Cracking the Code: Everything You Need to Know About Thailand Currency and the Thai Baht

Cracking the Code: Everything You Need to Know About Thailand Currency and the Thai Baht

Have you ever been to Thailand and wanted to know more about their currency? Or are you planning a trip there soon and want to make sure you’re prepared when it comes to exchanging money? If so, then look no further! Here we will dive into the basics of what makes up Thailand's monetary system.

Thailand is known for its stunning landscapes, vibrant culture, and welcoming locals - but did you also know that its currency has an interesting history behind it as well? The Thai baht has gone through many changes over the years, from being linked directly with gold to having multiple coins in circulation. In this article, we'll provide an overview of how Thailand's economy works and explain everything you need to know about the country's money before your next visit.

By understanding the nuances of Thailand's currency, visitors can feel confident navigating exchange rates during their stay. So if you're looking for a better understanding of the Thai baht or just want to become more familiar with international currencies in general, then keep reading!

Overview Of The Thai Baht

The Thai baht is the official currency of Thailand. It's symbolized by ฿ and it has a currency code of THB. The subunit for the baht is the satang, and 100 satangs make up one baht. Coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht, as well as 25 and 50 satang coins. Banknotes are available in 20-, 50-, 100-, 500- and 1000-baht denominations. The most commonly used banknote is the 100-baht note which features an image of King Rama IX on its face side.

In terms of the exchange rate, 1 US dollar equals approximately 30.04 Thai Bahts (as of April 2021). This makes it quite attractive to foreign tourists who can benefit from exchanging their money for local currency at competitive rates while they're visiting Thailand. Additionally, compared to many other currencies around the world, the Thai baht holds its value relatively well over time.

The Central Bank of Thailand regulates all exchanges that involve the Thai Baht to ensure that citizens receive fair market value when transacting with this form of legal tender within or outside the country’s borders. With these facts laid out clearly, let's move on to explore the history and etymology behind this particular Asian currency.

History And Etymology

The Thai Baht, or THB, has a long and colorful history. It first appeared in the 19th century as part of Siam's currency system. Originally, it was based on silver coins known as "Tamlung" which had been used for centuries throughout Southeast Asia. The Tamlung were replaced by copper coins called "Maha Thahng" during King Rama V's reign from 1868 to 1910. These coins were then further divided into denominations including Satang and Att (the precursor to the modern-day baht).

In 1902, the Bank of Thailand began issuing paper money that included 5-, 10-, 20-, 50-, 100-, 500-, and 1000-baht notes. This new form of currency was much more efficient than bartering goods and services since it enabled people to buy items without having to carry around large amounts of metal coinage. Furthermore, it allowed larger purchases such as land and property to be made quickly and easily.

By 1925, the baht became officially pegged at parity with sterling silver at a rate of 15 baht per troy ounce. This remained unchanged until 1975 when exchange rates between national currencies started fluctuating due to global economic conditions. Today, the Thai Baht is freely traded on international markets against major foreign currencies like US dollars, Euros, and Japanese yen. Its value relative to these currencies can vary significantly depending on market conditions but generally remains stable over time.

With its rich history dating back hundreds of years ago, the Thai Baht stands today as one of Southeast Asia’s most iconic symbols of wealth and prosperity - but how much is a baht worth?

How Much Is A Baht Worth?

The Thai Baht is the official currency of Thailand and it has been around since 1897. Currently, one baht is equal to approximately 0.03 U.S. Dollars, so a 100-baht note would be worth about three dollars in American money. The exchange rate for the baht does fluctuate though, so if you're planning on traveling to Thailand or exchanging any money there make sure to check what the current rate is before doing so.

When it comes to coins and notes, the banknotes come in denominations of 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 bahts while coins are available in 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht increments as well as 25 and 50 satang (a fractional unit). All Thai banknotes feature King Rama IX's portrait on them except for the 500-baht bill which features a picture of Wat Arun temple instead.

