. They are printed exclusively on cotton-fibre paper, not plastic, and come in a range of earthy tones, from green to blue to red, purple to brown.

The current King King Maha Vajiralongkorn is shown on the obverse of today’s notes, while various historical images decorate the reverse.

thai coins

As for Thai coins, they are minted in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 satang, and ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10. Similar to the banknotes, the King’s portrait is displayed on the obverse of every coin, while the reverses feature the king’s monogram.

Economy

Expected to reach USD $549 billion by the end of 2022, the Thailand economy ranks 26th in the world in terms of nominal GDP. The country is a tiger economy and is one of the newly industrialised countries, with an emphasis on exports. Thailand has made phenomenal social and economic amelioration over the last four decades, drifting from a low-income to an upper-middle-income country. Thai economic growth has been particularly spectacular, and the country’s progress in reducing poverty has made it a popular example of development success.

Brief currency history

The Thai baht is one of the world’s oldest circulating currencies, dating back almost 800 years to the 13th century. The baht was formerly based on a 15-gram of mass, just like the British pound sterling. All Thai banknotes were made of solid silver with a certain weight and purity, which means all baht coins were also composed of solid silver.

Up to the final decades of the nineteenth century, the baht was pegged to silver. Later, Thailand adopted a decimal system, and the baht became 100 satangs. Throughout its history, the Thai baht has been pegged to a number of different currencies and even gold. It was pegged to the British pound sterling in the early part of the 20th century and subjected to periodic adjustments.

The exchange rate fluctuated between 11 baht and 22 baht for each British pound throughout a period of approximately 20 years. The baht was linked to the Japanese yen for a short time after World War II, and following the gold standard, it was pegged to the price of gold at a fixed rate of one baht per 0.25974 gram.

The Thai central bank tied the baht to the dollar from the mid-1950s until 1997. The initial dollar peg was 20 baht per dollar. During the presidency of Ronald Reagan, when the American economy was booming fast, and its currency was accordingly strong, the peg was raised to 25 baht per dollar.

Because of the effects of the Asian Financial Crisis that began in 1997, the Bank of Thailand decided to let the baht float freely in the foreign exchange market rather than control its exchange rate. Since then, the exchange rate between the US dollar and the Thai baht has risen to a record high of 56 baht to 1 USD. However, as of 2022, it has been devalued to about 37 baht per dollar.

Taking Travel Money to Thailand

thai travel

What currency should I take to Thailand?

If you’re travelling to Thailand, you’ll need to exchange your Australian dollars (AUD) for Thai bahts (THB) before you leave. Read our guide on exchanging AUD to THB here. 

Is it cheaper to convert currency in Australia or Thailand?

While the exchange rate .of the Australian dollar to Thai baht in Thailand is usually very good, it’s always a good idea to have some Thai baht with you when you land so that you’re not stuck trying to find an ATM or currency exchange at the airport. You can get Thai baht from banks and currency exchanges in Australia before you leave, or you can withdraw cash from an ATM when you arrive in Thailand. However, your bank may charge a foreign transaction fee if you use an ATM outside of Australia, so it’s a good idea to check with your bank before you travel.

How much money can I take to Thailand?

Any traveller entering or departing Thailand with more than USD $20,000 in foreign money or its equivalent must disclose the whole amount to customs. It is a criminal offence to make a false declaration to a Customs Officer or to omit to declare upon transporting currency that exceeds the amount restricted by law or its equivalent out of or into Thailand.

Where to convert currency?

Crown Currency Exchange is a name you can trust when it comes to getting the best exchange rates for your travel money. With over 50 locations all over Australia, we make it easy for you to get the currency you need for your trip. We have over 20 years of experience in the foreign currency exchange industry, and our expert staff are always on hand to answer any questions you might have. Our stores are located in CanberraSydneyBrisbane, The Gold CoastAdelaideTasmaniaMelbourne & Perth

Is tipping customary in Thailand? How much is expected?

In the same way that natives do not leave tips, visitors are not expected to do so either. However, this is becoming the norm at many upscale dining establishments. Thailand has a reputation as a country where people are always kind and never expect to get a tip. But if you are inclined to do so, leave more than 50 baht in tips.

Restaurants: If you have any spare change, it is traditional to leave it as a tip. For more high-end restaurants, it is normal practice to leave a gratuity of between 5% and 10%, especially those that deliver particularly stellar service.\

Taxis: Customarily, taxi drivers are tipped by rounding up the fare and leaving the change. It is also customary to provide a gratuity of 30–40 Baht when taking a taxi to the airport due to its great distance.

Hotels: Tip is not required for hotels with two stars or above. The service charge is included in the bill for such lodgings. It is customary to tip porters and housekeeping staff 20 Baht.

Can you bargain in Thailand?

In Thailand, part of the market experience is haggling for a better price. The first quoted price is rarely final, especially in touristy areas like Khao San Road or Chatuchak Market. And be warned: shop owners will try any tactic to get more money out of you.

What is ATM access like in Thailand?

