The home to the earliest Bronze Age civilization Thailand is a nation with a rich and colourful history. Bangkok city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in Central Thailand, and has a population of over 8 million, or 12.6 percent of the country’s population. Over 14 million people (22.2 per cent) live within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region.
Like most of Thailand, Bangkok has a tropical savanna climate under the Köppen climate classification and is under the influence of the South Asian monsoon system. It experiences three seasons, hot, rainy and cool, although temperatures are fairly hot year-round, ranging from an average low of 22.0 °C (71.6 °F) in December to an average high of 35.4 °C (95.7 °F) in April. The rainy season begins with the arrival of the southwest monsoon around mid-May. September is the wettest month, with an average rainfall of 334.3 millimetres (13.16 in). The hot season is generally dry, but also sees occasional summer storms.
Currency, Credit Cards and Exchanging Money
The currency in Bangkok is the Thai Baht (THB).
Coins come in denominations of: 1, 2, 5 and 10 baht, as well as 25 and 50 satang. (You may get some 25 or 50 satang coins in change at a supermarket.)
Banknotes come in denominations of: 20, 50, 100, 500 and 1,000 baht.
- Travellers Cheques are generally accepted only at dedicated foreign exchange shops or banks.
- Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) are plentiful throughout Thailand, and most will accept cards issued by any of the major international banking networks (Plus, Cirrus, etc.)
Foreign debit and credit card withdrawals from Thai ATMs incur a 150 or 180 baht fee levied by the local ATM owner, in addition to any fees added by your home financial institution.
- Major credit cards such as Visa, Mastercard, JCB and American Express, are readily accepted at most hotels, airlines, restaurants and upscale merchants.
- To prevent your credit/debit card from being declined, it is important to advise your card issuer of your travel plans in advance.
Buying Thai Baht outside Thailand
Thai baht is widely stocked by most currency suppliers outside Thailand. However, rates obtained in Thailand are higher and money can be exchanged on arrival at more advantageous rates.
Exchanging cash in Thailand is EASY
FOREX (FOreign EXchange) booths are very common and clearly post their daily exchange rates on an electronic notice board.
- Cash exchanges in Thailand incur NO commissions or fees.
At high-end establishments, a 10% service charge is added to the bill. Elsewhere, tipping is not standard nor expected in Bangkok, but it is appreciated. If there is a small bit of change from a restaurant bill or metered taxi fare, it is common to leave it as a tip.