Thailand Money Tips

You may not be materialistic but money is the lifeblood of travel, it at least takes a little – so knowing how to save travel money is important.

Here are a few easy Thailand Money tips to help you keep a little more baht in your pocket!

  • You can find ATM machines nearly everywhere in the tourist parts of Thailand.  This is usually the best way to get the local currency, just check with your bank on international exchange fees.

Update: ATM machines across the country now charge 150 Baht fee (around US $5) so take more money out with each transaction!

  • It is illegal (and very frowned upon) to damage Thailand money because it has a picture of the King on it.  Take care not to wad up notes unnecessarily.
  • Keep your larger baht notes (500′s and 1000′s) in your money belt so that vendors and others don’t see them in your wallet or money bag while you are trying to negotiate for better prices!
  • Never accept faded, worn out, or torn notes from taxi drivers or in shops – they are difficult to spend and people try to pawn them off to foreigners to get rid of them.
  • Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers in Thailand do not carry a lot of change or will claim that they do not have change in order to get a bigger tip.  Try to hold on to smaller denomination notes for paying these guys.
  • Large notes are very difficult to spend, so try entering in odd numbers at ATM machines to get smaller bills.  (ie… 4900 baht instead of 5000 baht) Some ATM machines will give 100-baht notes, but many rarely give smaller than 500-baht notes.
  • If you have large notes to break, you can usually break them in one of the omnipresent 7-11 stores or McDonalds. Bars will also have change later into the evening.
  • In Thailand you can try to negotiate for nearly everything that isn’t a fixed price – saving a little here and there adds up at the end of a long trip!
  • If you know you will be staying in one place at least four or five days, try negotiating a discount on your room total then pay up front.
  • Tipping isn’t really necessary but it is OK to let drivers keep the change, etc.
  • Don’t rely on the signs for money changers to find out the current exchange rate – take a look at www.xe.com instead.

Thailand money comes in several colorful notes – 1000, 500, 100, 50, and 20′s.  Coins available are: 10, 5, 1 (and the rare 2-baht coin)

ATM machines will typically dispense 1000 and 500-baht notes but sometimes you can find the very handy 100-baht notes as well.