Thailand - Travel/Philately/Numismatics/Memorabilia Profile

Thailand, a country in Southeast Asia bordered by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, Malaysia, the Gulf of Thailand, and the Andaman Sea has a total land area of 198,115 square miles and a population of around 66 million. Thailand, the land of the Buddha, has some of the most exquisite Buddhist temples. Its terrain is very diverse with mountains, plateaus, and river valleys. Thailand is an emerging economy and is categorized as a newly industrialized country. The major sectors of its economy are exports and tourism. Exports include rice, textiles, jewelry, cars, computers and electrical appliances. An upcoming huge engineering project is that of the Thai Canal which would make Thailand a logistical hub.

Travel Resources: 

The best time to visit Thailand is November through March. Many visit Thailand for the calm Budhist ambiance. The popular attractions are The Temple of the Emerald Budha, Wat Pho, National Museum, Vinmanmek Teak Mansion,  Koh Samui, Phuket, Pattaya, Bangkok, Ayutthaya, and Chiang Mai. The most popular and luxurious resorts in Asia along the Andaman Sea - Phuket, Krabi, Ranong, Phang Nga and Trang are frequented by the elite from round the world. Its traditions are influenced greatly by Indian, Chinese, and Cambodian culture. Thai cuisine is another reason for visiting Thailand. Gastronomic blending of the sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty tastes whips up some of the best dishes of the world. The staple food in Thailand is rice and Thai cuisine includes garlic, chillies, lime juice, lemon grass, coconut milk, and fish sauce.


ResourceISBN or ASINBest PriceDescription
Lonely Planet Discover Thailand978-1741799941$17Best Guide Book for first-timers: Color Photos and maps, highlights on the top 25 can’t miss experiences, itineraries, and Local Expert Tips.
Thailand Nelles Map978-3865740748$111:1,500,000 Scale.
Thailand Grounded Adapter Plug – GUAB004DRYIPE$8

Philatelic Profile:

The first stamps of Thailand were a set of five stamps released on August 4, 1883 depicting King Chulalongkorn. The set (Scott #1 to #5) catalogs for around $95 mint and around $85 used. Surcharged overprints on the first issue released on July 1, 1885 are even more sought after and catalogs for upwards of $300. A couple of other designs of the same subject along with several overprints formed the primary stamp issues of Thailand till the turn of the century. Chief among them were a set of five stamps released in October of 1899. The set (Scott #70 to #74) is very rare and sought after and catalogs for around $4500 mint and around $1700 used. The premium valuation is due to the fact that the set was rejected by the King and so was not officially released. Three post offices however got shipments by mistake and sold some. Chulalongkorn was the fifth monarch of Siam and his reign lasted over 42 years – from October 1, 1868 to October 23, 1910. His policies are credited with saving Siam from being colonized. The absolute rule of the House of Chakri ended following a bloodless revolution by the Khana Ratsadon on June 24, 1932.

Other issues of Thailand enjoying good philatelic interest include:
  1. A set of twelve stamps released on April 17, 1941 showing local scenes. The set (Scott #243 to #254) catalogs for around $225 MNH and around $70 for used. The designs show King Ananda Mahidol, plowing rice field, Royal Pavilion at Bang-pa-in, and King Ananda Mahidol.
  2. A set of eight stamps released on February 1, 1967 in the Birds theme. The set (Scott #469 to #476) catalogs for around $75 MNH and around $20 used. The designs show great hornbill, hill myna, white-rumped shama, Diard’s fireback pheasant, spotted dove, Sarus crane, white breasted kingfisher, and Asiatic open-bill.  A sister set of eight stamps in the Orchids theme was released on April 1, 1967. The set (Scott #477 to #484) catalogs for around $75 MNH and around $20 used. The designs include vandopsis parishii, rhynchostylis retusa.
  3. A set of eight stamps released on November 18, 1975 showing Ceremonial Barges. The set (Scott #764 to #771) catalogs for around $40 MNH and around $10 used. The designs show Sukhrip Khrong Mueang Barge, Royal Escort Barge Anekchat Phuchong, Royal Barge Anantanakarat, Krabi Ran Ron Rap Barge, Asura Wayuphak Barge, Asura Paksi Barge, Royal Barge Sri Suphanahong, and Phali Rang Thawip Barge.
  4. A set of four stamps released on October 9, 1994 to mark the International Letter Writing Week. The set (Scott #1579 to #1582) and a souvenir sheet of four catalogs for around $5 MNH and a little less for used. The designs show winning paintings in design contest: Gold Niello Bowls and Octagonal Footed Tray, Pumpkin Shaped Bowls, Silver Niello Betelnut Set, Covered Square Bowl with Gold Finial and small Lotus-shaped Footed Tray. Thailand has released a number of stamps over the years for the International Letter Writing Week and those form a good collectible theme.
  5. A set of four stamps and a souvenir sheet released on April 2, 2000 to publicize Thai Heritage Preservation. The set (Scott #1936 to #1939 and #1939a) catalogs for around $4 MNH and a little less for used. The designs show Chok Cloths from Hat Seio, Mae Chaem, Ban Rai, and Khu Bua.
Numismatic Profile:

