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Thailand unit of currency is the Thai Baht

The latest rates of exchange for any unit of currency can be found using our calculator here. A 10 baht coin is composed of both "silver" and "copper". Bank notes are valued at 20 baht (green), 50 baht (blue), 100 baht (red), 500 baht (purple) 1000 baht (brown). Be wary when exchanging the 100 and 1000 notes as in darkened surroundings and after a few drinks can look similar and easy to mix up.

Useage of ATMs

ATMs are available in an English translation dispensing 100, 500, and 1000 baht notes. When withdrawing money at an ATM in Pattaya our tip is to withdraw odd amounts such as 9,900 baht instead of 10,000 baht forcing the ATM to dispense several smaller denominated notes more useful in your day to day spending. Foreign cards carry a 150 baht surcharge per transaction. Take care to conceal your pin number, never let any cards out of your sight in any transaction, to avoid the higher risk of fraud.

Care needed when exchanging currency

Thailand bank notes carry the Kings head and shall we say "treated with more respect" and to all Thai's the idea of writing on or defacement of a bank note in any way is unthinkable.

When exchanging sterling at any bank in Thailand the bank notes will be first turned the correct way up before counting. The cashier will then subject each note to painstaking scrutiny and inspection. All damaged or marked notes however small will be removed and placed into another tidy pile and be rejected. This is done before the serious business of checking each note under ultraviolet light, electronic counting, weighing and rechecking by hand.

It might be surprising that out of a thousand pounds, almost 40% will be rejected for one reason or another. You may well believe the particular cashier is being overly zealous in their actions, and believe another bank or cashier will be more relaxed. This will not be the case, and you might well end up with 40% of your holiday money, and not being able to exchange it.

A very common practice amongst individuals of small business in the United Kingdom is when totalling up their daily takings from their business is to write on the top banknote the total of the bundle being counted.

Many older notes have many figures written in bio, sometimes with a circles around them. It is unsure if bank cashiers might well do the same or are under clear instructions not to do so. Under normal conditions these marked notes circulate within the system without any real problem. In the United Kingdom it is not unusual to see damaged notes, sometimes torn on the corner bits missing, dirty and old, Some are even repaired with tape and these will be excepted by most establishments if the bank note is complete with serial numbers at both ends.

It is therefore essential only to take new bank notes to Thailand, when this is not possible then take only bank notes in pristine condition. At the very minimum examine every bank note yourself. Remember that any defacement or defect in its condition, however small will not be excepted at banks in Thailand. Another tip is to take large denomination notes as you will get slightly more at the many currency exchange booths. Avoid exchanging at the airport you will get a very poor exchange rate.

Traveller's Cheques, Credit cards

Traveller cheques can be conveniently cashed at all provincial banks and authorised money changers. Select to take large denomination cheques, remembering to provide a perfect signature and passport. Generally, hotel exchange rates are very poor being much lower than those offered by banks and authorised money changers. Major international credit cards, such as Virgin, Barclay Master Card and Visa are accepted by all the major banks, restaurants, hotels and shops.

Don't forget to inform your bank that you intend using in Thailand so they will not flag your card making it unusable which will cost you time and money to contact your bank at home.

Thai and foreign banks provide standard services nation-wide, Monday through Friday, except public and bank holidays, between 8.30 AM and 3.30 PM. Major banks such as Bangkok Bank, Thai Krung Bank, Thai Farmers Bank and Siam Commercial Bank operate currency exchange in most tourist areas from 7.00 AM to 9.00 PM, seven days a week, including holidays. Most first-class hotels provide 24'-hour money exchange, but only for the major currencies such as American dollars, British pounds, and euro currency.

Exchange Control

Tourists may freely bring in foreign banknotes. On leaving Thailand, tourists may freely take out cash which was brought in, with the exception that foreign notes or coins are limited to a maximum equivalent of 10,000 euros or the amount declared in writing to Customs upon arrival. The maximum you can you can leave is 50,000 baht per person unless you obtain authorisation beforehand. Failure to do so could lead to arrest, even confiscation of the excess amount involved and or prosecution.

Foreign visitors are welcome to open a foreign currency account with any commercial bank in Thailand. As a special gesture to non - residents, no restrictions are imposed on the maintenance of and withdrawal from the account, as long as the funds originate from abroad. For the latest information concerning foreign exchange regulations, contact any authorised bank.