The Baht could be the forex in Thailand and it is discovered from the following denominations:
20 Baht note-Green
50 Baht note-Blue
one hundred Baht note-Red
five hundred Baht notice -Purple
a thousand baht note- Brown
twenty five Satang coin -small brass coin
50 Satang coin- tiny brass coin
one Baht coin -silver and marginally larger than the usual US cent
5 Baht coin- silver & somewhat smaller than the 10 Baht coin
10 Baht coin- silver ring with a brass center
There are also 1,5, and 10 Satang coins you will occasionally run into along with the 25 and fifty Satang coins but normally you’ll only get these as change in a supermarket, chain stores, or sometimes a seven eleven. Atm exchange rates thailand places deal in whole baht denominations. If you do find yourself with a pocketful of Satang you’ll probably be bringing some home as souvenirs.
All Thai forex has the image of the king on it. It is considered disrespectful to keep Thai dollars in your back pocket as you would be sitting on the king. Likewise if you should drop a note or coin don’t step on it to stop it as that is very disrespectful.
Never change your currency at home before traveling to Thailand as your home country exchange rates will be bad. There are many places to change forex in Thailand almost every bank has money changers on every corner during the tourist areas as well as their branch locations. Hotel and airport funds changers typically give a bad rate as well so stick to the banks for the best rate. Although, it is a good idea to exchange a smaller amount at the airport when arriving just so you have funds to get where you are going.
Due to the fluctuations of the Thai baht over the last several years there has developed a split exchange price one being offshore exchange rates and one being on shore (in Thailand). Be careful using exchange rate calculators such as XE provides as they give the offshore rate and many others do as well. Check the daily rates at Thai banks online like:
ATM’s are everywhere within the tourist areas and they give the in country rate as well but beware your banks fees on withdraws and forex conversions from your currency to Baht because most of the time these fees will drop the rate considerably, especially considering most banks will convert currency at the off shore rate. If you live in Great Britain open a Nationwide Flex Account and if you live in America open an ING Orange checking account both of these banks do not charge fees for withdraws or convert your currency at the off shore rate.
Travelers checks are always the best option. Even though you will pay a percentage fee you always get the better exchange rates on them. You also have the added security that if they are lost or stolen they will be replaced within 24 hours. Remember you will have to show your passport whenever changing Travelers checks.
Cash, as they say, is always king but unless you are bringing only large bills then the rate varies per denomination and the rate is only fractionally better than Travelers checks. Using a large sum of cash anywhere these days is a bad idea and not worth the risk. One hundred dollar bills minted in 1996 are usually not accepted due to the fact that year was heavily counterfeited by North Korea.
Your best bet is to have a mix of travelers checks and a credit/debit card so you’ll be covered in all cases.
Note: using your credit/debit card at ATM’s is usually very safe but don’t use them in stores or shops to buy goods because credit card fraud is rife in Thailand. The only time I’ve used them other than ATM’s is at the hotel but I felt comfortable with the owners/management before I did.