Thai currency dates back to around 300 BC when Roman Copper coins along with beeds, seeds, bracelets, etc were used in trade. Metallic Coins from Indochina debut in the 1st century AD followed by Sandalwood Flower Coins, Cowrie Shells, and Baked Clay Coins durin ghte period till the 13th century. Bullet Coins (metal strips folded into spheres) of Thailand are the most well known as they were in circulation for a period of over 600 years starting around the 13th century till its withdrawal in 1904. Gold and Silver Bullet Money was also in circulation during the period. In the modern era, Decimal Coinage (25 Satang = 1 Salung, 100 Satang = 1 Baht) debut in 1937 with the introduction of Bronze Satangs. They are relatively common and catalogs for a few dollars.

Numismatic items of Thailand include:


ItemPrice RangeDescription
Coins$1 and upCommon UNC Bahts start around $1. UNC Satangs from the 1940s, UNC Bahts from the 1960s, etc start around $10. Silver Proofs from the 1970s onward, Silver coins from the late 19th century and early 20th century in VF+, etc start around $50. Scarce Low Mintage Silver Proofs, Gold Coins, Authentic Ancient Coinage, etc go well into the 100s.
Paper Money$2 and upUNC Banknotes from the 1960s onward starts around $2. Commemorative UNCs from the 1980s onward, Polymer Replacements, Early UNC Banknotes, etc start around $10. UNC Bundles, Scarce Specimens, etc start around $50. High Value Bundles, Specimen Sets, Rare Dates etc go well into the 100s.


Collectible Memorabilia:

Thai silk, leather goods, textiles, pottery, carvings, leaf works etc., are some of the souvenirs from Thailand.


ResourcePrice RangeDescription
Art$5 and upPhuket Poster Art and other Travel prints start around $5. Silk mythology themed prints start around $10. Buddha and Swan Sculptures start around $30. Vintage Travel Posters, Kolae Boat Folk Art, Batik Paintings etc start around $50. Novica Fine Art Oil Paintings start in the 100s and go into the 1000s.
Antiques$5 and upSamran Brass Teakwood Forks, Buddha Amulets etc start around $5. 19th century maps, Lacquered Bamboo Basket Boxes, etc start around $10. Tribal Cotton Wall Hangings start around $30.
Jewelry$2 and upEthnic Bracelets, Wisdom Earrings, etc start around $2. Tribal Silver and Bead Jewelry start around $15. 18K and 22K Gold Exquisitely Crafted Ornaments start around $100.
Miscellaneous Collectibles$1 and upPostcards start around $1. Character Masks, Postman Year Porcelain Models etc start around $10. Collector Dolls, Ceramic Candle Holders, etc start around $20. Cypraea Specimens over 50mm, Order of the White Elephant and other Honor Badges, etc start around $50. Handmade Buddhist Gongs, Chedi Cinary Urns, Benjarong Porcelain Decorative Jars etc go well into the 100s.

Last Updated: 12/2015.

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