In terms of spending power within Thailand itself, these days even small amounts can go quite far thanks to some helpful conversion rates. A meal at an average restaurant will usually cost somewhere between 60-150 bahts depending on where you eat and how much food you order while transportation costs like train tickets tend to range from 15-30 bahts each way. With that being said however prices do vary quite a bit throughout different regions of Thailand so be aware when going out and shopping around! To learn more about coin and paper denominations used by Thai people moving forward let's take a closer look...


The Thai baht is the official currency of Thailand. It is divided into 100 satang and comes in both paper and coin denominations. The coins come in 1, 2, 5, and 10 baht as well as 25 and 50 satang denominations. Paper bills are available in 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1000 baht denominations.

Since its introduction in 1897, the design of the Thai Baht has changed many times to reflect a variety of national symbols including King Rama V on one side and the Great Pagoda at Wat Phra Kaew on the other. Here's a list of some common notes you'll encounter:

  • 20 Baht - Blue with an image of King Rama IX
  • 50 Baht - Green with an image of King Rama VIII (Chulalongkorn)
  • 100 Baht - Brown with an image of Queen Sirikit
  • 500 Baht - Purple with an image of King Rama VII (Prajadhipok)
  • 1000 Baht - Red with an image of King Rama X

It's important to be aware that counterfeit notes do exist so it’s best to exchange your money through banks or licensed money changers if possible. With this knowledge about Thailand's currency denomination now under your belt, let's move on to learning more about exchange rates when using the Thai baht abroad.

Exchange Rates

The exchange rate for the Thai Baht is determined by several factors, including the country's current economic situation and the value of other currencies. The Thai baht is currently linked to a currency basket composed of 16 countries' currencies, which helps stabilize its price in those nations. As a result, it has one of Asia’s most stable exchange rates.

Thailand’s central bank, known as the Bank of Thailand (BOT), sets the official exchange rate daily. However, some commercial banks may set their own prices that are higher or lower than this rate according to supply and demand. This means there can be significant discrepancies between the actual market rate and the official government-set rate.

It’s important to note that when converting foreign currencies into baht outside Thailand, conversion fees will usually apply - so you should always check with your financial institution before making any payments abroad. To transition into the next section about banknotes and coins without saying 'Step', we must now discuss how these notes and coins are used in everyday transactions.

Banknotes And Coins

Thailand's currency consists of both banknotes and coins. Banknotes come in denominations ranging from 20 to 1,000 baht. The paper money is made with a special type of cotton fiber that makes it difficult to counterfeit. All the notes feature King Bhumibol Adulyadej on one side and various landmarks or historical figures on the other. Coins come in 25 satang (1/4 of a baht) up to 10 baht pieces. They are composed primarily of aluminum but also include some copper-plated steel and nickel-plated steel varieties as well. In addition, there are rare commemorative coins issued by the Thai government that features unique designs not found anywhere else.

The exchange rate for Thai baht fluctuates depending on economic conditions both within Thailand and abroad. As such, travelers should keep an eye on current exchange rates before arriving in Thailand so they can budget accordingly. Moreover, exchanging money at airports or hotel locations is typically more expensive than elsewhere due to extra fees associated with their services; therefore, it is advisable to obtain the currency at local banks or authorized currency exchanges instead. With this knowledge in mind, let's move on to where best to obtain currency while traveling in Thailand.

Where To Obtain Baht Currency

For those traveling to Thailand, it is important to know where and how to get the local currency. One way of obtaining Thai Baht (THB) is by exchanging foreign currencies at banks or exchange bureaus in Thailand. Most establishments accept major international credit cards, so travelers can also use their cards for cash advances at ATMs located throughout the country. However, there are several fees associated with using a card abroad that should be taken into consideration. Additionally, many merchants may require payment in cash only.

Tourists can obtain Thai Baht before they leave home by ordering online from a bank or financial institution and having them delivered via mail. This option eliminates the need for carrying large amounts of money while traveling and ensures the availability of funds when needed.

