Everything You Need to Know to Change Money in Thailand

dinero tailandes

Have you ever wondered how to handle money in a foreign country while on vacation? Thailand, with its stunning beaches and vibrant culture, is a popular destination for many travelers.

For this reason, in this article, our diving school in Koh Tao gives you everything you need to know before coming to enjoy this magnificent country: the currency in Thailand, from how and where to change money to tips. Get ready to discover a couple of secrets that will help you manage your money in the Kingdom of Thailand.

What currency is used in Thailand?

The tailandés baht(THB) is the official currency in Thailand. 

Coins and banknotes in circulation present several distinctive characteristics and important representations. The coins come in denominations of 1, 2, 5 and 10 bahts, as well as 25 and 50 satangs (100 satangs are equivalent to one baht). Banknotes are available in 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 baht. Images of the monarchy on coins and banknotes reflect the deep reverence that the Thai people have for their royal family. These show the image of the current king of Thailand.

His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun (Rama X) Therefore, we can say that the Thai baht is more than just a tool for commercial transactions; it is also a reflection of Thailand’s history and values and plays a significant role in the country’s sense of national identity.

The monarchy in Thailand is not only an institution of political leadership but also a pillar of the country’s cultural and spiritual identity.

Where is better to exchange money in Thailand?

Exchanging money upon arrival at the airport can be convenient, but often the rates are less favorable. Consider exchanging a small amount to cover your initial expenses, and then look for better rates at local banks or certified exchange houses in the city.

In tourist places such as Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Koh Tao, you will find multiple exchange offices. These usually offer competitive rates and are safe for transactions.

TIPS to obtain the Best Exchange Rate

  1. Compare before exchanging: Don’t stick with the first exchange option you find. Take a moment to compare rates in different places. A small difference in the rate can mean a lot if you are exchanging a considerable amount of money.
  2. Avoid changing money in Hotels or Stores: These places generally offer less attractive rates. It is always better to choose banks or specialized exchange houses.
  3. Be careful with the Hidden Commissions: Some sites may offer an attractive exchange rate, but charge high commissions. Always ask the total amount you will receive after all deductions.
  4. Beware of Fake Money: Familiarize yourself with the features of Thai banknotes to recognize possible counterfeits. Check elements like watermarks and textures. If you receive a bill that seems suspicious to you, don’t hesitate to ask for another one.
  5. Money security: Do not carry large amounts of money with you while you explore. Use safes in your accommodations to store the majority of your cash and important documents.

¿Pay in Cash vs. Pay by Card in Thailand?

Cash is king in many areas of Thailand, especially in local markets, small restaurants, and rural areas. It is advisable to always carry some cash in Thai baht to cover these expenses. If you prefer to pay by card, you will find ATMs throughout Thailand.

These are convenient for withdrawing cash directly in Thai Baht. For example, in Koh Tao you can find ATM in any Seven 11 supermarket as soon as you arrive at the island, which is close to our diving center in Koh Tao. But, it is also important to consider other factors.  

Still, keep in mind that international transaction and currency exchange fees may apply. If you are a traveler, you surely know the international cards from N26 and Revolut, they are the best online banks to make currency exchanges and do not charge you as much. However, it is advisable to have some cash, as small shops or local markets may not accept cards. Establishments usually charge you between 3 and 5%.

Money Offerings in the Temples of Thailand

The money offerings in Thailand are an integral part of the religion and culture of the country, especially by following Buddhism Theravada, the main religion in Thailand. These offerings have multiple meanings and purposes, from spirituals to practices.  

What are the Buddhism offerings?

Money offerings in temples usually consist of small donations that visitors leave in specific boxes for this purpose. These boxes are generally located at various points within the temple precincts. The money raised helps defray the maintenance expenses of the temple, pay the monks, and finance the religious and social activities organized there.

ofrenda dinero tailandia

Why to do Buddhism offerings?

In Buddhism, making offerings is a way of accumulating merit, which is considered beneficial in improving a person’s karma. Karma, in turn, influences the cycle of rebirth and well-being in this life and in future lives. Donating money to temples is seen as an act of generosity that contributes significantly to the accumulation of merit.

During certain holidays and ceremonies, such as the Thai New Year (Songkran) which is celebrated each year from April 13 to 15; or the Loy Krathong festival in November. Making offerings of money can be part of more elaborate rituals that include offering flowers, incense, and food to Buddha images and monks. When making monetary offerings, it is important to act with respect and modesty. Temples are sacred places of prayer and reflection.

With all this information, we hope it helps you better understand Thai culture and prepare for your trip to enjoy this beautiful country without worrying about money.

Remember to compare rates, avoid hidden fees, and use multiple payment methods for greater convenience and security. Ready to take the trip of your life? Come to Thailand, discover its incredible beaches, and dive Koh Tao to get the cheapest diving certificate in the world.