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October 2021

Know the money!

One of the worst things about going to a new country is getting used to the notes and coins. If you are not familiar with the currency you can make mistakes paying for things. Although these mistakes probably won't cost you the earth, they can be a bit frustrating and sometimes take the edge off your experience.

Spend a few minutes getting familiar with the notes and coins of the Thai currency before you arrive in Thailand :

The 1,000-Baht note is printed in a brownish colour on a white background. The note has been in circulation for about 10 years with the original version (not shown) slightly bigger than the notes currently available. We cannot stress this enough be careful when handing out 20-Baht notes; make sure they are not 1000s!

The 500-Baht note has a purple hue and is printed on a plastic-like paper. The left-hand side sports a metallic strip to stop counterfeiting.

The design of 100-Baht note has remained constant over a number of years. The 100-Baht stands out as a striking deep-red colour and is printed on paper.

The 50-Baht note is an electric blue colour. Unlike the other notes, the 50-Baht note is made from a plastic material. The version of the note originally introduced a few years ago has a see-through window that designed to stem counterfeiting. A new version of the note (not shown) does not have the window, and is made of a material that looks and feels like plastic but has the consistency of paper. The recent introduction of new note created a degree of confusion some local people were concerned the new notes were forgeries!

The 20-Baht note is a dull green colour and marginally bigger than the 10-Baht note. A newer version (not shown) is a grey-green colour. Under poor lighting, this note looks very similar to the 1000-Baht note. Be warned: since the introduction of the new 20-Baht note almost everyone has given a 1000-Baht to a taxi driver or vendor by mistake be very careful not to do this it's very frustrating and, even worse, you only have yourself to blame!

The 10-Baht note is brownish in colour and the smallest of the available notes. Since the introduction of the 10-Baht coin there has been an attempt to take the note out of circulation, although there has been some resistance to this as it is believed removal of the note will lessen the value of the currency. You will come across 10-Baht notes in the provinces more often than in Bangkok.


The 25-Satang coin is a bit smaller than the American Dime and remains in circulation because regular bus fares often involve a fraction of a Baht e.g. 3.75 Baht. Beyond that they are used very infrequently.

50 Satang
You will pick these up most in 7-11s around the country where item prices are still 11.50' Baht and the like. Although many people would probably like to see the 25 and 50 Satang coins go out of circulation, they do help keep prices down for those who can least afford high prices.

The 1-Baht coin is made of a nickel-alloy and appears as a brownish-silver. It's easy to equate the 1-Baht coin with the American Dime because of its size. Be careful with this the 1 Baht has significantly more value than the Dime! There is a 2-Baht coin (not shown) which is slightly bigger than the 1-Baht coin, but these are becoming increasingly rare and people collect them in money jars when they get them in their change! As a result, you won't often see a 2-Baht coin.

The 5-Baht coin has a few different designs but all approximate the example shown. Again, a brownish-silver colour and a nickel-alloy material.

The 10-Baht coin has some history introduced about 10 years ago, the coin was in circulation well in advance of Europe 's launch of its single currency the Euro. For some strange reason, they brought out a 2-Euro coin which had exactly the same design as the 10-Baht coin. Holiday makers returning to Europe had a bonanza buying cigarettes and other items from vending machines which couldn't determine the difference between the coins. The machines have been recalibrated and the bonanza is now over. However, the incident is a testimony to the need for good planning!

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