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Thai Currency

Thai Currency And Its Attributes

The Thai currency is ‘The Baht’ originally known as the ‘Tical’ which in it's formative years was based on a unit of weight.

The Baht was introduced by the ruling King at the time, King Chulalongkorn in 1897.

The Baht is also the standard measure of weight when weighing gold and silver in Thailand with one Baht equalling just over 15 grams.

For the years between World War II and 1980, the Baht was fixed to the US Dollar at an exchange rate of 1$ = 20 Baht. After this time it's value decreased to 1$ = 25 Baht until 1997 when the Asian financial crisis struck.

The crisis affected the currencies and stock markets of several Asian countries and Thailand was one of the nations most seriously troubled by it.

Following this event, it was decided that the baht be placed on a floating exchange rate which effectively halved its value whereby in 1998 it fell to a 'low' of 1$ = 56 Baht.

It then stabilized again at a rate of about 1$ = 40 Baht until the current world economic situation (as of Jan. 2009) where it now stands at around 1$ = 35 Baht ,

This current crisis is causing a lot of problems for the beleaguered tourist trade and Thai exports.

To all intents and purposes there are 4 coins, the 1, 2, 5 and 10 Baht coins although you might come across Satang coins, these are small and brass coloured, there are two values of these, 25 Satang and 50 Satang.

It will soon be discovered, whether 'ex–pat' or tourist, that these coins have the strange characteristic of reproducing at an alarming rate whilst being carried around in one's pocket.

This come to light when you find yourself walking with a distinct limp and a tendancy not to be able to walk in a straight line due to the 2 kilo's of loose change that has accumulated !!

Notes come in 20 (Green) – 50 (Blue) – 100 (Red) – 500 (Pink) and 1,000 (Brown) denominations.

Newcomers to Thailand sometimes have problems differentiating between the 100 Baht (Red) note and the 500 Baht (Pink), this often means that some fortunate restaurant staff get tipped much more than was intended !!.

Similarly, the 2 Baht coin, which is only marginally larger than the 1 Baht coin, very often has 2 written on it with a marker pen to distinguish it from the other, a much less expensive mistake.

Royalty is taken very seriously in Thailand and consequently a portrait of the King is to be found on all of the monetary notes, therefore if you accidentally drop a note on a windy day, try to curb your automatic reaction to stand on it before it flies away.

This is a big mistake, for any Thai witnessing this strange behaviour will feel insulted as you have just stood on the King’s face, a definite NO – NO.

At present, with the financial crisis and the political instability in Thailand the Baht is working hard to stay with the US Dollar and everyone in the money markets seems to be holding their breath in respect of what will happen next.

We seriously hope the ‘Exchange Rate’ link below will be kind to you and not put you off visiting Amazing Thailand as there are still lots of bargains to be had, especially now in the hotel and accomodation sectors, this also applies to the property market.

If you have any enquiries on this topic: Please use our Contact Form.

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