Exchanging money on arrival at an airport kiosk or booth is another convenient option for visitors who prefer not to carry too much cash around during their stay in Thailand. These locations typically have competitive rates compared to other options but usually charge additional fees for providing services as well. It's wise to compare different exchange rates first before deciding which avenue best suits one’s needs and budget. With these various methods available, travelers can easily access THB once they arrive in the Land of Smiles!

Storing And Spending Money In Thailand

When traveling to Thailand, it's important to understand the currency and how you can store and spend money. The official currency of Thailand is the Thai Baht (THB). It’s useful to carry some cash on hand for small purchases or emergencies. When you need more THB, there are plenty of ATMs readily available throughout the country that accepts most major international credit cards.

You can also exchange your home currency at banks, hotels, certain stores, and foreign exchange bureaus located in airports and other tourist areas. Here are a few tips when exchanging money:

  1. Compare rates before making any exchanges
  2. Make sure all notes are not ripped or too worn out
  3. Ask if they offer commission-free transactions
  4. Double-check your math!

In addition to carrying cash, many businesses in cities such as Bangkok have started accepting debit/credit card payments with no extra fee. This makes spending much easier than worrying about having enough local currency on hand every time you make a purchase. However, it’s still recommended to keep some cash handy just in case since smaller shops may only take cash payments. Moving onto the next section...

Credit Cards & ATMs

Thailand's currency is the Thai Baht (THB). Most major credit cards are accepted in most tourist areas and at larger hotels, restaurants, shops, and department stores. ATMs can be found throughout Thailand, though they may not accept all foreign-issued debit or credit cards. It’s best to carry a backup of cash just in case your card isn't accepted. Mastercard, Maestro, Visa, and American Express are generally accepted at ATM machines across the country. Be sure to check with your bank before traveling as you might need to contact them to activate international transactions on your accounts.

When using an ATM machine, always pay attention to any suspicious activity around the machine. If anything looks out of place or makes you feel uncomfortable, leave immediately and try another location. Fraudulent activities do occur so it’s better to be safe than sorry!

Be aware that there will likely be transaction fees associated when withdrawing money from an ATM so plan ahead accordingly. Knowing this information beforehand will help ensure that you have enough funds for what you need while still keeping within budget constraints during your trip. With proper planning and preparation, travelers should find little difficulty accessing their funds while visiting Thailand. Moving forward, let's look into taxation on foreign exchange transactions involving the Thai Baht...

Taxation On Foreign Exchange Transactions

The taxation of foreign exchange transactions in Thailand is quite complex. Foreign individuals and businesses are expected to declare all profits from the sale or purchase of currency, either through a bank or an authorized money changer. To do so, they must obtain appropriate documentation such as form PND 91, Form 507/2, or other relevant forms. Furthermore, any funds that have been brought into Thailand for business purposes must be declared on form PP30.

Taxation also applies to payments made abroad by Thai companies or individuals. Companies need to issue withholding tax certificates with every payment made outside Thailand and ensure it reaches the destination before the 15th day of the month following the date of payment. Individuals may be eligible for tax deductions if certain criteria are met; however, these should always be confirmed with an accountant first.

For those looking to move significant amounts of money out of Thailand, strict regulations apply which require them to submit multiple documents such as proof of residence and evidence that taxes have been paid on any income earned in Thailand. It is essential that you seek professional advice beforehand to avoid potential fines or penalties resulting from non-compliance with Thai law.


In conclusion, the Thai Baht is an important part of Thailand's economic landscape. It has a rich history and etymology that contribute to its value and prestige today. With exchange rates continuing to fluctuate, it can be challenging to know how much a baht is worth at any given time. However, with so many denominations available, it's easy to purchase smaller amounts of currency to stretch your budget further. Additionally, there are plenty of safe places both online and offline where you can obtain local currency when needed. Lastly, understanding taxation on foreign transactions and knowing the best ways to store and spend money will help ensure your finances stay secure during your travels. All these factors combine to create a comprehensive overview of the Thai Baht that should equip travelers with all they need for their journey through this beautiful country!