Transitioning From Web Developer to Comic Book Author:

Thai Baht Value

So, I had an epiphany while walking through the streets of Bangkok last night. I found a grocery store and noticed a pattern in the prices relating to the value of the item here and in the US.
It appears that the Thai baht to the Thai is as the dime is to the US citizen. To illustrate, a bottle of water is 10 Baht. Any form of portable beverage is about 10-15 baht or $1-$1.50 in relative value. This realization has carried forward on everything I’ve purchased and considered purchasing. However, I also realized with this that the marvelous exchange rate of 34 Thai Baht to US$1 is not as great as it seems. You aren’t actually increasing the value of your dollar by 34/1, it’s actually 3.4/1 (still very nice but not nearly as marvelous).

This realization is also helpful when bartering items. If the asking price is 200 Baht, then you can think of it as $20 to the Thai. So if you would pay US$20 for the item normally, then the price makes sense. However, it the item is something you imagine paying US$10 to get in the states, then you shouldn’t buy it for anything more than 100 Baht.

Sadly, looking back, I’ve found that I’ve overpaid on a few items. It’s so easy to spend baht because of the exchange rate. It’s very important to realize that the value of a baht is not the same to the Thai people as the value of a dollar in the US.

I did much better today though. All I’ve spent is 25 baht (or the equivalent value of $2.50–with an exchange rate of less than US$1) for coconut jelly (a whole young coconut shaved out and filled with something like a chilled coconut jello with huge chunks of coconut (very tasty), and a green papaya salad appetizer with Phad Thai for lunch (at the University) for 60 baht (or $6 equivalent value–converted to less than US$2).

So to sum, if you are used to thinking of the value of things in terms of US dollars and you find yourself with a lot of Thai currency, just think of a 10 baht coin as a dollar, a 100 baht bill as a ten dollar bill and so on. You will find that the prices for everything are the same as in the US, only you multiplied the amount of money in your pocket.

  • Definitely a great post. Hats off to you! The information that you have provided is very helpful.
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  • very helpful way to think of spending the THB. Even though the official rate is 10 = .34; I’ve found myself overpaying in Euros, etc., and need a simple code.