Admittedly, it’s based on the value of the local currency to the pound sterling, which has taken quite a hit recently. Specifically, how much it would cost to buy a “holiday basket” consisting of a cup of coffee, bottle of Heineken, bottle/can Coca-Cola, bottle of mineral water, factor 15 suncream, insect repellent, three course evening meal including bottle of house wine in a local restaurant.
And while in Thailand, you can enjoy the new drink, the Siam sunray, just launched this week: A shot of vodka, coconut liqueur, a dash of chilli pepper and sugar, lime juice, a few slivers of lemongrass and ginger, with the whole mixture shaken then strained into a glass with ice and soda water. (I’ve not tried it yet.)
But be careful you don’t get too excited on the train, lest you end up like this poor chap.
What, not the accommodation? That to me would be one of the most essential parts of such a calculation.
However, the few countries I would be able to compare – Spain and Canada, for example – would probably not shift that much, considering that for the two months I was in Spain I never spent more than €30 for a room for basic but decent inns, while it’s next to impossible to get anything better than a flophouse for $80 in Canada, as far as I’ve been able to determine.
I thought Thailand was quite cheap but a lot of backpackers who’d done India, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam were complaining about how expensive Thailand was in comparison. One group we spoke to were headed to Sydney afterwards - we told them they were in for a nasty shock.
It’s a pointless list, ignoring many other factors. If they added accommodation and transport, the list would be very different. For one, the Czech Republic would not be so cheap… putting it in the same class as Thailand is silly.
Yes, as cheap as Thailand is, those other countries you mention are ridiculously cheap compared with Thailand. Especially alcohol; even locally made beer is taxed so heavily in Thailand that Indochina is a drinker’s paradise by comparison pricewise. I went crazy once in a Phnom Penh supermarket when I discovered even the premium liquors were less than half the price in Thailand. Jeez, when I think of the prices I was paying in Thailand in the 1980s – for everything, not just drinking – it curls my toes. In another generation, Indochina will probably catch up, the rate they’re going now.
I do wonder why some places like Indochina were not considered. Could it be the article was focused on where middle-class Brits are more likely to go? There are some nice places to stay in Indochina, but I think it is still seen as more of a backpacker’s journey even at this late date.
The point being is that the editors weren’t willing to shill out the money and send off reporters around the globe to do real on-site research, but it was probably the publishers current main squeeze that had the idea so they couldn’t just toss it away, so they came up with this bullshit meaningless compromise.