Thai baht (B)
Budget: less than 800B
- Basic fan bungalow or dorm: 200–600B
- Market/street-stall meal: 40–100B
- Bottle of beer: 80B
- Transport: 50–100B
- Flashpacker guesthouse or midrange hotel room: 800–2000B
- Western or seafood meal: 200–400B
- Organised tour or activity: 800–1500B
- Scooter or motorbike hire: 150–300B
Top End: more than 3000B
- Boutique villa or hotel room: 3000B and above
- Fine dining: 400–1000B
- Private tour: 2500B
- Car hire: from 800B
Bargaining (haggling) is common in street markets and some small shops. Prices in 7-Elevens, mini marts and department stores are fixed.
Keep your haggling relaxed and non-confrontational, which will give the shopkeeper more face and allow more leeway. Let the seller start by offering a lower price, then try to nudge it lower, but only haggle if you are planning to buy if you get the right price.
ATMs are widely available. Credit cards are accepted in most hotels and restaurants.
Most ATMs will charge a 220B foreign transaction fee on top of your bank's currency conversion fees, no matter how much you withdraw. Before your trip, shop around for a bank that has free international ATM usage and may reimburse you any fees incurred by using other banks' ATMs. Otherwise plan ahead and withdraw larger amounts of cash, but have a money-belt.
The basic unit of Thai currency is the baht (B). Notes come in denominations of 20B, 50B, 100B, 500B and 1000B, while coins come in 1B, 2B, 5B and 10B and occasionally 25 satang or 50 satang. Go to7-Eleven stores or hotels to break 1000B notes.
Changing money isn’t a problem on the east and north coasts, and in Na Thon. Multiple banks and foreign-exchange booths offer daily services and ATMs are widespread. In Chaweng, every other shop is a money exchange, with the 'best rate'.
Credit and debit cards can be used in most shops and at most hotels and restaurants. Notify your bank and credit-card provider before your trip so they are aware you will be in Thailand. You should not have to pay credit-card fees as you do on Ko Tao.
For current exchange rates, see www.xe.com
Tipping is not generally expected, though it is certainly appreciated. Check, however, if a 10% service charge has been added to your bill, which is often the case at smart eateries and hotel restaurants.