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Hi-So Holidays Harder To Afford For Phuket Tourists

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Phuket Opinion: Hi-so holidays harder for tourists to afford
Phuket Gazette

Tourists coming to Phuket are now counting their baht to see how much of the high life they can afford. Photo: Gazette file

PHUKET: -- Over the years, a number of my friends have made the journey from England to visit Phuket and enjoy a well-earned holiday. The recurring theme of their time here used to be how cheap the island was compared to the UK, but that has now changed.

When I first moved to Phuket, years ago, the exchange rate from baht to British pound was around 64:1. This gave my friends every reason to claim that Phuket was an absolute bargain and a number of them lived it up during their two-week holiday.

Today, the baht is 44:1. To put that into perspective, if someone comes to Phuket on a two-week holiday and they bring UK£1,000 spending money, when the exchange rate was 64:1 their £1,000 was worth 64,000 baht. Today, the same amount of British pounds is worth 44,000 baht.

If you then compare drinks and food – these prices have stayed roughly the same over the years – a bottle of beer that costs 70 baht (just under £2) is now close to the same price you would pay for a drink in England.

If you go to an upscale area like Surin – where a beer can cost 150 baht – you’re now paying close to £4 for a drink, which is more than you would pay in England. These bars will argue that customers are paying for the location and setting but it’s still a lot of money. Street food will always be cheap but tourists don’t tend to eat street food. They go to restaurants in their hotel or a restaurant that has been recommended in a book or online.

Around the Laguna area, one of the cheapest three-course meals in a popular restaurant will set you back just over 500 baht (£11). Add in a few drinks of any description and the bill could be closer to 880 baht (£20). And that’s at one of the cheaper restaurants.

Once you start to factor in tours, taxis and souvenirs it becomes shockingly clear that £1,000 doesn’t go far. On the plus side, people living in Phuket who go back to England benefit when they convert their baht to British pounds, but who wants to go on holiday to England?

Source: http://www.phuketgazette.net/phuket_news/2013/Phuket-Opinion-Hi-so-holidays-harder-for-tourists-to-afford-20574.html

-- Phuket Gazette 2013-03-22

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Hardly an inspired article !

No mention of the relative cost of flights during these periods ( or "entertainment " costs !)

Many people ,myself included actually enjoy goung back to the UK occasionally for a holiday . There are many many beautiful parts to visit and I actually appreciate the change of Seasons , a pleasent change from the often oppressive heat over here !

The author ,doesn't seem to grasp that the majority of UK expats ,or Europeans in general , are living off pensions or regular incomes that originate in their own currency . Not many would have benefitted from transferring their life savings into Baht 15 years ago !

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You could switch Phuket for much nicer and quieter places of course, that have less inflated prices, cheaper hotels, nicer staff, no tuk-tuk drivers that rip you off and so on. And 70 Baht is not 2 £ it is not even 2 €.

70 baht comes down to 1.60 £. Besides there is quite a difference if you drink a beer in the UK in Brighton in the summer or in Central London that in the local pub in Newmarket.

Life sucks, but your money still goes a long way when you go upcountry or to one of the Southern Islands. Just take the boat from Satun to one of the real nice places. Cheap, clean and not too many white noses.

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Just to put it all in perspective, way back in 1996 I only got 36 baht per pound, A very few years later it went as high as 90 baht (for a very few days). My point is that exchange rates fluctuate up and down over time.

totally irrelavant back in "96 a beer cost 30-35 baht, a coffee 15 baht, a kilo of oranges 7 baht and a ltr of gasoline 9-11 baht..bbq street food chicken leg 12 baht, chicken strip on a stick 3-4 baht...so lets get real...THAILAND is getting way over priced ..just spent a week in Samui and I was shocked at what people are being asked to pay for food drink etc

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when people travel with the same standing they have at home then the price in nearly the same everywhere in the world.

cheap staff is always bad staff and good staff as a price.

also people who go abroad never avoid tourist places,so they pay for it !

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Maybe try somewhere else in Thailand if Phuket is too expensive?

a bottle of beer that costs 70 baht (just under £2)

Since when is £1.57 'just under' £2?

You can get lovely freshly squeezed OJ from a street vendor for ฿20 (75 satang north of 43p at today's rate)

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Suprise bloody surprise. The GBP had been punching well above it's weight for way too long. Little wonder reality had to set in at some time.

If 44 THB to the 1 GBP is't good enough anymore, there's other places around the world that are cheaper. Stop your ccomplaining though.

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