Fuel prices are up and the economy is down this year. That makes getting the most bang out of your travel buck important. Thailand represents a fascinating and excellent travel destination that is also an incredible deal.
Known as the land of smiles, Thailand is one of those truly unique Southeast Asian countries that boogle the mind. From the warm beaches of the southern coast to the mountain palace of the King in Chang Mai in the north, there is a lot to see and do. Best of all, you can do it all for one of the lowest travel costs in the world.
In the late 1990s, the Asian economies were absolutely crushed over a one year period. Part and parcel to this disaster was the loss of currency value. Much like the dollar is falling now, the Thai “Baht” suffered. Instead of a down period, however, it fell like a rock dropped from a plane and hasn’t really come back.
Put simply, this currency issue has made Thailand a cheap, cheap place. Your biggest expense will be the flight. It can run $650 round trip at a minimum. It should also be noted that the flight is very long if you are coming from North America. A flight from Los Angeles can easily take 24 hours or more.
Once in Thailand, the good news is you’ll be getting a lot for your dollar. Yes, even now. You can always go nuts in any location, but I’ll assume you are going to be reasonable. A good, fresh meal will set you back $2 to $5 and be a lot less if you avoid the touristy areas.
There is one meal item that is expensive – beer. You can expect to pay $2 to $3 per bottle. It isn’t outrageous, but it seems like it after you are conditioned to the cheap food.
Getting around is also incredibly cheap. Trains are popular, but also packed. One of the secrets of Thailand is the domestic airline industry. Simply put, it is excellent and cheap. I’ve splurged on flights from Bangkok to Chang Mai in the north of the country and spend a whopping $38 for a one way ticket. Traveling on trains is great, but you also lose a lot of time. Cheap domestic flights are a good way to avoid this.
Thailand is definitely a great destination for those that want to maximize their experience on a minimum of expense. There are the usual high priced tourist areas, but even a small effort to avoid them can result in a trip that is cheaper than you could ever imagine.