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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Thailand 10, 5 Baht

On the Thailand coins, it is quite difficult to decipher the date and all firstly because the date and the inscription is written in Thai-Lao. Secondly, Thailand usually follows the Buddhist era(BE) for its dating, which is different that the A.D. system that we use. In Thailand, the Ratanakosindok era(RS) and the Chula-Sakarat (CS) era. 2007 AD has 2550 BE, 226 RS and 1369 CS as its counterpart equivalent in the three different dating systems. Thailand was known as Siam until 1939, and since 1946, has been ruled by Rama IX(Phra Maha Bhumifhol Adulyadei) , who also features on the coins dated 1946 and onwards.

Thailand 10 Baht, 2007
This coin is Bi-metallic. The rim is stainless steel and the centre is Aluminium-Bronze. The reverse here shows the temple of the dawn. The date reads 2550 BE, which converts to 2007AD. The Wat Aran or Wat Arun temple discussed abo is also better known as the temple of the dawn.

The famous Wat Aran , perhaps better known as the Temple of the Dawn, is one of the best known landmarks and one of the most published images of Bangkok. It consists of a massive elongated prang (Khmer-style tower), and is surrounded by four smaller prangs. The prang is described by the Tourism Authority of Thailand as 104m high, while most other sources quote figures around 80-85m. It is decorated by bits of porcelain which had previously been used as ballast by boats coming to Bangkok from China, a hallmark of the reign of King Rama III. The Wat had a brief period as host of the celebrated Emerald Buddha, which now resides in nearby Wat Phra Kaew.

The Wat really looks better from a distance than close up, and you're not missing out too much even if you only view from across the river. The grounds are fairly pleasant and peaceful though, with good murals and a main Buddha image supposedly designed by King Rama II. The mythical guardians here are also quite impressive, though very similiar to those at Wat Phra Kaew.

Five Baht, 1987
The reverse shows the Suphannahong, royal grand palace. We can see the year 2530 at the bottom. The date reads 2530 BE, which converts to 1987 AD.

The royal barges are rarely used by the royal family these days because of their age. A few of them are now preserved in the Royal Barge National Museum on the Thonburi side of the Chao Phraya River. The eight long, narrow boats on display are intricately gilded and each need between 50 and 60 rowers to take their oars. The figure on the bow of each boat signifies whether it carries the King and Queen or other members of the royal family. The most important barge is the Suphannahong, exclusively used by the King.

The Royal Grand Palace is a glittering walled complex that houses several palaces, all highly decorated with tiles and ceramics. Building began in 1782 when Bangkok was founded as the capital of Thailand. The complex houses Wat Phra Kaeo, the holiest of all Thai temples, where the sacred Emerald Buddha rests, not covered in emeralds but jade. There is a strict dress code and visitors wearing shorts, mini-skirts, sleeveless shirts or flip-flops will be refused entry, although it is possible to hire trousers and plastic shoes.

5 Baht, 2008

The reverse shows the Penjahwat. The date on the reverse reads 2551 BE, which converts to 2008 AD.


  1. The reverse of 5 baht dated 2008 is Wat Benchamabophit, also known as Marble Temple.

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