Currency and Cost in Thailand

The currency used is the 'Thai Baht' written as; 1THB. Smaller change is known as "Satang", where 100 Satang goes into 1 Baht. Thai Baht notes start from 20THB and go up to 1000THB, whereas the coins have denominations of 25 Satang, 50 Satang, 1THB, 2THB, 5THB and 10THB. Compared to the exchange rate for Thai Baht to the pound 2 years ago, the currency is currently highly favourable for UK visitors and 2021 rates averaged around 43.4TBH to the British pound.

Exchange rates are almost always better in Thailand, and a good strategy is to take enough local currency for your first day or so, and change the rest once you arrive. There are exchange facilities at Thai airports as well as many hotels or hostels, however, the exchange rate is often very poor compared to bank branches and local ATMs, so if your bank offers a good exchange rate then this might be the best option when exchanging currency. Although, just bare in mind that the flat fee for withdrawing from an ATM is around 200THB per transaction (with the exception of AEON bank which charges only 150THB per transaction). The best rates for currency exchanged in the UK are generally found by pre-ordering online and either collecting it from your UK departure airport or having it delivered to your home.

Traveller's cheques are pretty commonly used in Koh Samui and Thailand, so most banks are able to cash them. However, there is a fee of around 153THB per cheque, and you also need to present some form of valid ID (i.e. passport).


   Banks in Koh Samui


Bank Name or Currency Exchange Center: Location: Opening hours:
Bangkok Bank Maret 10:00 - 17:00 Mon to Fri
Bangkok Bank Central Festival Samui Branch Bo Phut 11:00 - 19:30 everyday
Bangkok Bank at Tesco Lotus Samui Bo Phut 10:30 - 19:00 everyday
Foreign Exchange Services: SCB - Chaweng Chaweng 09:30 - 18:00 everyday
Foreign Exchange Services: SCB - Ko Pha Ngan       Ko Pha Ngan       08:30 - 17:30 everyday
Foreign Exchange Services: SCB - Talat Bo Phut Bo Phut 09:00 - 18:00 everyday
BP Exchange Rate (Better Rate) Currency Exchange        Ang Thong 07:30 - 19:30 everyday


In addition to the banks and currency exchange centers mentioned above, there are many more scattered around the island, as well as an abundance of ATM machines which widely accepts major world currencies (like GBP, EUR, USD, AUD, NZD and SGD) to exchange to Thai Baht.

There are also 5 Post Offices on the island;

  • Maenam Thailand Post Office

  • Post Office Choeng Mon

  • Lamai Post Office

  • Nathon Post Office

  • Chaweng Post Office


Transportation in Koh Samui


As of September 2021, transportation costs in Koh Samui were approximately as follows;

Type of Transportation: Price (THB)
Songthaews start (normal tariff) 40 - 50
Songthaews average journey 100
Taxi start (normal tariff)  42.5
Taxi 1km (normal tariff) 32.5
Taxi 1 hour waiting (normal tariff) 500
Car hire average (daily) 800
Gasoline (1 liter) 29.63


A songthaew (pronounced "Song thao") is basically their version of public transport. Rather than using buses, songthaews are pick-up trucks with a converted bed. The two back benches can usually fit up to 8-10 adults each, but you might find that some people decide to hang off the end if there is no space left inside. Even though the usual starting price is 40 - 50 baht, it would be best to ask the driver before getting on to avoid confusion. There are no seat belts in a songthaew, so if safety is one of your key priorities, then it might be best to go with a private taxi instead.

Taxis in Koh Samui are uniformly yellow and brown, meaning that there is only one company operating on the island, making it a more expensive way to travel around the island. However, if you are worried about not knowing the price of the taxi before you get in or having to haggle with taxi drivers for a fairer price, then you could download the "NaviGo" app which allows you to easily book a taxi from your smartphone and gives you a fixed price for the journey beforehand.

Please note: hiring a car in Koh Samui legally requires you to have an international or Thai driver's licence. Although not all smaller companies will check if you have one, the larger companies definitely will. Also, when renting a car in Koh Samui, make sure you get one with car insurance as traffic can get a bit hectic on the island!


   Food and Drink (Supermarket)

Local bottled beer 500 ml Approx:  £1.12/50.83THB
Bottle of Thai wine 750 ml  Approx:  £13.22/600THB
Loaf of bread (500g) Approx:  £1.09/49.56THB
Litre of milk Approx:   £1.27/57.75THB