You may withdraw cash from ATMs in Thailand using both your debit and credit cards. ATMs may be found nearly everywhere, including at airports, banks, department stores, and supermarkets. You can usually withdraw money from larger resorts on small, remote islands with no ATMs. You will most likely be charged a transaction fee of 300 baht every time you withdraw money. In addition, many banks also charge high fees for each withdrawal; however, this information is available upon request from your bank.

What should you budget per day?

Budget

If your travel style is to backpack around and choose the cheapest options, Thailand is the perfect place to visit on a budget. With an average daily budget of AUD $32 to $62, you can rent a hostel dorm bed for AUD $13, get 2 cheap street food meals for AUD $10, and travel by taxi for AUD $3. But be careful not to be so frugal that you miss out on unique experiences!

You can arrange activities with the cheapest businesses and schedule several enjoyable day trips. Book a half-day island snorkelling excursion for AUD $30, a local culinary class for AUD $47, or a Thai boxing fight for AUD $16. Take inexpensive buses throughout the country, abstain from excessive drinking, and mingle with the locals. Travellers on a budget should have no trouble experiencing Thailand.

Moderate

You can increase your Thailand travel budget if you’re ready to spend a bit more than the ordinary backpacker. Spending around AUD $78 to $156 can get you to a comfortable level where you’re paying a bit more for accommodation and activities, but nothing too exorbitant. Visit all the greatest attractions, even if they are a little more expensive. Treat yourself to some nice cocktails on the beach here and there. A one-hour Thai massage is an excellent way to unwind after a long day or perhaps a full-day scuba-diving excursion. Stay in inexpensive hotel rooms and enjoy a diverse diet that includes both affordable street food and some fine restaurant cuisine.

On a moderate budget, you can spend more on the things that are most important to you. If you wish to explore more, you can pay for additional day trips, and if you enjoy dining out, you can treat yourself to more food and beverages. Regardless of your selection, you can still have the trip of a lifetime without exceeding your budget.

Luxury

If you’re really determined to go on a luxury holiday to Thailand, you can do it with an average daily budget of AUD $313 to $625. Stay in the best hotels, resorts, and spas that Thailand has to offer. Relax on the beach all day and order room service whenever you get hungry. If you want to explore, participate in some more high-end activities like private cooking classes, yacht rentals, and golf lessons.

You can also enjoy luxurious travel by spending your money on unique experiences. For example, you can splurge on a hot air balloon ride or a private elephant trek. You may also go on guided temple tours, thrilling speedboat island-hopping excursions, luxurious spa and massage packages, personalized cooking classes, and various other activities. If you’re looking to spend a lot of money, Thailand is the perfect place to do it. Just be mindful of your spending, and don’t go too overboard!

Currency details

Currency:

Thai baht

Currency code:

THB

Currency symbol:

฿

Central bank:

Bank of Thailand

Nickname:NoneCurrency sub-unit:

Satang = 1/100

Bank notes:

฿20, ฿50, ฿100, ฿500, ฿1,000

Coins:

1, 5, 10, 25, 50 satang. ฿1, ฿2, ฿5, ฿10

Must-do's while you are in Thailand

thai massage

1. Have a Thai Massage

Experience Thai’s world-renowned massage culture firsthand. A traditional Thai massage is an invigorating and energising treatment that often leaves people feeling lighter than when they started. Every small town and big city in Thailand has at least a few massage parlours, so you’ll never be far from a relaxing rub-down. And compared to the pricing of massages back in Australia, Thai massages are a downright bargain!

thai floating

2. Visit the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market

This is the largest and most well-known of Thailand’s numerous floating markets. The canals are teeming with boats offering fresh produce and other goods. The experience of shopping at this market will transport you back in time. The narrow canals and the modest wooden stilt houses provide an abundance of photo opportunities for people who enjoy taking pictures. Travelling the extra 100 miles to get to the market from Bangkok is time well spent.

thailand street food

3. Eat Street Food

Every street in every city in Thailand is lined with vendors providing a wide variety of inexpensive and delicious street cuisine. Pad Thai, Som Tam (papaya salad), and grilled meats are just some of the dishes that may be found at any time of the day. Since eating out is far cheaper than cooking at home, most Thais opt to join the masses when they dine. If you’re in search of a nice food stall, it’s best to go where the people go.

thailand grand palace

4. Visit the Grand Palace

Located right in the middle of Bangkok, this is the city’s most visited landmark. The palace served as the seat of the Thai government for 150 years, housing the king, his court, and the country’s Royal Mint. With a total size of 218,400 square meters, there is plenty to keep you entertained. Massive walls were constructed around the palace and offices in 1782, making it the tourist attraction that it is today. However, visitors should be aware that the palace has a stringent dress code and that inappropriate attire will result in being denied access.

island of Koh Phi Phi thai

5. Visit the island of Koh Phi Phi

Having risen to prominence with its appearances in James Bond films and Leonardo DiCaprio’s classic The Beach. Located in the district of Krabi, the beautiful island of Koh Phi Phi is a must-see for any tourist in Thailand. No other beach will ever compare to the stunning beauty of this island after you’ve seen it. Without roads, getting across the island will require some effort, but with everything concentrated between the island’s two primary beaches, you’ll never be too far from the action.

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