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Bangkok Money and Costs

Currency: Baht

Budget meal: US$2-4

Moderate restaurant meal: US$4-7

Top-end restaurant: US$10-20

Budget room: US$3-10

Moderate hotel: US$15-40

Top-end hotel: US$150 and up

If youre travelling on a budget, you should be able to fairly easily get by on around US$15-25 a day anywhere in Thailand.

Visitors staying in comfortable hotels and eating at restaurants should budget on around US$20-30 a day outside Bangkok and around double this amount when in the capital.

If money is no object, then you can spend to your hearts content while in Bangkok, since the capital has several of the worlds most sumptuous hotels.

Your spending levels will be curtailed by the scarcity of luxury accommodation and quality restaurants if you get off the beaten track.

Banks or legal moneychangers offer the best rates. For buying baht, US dollars are the most readily acceptable currency, though travellers cheques get a better rate than cash.

Credit cards are becoming increasingly acceptable in quality shops, hotels and restaurants.

Visa is the most useful, followed by MasterCard. ATMs which accept Visa and other credit cards are easily found in the larger cities, and many exchange booths will give you a cash advance on your credit card.

Tipping is not customary in Thailand, although Thais are getting used to the idea in upmarket hotels.

Bargaining is common practice in markets and tourist shops, and when catching non-metered taxis. Treat it as a form of social discourse rather than a matter of life and death.