Situated at the center of the Indochinese Peninsula, the Kingdom of Thailand in Southeast Asia is bordered by Laos and Myanmar to the north, Malaysia and the Gulf of Thailand to the south, Cambodia and Laos to the east, and the Andaman Sea to the west. Formerly known as Siam, Thailand was the only country in the region not colonized by Western powers during the period of Western imperialism.
Thailand is a newly industrialized nation and is considered the 2nd largest economy in Southeast Asia. It uses the Thai baht for its currency. Following the country’s change of name on June 24, 1939, the Government of Thailand issued notes printed by Thomas De La Rue, featuring the 9-year old Ananda Mahidol. After his uncle, King Prajadhipok Ananda Mahidol stepped down the throne, Ananda Mahidol was declared as Rama VIII by the National Assembly on March 2, 1935.
On January 25, 1942, Thailand declared war against the United Kingdom which ended its partnership with De La Rue. The Series Four issues released between 1942 - 1944 were printed by the Royal Thai Survey Department using crude engravings on inferior paper from a local paper mill. Meanwhile, the Series Five issues were printed by the Japanese Ministry of Finance Printing Office. The obverse of these notes bears a portrait of Ananda Mahidol facing forward and the reverse depicts the Padej Dusakorn Fort and Grand Palace.
After World War II, when Thailand could no longer locally produce its notes and De La Rue’s printing facility had been damaged, the country turned to Tudor Press of Boston, Massachusetts. Another set of notes was issued following the death of Ananda Mahidol on June 9, 1946. These notes bear a portrait of Ananda’s brother Bhumibol Adulyadej who took over the throne as Rama IX. With the exception of the 50-satang note that features the constitution on a stylized tray with a pedestal, subsequent banknotes carry Rama IX’s portrait until the Series Sixteen issues. In 2018, new designs of notes were revealed. The obverse design displays a portrait of the nation’s new king, Maha Vajiralongkorn Bodindradebayavarangkun while the reverse design features two ramas in chronological order of reign.