As a Westerner living in an increasingly Westernized world, I sometimes forget that other people in other parts of the world developed the same sorts of ideas but with different implementations. Things I take for granted – for example, a base 10 number system – are not always the same around the world. One of these things happens to be the Gregorian Calendar. You know, the thing that tells you what day it is today? Well, while Thais use will often use the Gregorian calendar, they more commonly use a unique Buddhist Calender. The Thai Solar Calender is the official calendar of Thailand and, while it never used to line up, it currently follows the same pattern as the Gregorian (i.e. New Years is the same, 7 days a week, etc.). As confusing as this might seem, it’s relatively easy to convert the dates because the only real difference today is the year. Simply add 543 to the year and you’re good to go! So, while Year 0 on the Gregorian was instituted as the supposed birth of Christ, the Thai calendar sees Year 0 as the supposed death of Gautama Buddha.
The Thai Baht (฿) is the currency of Thailand. Though it is divided into 100 satang, you never really use those coins because there is next to nothing available for less than one baht. In fact, I’ve only ever seen one or two satang coins. At any rate, you can click on the picture to see it in larger detail or head past the break for more pictures and information.