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currency, tipping etc

England
Level Contributor
195 posts
22 reviews
currency, tipping etc

Hi all

Hopefully, provided that volcanic ash clouds and Foreign Office travel warnings are not conspiring against us, we will be arriving in Khao Lak on Sunday via Phuket Airport. Having never been to Thailand before we have no Thai Baht to bring with us and following advice given on here we do not intend to change any money until we are in Thailand. What I really need to know is if we can wait until we are in resort before we track down an ATM (We are staying at the La Flora and we have directions to the ATM near the 7/11 which does not charge a withdrawal fee (I am aware that our Bank will still make a handing charge) or will we need some cash before then for tips etc.. We have private transfers booked (through Hayes & Jarvis and therefore already paid for) from Phuket Airport - would we be expected to tip the driver and if so how much and also if a porter takes our bags to our room at La Flora again how much. I have no problem with tipping - I just want to know what the right thing is to do without offending anybody, so I would appreciate a heads up into whether tipping is the norm in Khao lak and what levels are considered to be acceptable without being over the top or indeed miserly.

Thanks

Dawn

Cape Panwa, Thailand
Level Contributor
3,063 posts
120 reviews
1. Re: currency, tipping etc

Hi Dawn,

Tipping is quite a personal thing it is always welcome but never expected. I always change my money on the journey from Phuket to Khao Lak I just ask the driver to stop at the exchange place on my way to the hotel. In the past I have tipped 20 to 40b to a porter, taxi driver for helping with luggage and stopping at the exchange place 60b. I tip after a good meal around 40B. I tip because its something I have always done and its a thank you thing and I know that thai people are poorly paid . I have never met a thai person that expected a tip but do know what ever the amount it is appreciated. There are times when I have not had any small money on me so have not tipped but just said thank you.

The first time my hubby went to Thailand and tipped after a meal we of course laugh about it now his tip was 500b and he could not understand why all the staff flocked to serve him at the restaurant on his next visit. He has since learnt that amount was a weeks pay at that time.

Have a look at this link on tipping

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293915-s606/Thailand…

Have a great holiday in Khao Lak

Julie

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
Level Contributor
20,182 posts
33 reviews
2. Re: currency, tipping etc

Tipping is not really part of the Thai culture. It's not obligatory. If the driver just drives you from point A to point B and he's normally courteous, I would give him a small gratuity, maybe 50-100 baht if you're a family. That's probably one-fifth of his normal daily income (drivers typically make 500 baht a day). A porter gets 20 baht for carrying your bags - that's the standard gratuity in Thailand. (Of course if someone really goes far beyond the normal call of duty for you, there's nothing wrong with rewarding them - within reason.)

Tipping aside, it's not good to have no local currency at all in your pocket. I suggest you change a small amount in Phuket Airport, maybe 50 GBP at the foreign exchange booth. The rates will be the same at the airport as anywhere else for the same bank. Make sure you get some 20 and 100 baht notes if you do intend to tip, or buy a drink at a 7/11 or whatever.

England
Level Contributor
195 posts
22 reviews
3. Re: currency, tipping etc

Thanks to you both for your speedy replies - I will indeed change up some money on arrival so that we are prepared for all eventualities. Thanks for the guidelines also of what is an acceptable tip - it is so easy to totally mis-calculate when dealing in a currency alien to you without taking into account the cost of living and the average local wage.

Dawn

Berlin/Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Berlin, Thailand
Level Contributor
20,182 posts
33 reviews
4. Re: currency, tipping etc

The minimum daily wage in Thailand is less than 200 baht.

Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
478 posts
74 reviews
5. Re: currency, tipping etc

Definitely get/change some currency at the airport before you step outside. The rates are reasonable, and I would get a decent amount, then you don't have to worry about finding an ATM straight away when you arrive at LA Flora. There are Atms near La Flora though...

It is good advice to change some large notes into smaller ones (buying a drink etc). smaller notes prove more useful...

Have fun at La Flora, we loved it when we got married there!

United Kingdom
Level Contributor
506 posts
40 reviews
6. Re: currency, tipping etc

Are you flying direct to Phuket or via Bangkok? If via Bangkok you can change some cash while you're in transit, the exchange rate doesn't vary and there is no charge for cash transactions.

If you're happy carrying cash you could keep it in your room safe at La Flora and use the money exchange a few doors down the road from Chong Fah beach restaurant, a stone's throw from La Flora along the beach and a great venue for lunch or sunset drinks.

If you've booked through Hayes and Jarvis I'm guessing your transfers are with Pacific World, you'll probably be picked up by 2 people, driver and an agent, so be prepared to tip them both. 100 baht between them is fine I think.

Have fun!

7. Re: currency, tipping etc

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