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Is Thailand a bargain now?

  • squong

    Joined Travelfish
    30th September, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 10

    There are some news reports saying that Thailand is a deal now due to the political turmoil. Is this true, and if so, is it only affecting high end resorts? What about remote areas or less expensive hotels (hostels and slightly better).

    http://www.reuters.com/article/GCA-CreditCrisis/idUSTRE4BO01H20081225

    Khob-kun

    #1 Posted: 3/1/2009 - 17:14

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  • AndZen

    Joined Travelfish
    3rd January, 2009
    Posts: 1
    Total reviews: 4

    Here in Australia, I know several people all planning to go to Thailand this month, and some who flew there last week. Most of them were concerned when the airport was closed and hoped they wouldn't be affected by the disruption. None of them have cancelled their trips.

    Unfortunately there were quite a few negative media reports here straight after the airport closure. Most media focussed in on a minority of tourists who got stuck and had a bad time of it, saying they'd never go back to Thailand.

    I think most people are smarter than that and realise things are fine there most of the time and that this was an isolated incident. The political situation is something to keep an eye on, not to right-off a holiday over.

    Things may slow down for a while, but I think they'll recover.

    #2 Posted: 3/1/2009 - 18:19

  • Jon_Mak_Mak

    Click here to learn more about Jon_Mak_Mak
    Joined Travelfish
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    Location United Kingdom
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    Hi, People saying they wouldn't go back to Thailand because the airports closed is abit silly. I understand they were probably angry but would they not go to London because their were bombs on buses? Would they not go to Bali because of the bombings? What about all the terrorism in south of Thailand that is going on but yet they still wanted to go to Thailand.

    I think Thialand is a bargain anyway, but I expect some flights might be a good deal at the moment. The problem for me is that Thailand is getting more expensive at the moment because of the drop for sterling. :(

    #3 Posted: 3/1/2009 - 18:48

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    it's all relative....i've heard that some places are charging "low-season" rates, but even heard of one where they suggested they had to charge full whack as "not many people here"
    Pattaya as ever is pretty crowded still. - in a few weeks the story may well be different for all of thailand.

    BTW - In 2003 I stayed in December on Chaweng beach for about 450/ 500 baht pn.
    The same room is now 2500 baht

    #4 Posted: 5/1/2009 - 11:05

  • ChangFai

    Click here to learn more about ChangFai
    Joined Travelfish
    10th April, 2007
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 139

    Personally I would say Thailand is not a bargain just now , because of the strength of the baht.

    In fact personally its the most expensive I can remember it ,but then I am dealing in £'s

    I have spent December in Pattaya , and its been pretty dead , and even over the normally busy New Year period its been a lot quieter then normal .

    A lot of tourists will head home this week , which will make the place like a ghost town in some parts .

    Sure hotels will be quiet , but Thai Logic means prices will be going up not down ;-)

    #5 Posted: 5/1/2009 - 16:13

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    you can bargain hotel prices when its quiet. can save a fair bit that way.

    #6 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 21:43

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    "Sure hotels will be quiet , but Thai Logic means prices will be going up not down ;-)"

    well some of them will try to take advantage of gullible tourists, but others will drop their prices by 30% if you offer to stay 3 nights or more and bargain with them

    ive stayed at hotels were there were no other customers right on a beach. 20 empty rooms you have all the bargaining power

    you can get a deluxe room for less than a std room price

    #7 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 21:48

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 939
    Total reviews: 14

    Hi,

    I've been checking several carrier's flights from New York to BKK consistently over the last 6 months and although I did score a low fare on Air Asia for their "mai phen rai Thailand" sale (from Singapore), that was all I've seen as far as breaks due to the recent unrest. JFK (New York) to BKK round trip on United is actually a couple hundred U$ more now than it was last year around this time. Exchange rate is not so favorable right now either so I'm planning for my most expensive Thailand trip to date.

    #8 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:06

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Travelrock - it would be helpful if you told us where....and when!

    #9 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:06

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    doesnt matter where, you can bargain or walk out and go elsewhere. if they dont want to discount someone else will.

    #10 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:12

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  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    Actually it does; both in terms of verisimilitude and certain areas of Thailand are feeling the pinch a lot less than others so hearing the area where discounts are being offered could be very helpful.

    #11 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:16

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    furthermore if you are talking about general bargaining - well that is universal and doesn't indicate that Thailand is any cheaper than it was.
    If you are talking about discount in November, that is irrelevant too....if you are indicating this is a new and recent trend then it does have relevance and we need to know where it is.

    #12 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:19

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    well ive bargained rooms in the north, east and south prior to all this crisis so really it doesnt matter.

    #13 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:21

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    As I said we've all done that,but it doesn't indicate any change which is what the thread is about

    #14 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:22

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    any quiet place will offer more bargains than a busy place

    and lots of tourists forget to bargain rooms because they think it's cheap already when they could save another 200 to 500 baht a night

    if you want a bargain go to the less touristy places like issan

    #15 Posted: 6/1/2009 - 22:27

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    That doesn't really help in this instance does it?

