People ask us all the time, “Is Thailand expensive?” Well, it all depends on your budget and what things are worth to you. Some tourists probably think that a $300 hotel room is a bargain. A budget traveler faced with such prices, however, might go into the fetal position and rock back and forth uncontrollably for a day or two. It’s all relative. Perhaps, a better question is, “What can a dollar buy you in Thailand?”
Here’s what you can get in Bangkok for around a buck:
- Four liters of drinking water (1 gallon), or 1.5 liters of sparkling water
- One hour of talking time on your cell phone within Thailand using the 1-2-Call SIM card. Similarly, if your phone and your laptop have Bluetooth capability, you can surf the Internet for 60 minutes.
- Local English-language newspaper such as the Bangkok Post (compare that to the Times of India for $0.06)
- Eight stops on the Skytrain, Bangkok’s rapid transit system
- Three soft serve ice cream cones at Dairy Queen
- A plate of Thai green curry with rice
- One liter of gasoline, which translates to $4 per gallon
- Initial charge for a taxi (including the first couple of kilometers)
- Two liters of Coke (1/2 gallon)
Well, I just checked what you can get at Starbucks. For $1 you get zero, nada, nil. Actually, let me correct that. You CAN get 2 servings of whipped cream on your imaginary cappuccino venti.