    I always bargain, but I can assure you that in Pattaya over New Year they were no more open to offers than at any other time.

    If you went to Koh Chang you might find the situation different. In a few days/weeks when the high season is dwindling I suspect hoteliers et al will be stumbling over each other to try and take a few extra bucks before the place quietens down for the wet.

    However the question was - "Is Thailand a bargain now?" - I suspect that most people NOW will find it is not - however later is a different matter.

    #16 Posted: 7/1/2009 - 08:04

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    Thailand is always a better place to go low season. Less crowds, lower prices and over the next 6 mths you might find the baht weaken as tourist nos dry up and exports dampen due to world economy.

    So no it's not a great bargain right now but you can always find some good deals if you look around. The plane ticket is about 1/3 of your costs for a 3 weeks trip so looking around for a cheap deal there will help.

    As for Pattaya, well the road outta that awful place is a bargain!

    #17 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 09:44

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    TR - This was the initial posting....
    "There are some news reports saying that Thailand is a deal now due to the political turmoil. Is this true, and if so, is it only affecting high end resorts? What about remote areas or less expensive hotels (hostels and slightly better)."

    You really don't seem to have addressed this in any of your replies - with the possible exception finally in your last one....
    Given your postings on this thread, I hope people will realise how unreliable/oblique your information is and disregard your "throwaway" comment on Pattaya.

    #18 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 11:24

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 962

    Pattaya is a goo tourist destination. It is cheaper than Phuket and has a lot to offer. To make the comment you did, Travelrock, is shortsighted in the extreme.
    Bargaining for a room in Phuket say, is very problematical, because it is regarded as high profile tourist destination. Travelrock, it does matter where and when. Anyway, to answer the original thread, Thailand is nowhere the bargain it once was, and this is not just to the falling western currencies, but also to the greed in increasing prices many fold.

    #19 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 13:43

  • squong

    Joined Travelfish
    30th September, 2007
    Location United States
    Posts: 10

    Thanks for the responses and lively discussion. I think I have my answer. I was trying to gauge if Thailand is a super great deal right now or just slightly better. Based upon the comments, I gather it's the latter. I'm an experienced traveler so I'm always looking for a great deal.

    #20 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 14:12

  • Tennouji

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd September, 2007
    Location Japan
    Posts: 110
    Total reviews: 20

    I've just returned from a month in Thailand and found that the recent troubles hadn't lowered prices. Occasionally, I could get the odd 50B off (budget end) but some guesthouse owners wouldn't budge even though I was the only guest!

    I was spending yen so was getting a good exchange rate, but found Thailand to be substantially more expensive than my last visit in 2006. I heard many other budget end tourists complaining that some places they had visited for years had doubled their prices without upgrading the rooms.

    #21 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 15:05

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    "You really don't seem to have addressed this in any of your replies - with the possible exception finally in your last one....
    Given your postings on this thread, I hope people will realise how unreliable/oblique your information is and disregard your "throwaway" comment on Pattaya."

    You really don't seem to gather what a chip you have on your shoulder and all your whinging is rather tragic.

    There are lots of bargains in Thailand if a traveller is prepared to look around for them, turmoil or not.

    If you took your blinkers and chip off your shoulder you might see that.

    #22 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 22:21

  • travelrock

    Joined Travelfish
    19th April, 2008
    Posts: 209
    Total reviews: 18

    "Pattaya is a goo tourist destination. It is cheaper than Phuket and has a lot to offer. To make the comment you did, Travelrock, is shortsighted in the extreme"

    You must be very short sighted if you can't see how ugly the place is. There's nothing in Pattaya you wont find in Phuket and Phuket is much more appealing yet it ain't my fav place either.

    There are lots of bargains in Phuket. I've stayed in huge rooms for bargain prices, eaten great food for little.

    But there's a lot more to Thailand than those 2 destinations. Maybe you should get out more.

    #23 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 22:26

  • exacto

    Joined Travelfish
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    I can't help but notice that the person who claims "others" have a chip on their shoulder has made more personal attacks than anyone else in the history of this website. Why don't you relax travelrock? I'll buy you a beer or three and you can explain in great detail why your opinions are more valid than everyone else's.

    Thailand isn't the bargain it once was, and I'm pretty sure this is largely a simple function of economic development.

    My Dad used to tell me stories of when he was travelling in Japan in the 1950's and how unbelievably inexpensive things were at the time. I have other friends who were deployed to Korea in the '80's who tell similar stories. Imagine how expensive both of those places can be now.

    Prices in Thailand have gone up as the economy has developed. And they've gone up a lot too. It is still less expensive than most anywhere in Europe or North America, but nowhere near the bargain it was even 10 years ago. Things change. Prices go up. I imagine eventually it will completely cease being the great backpacker getaway it once was.

    The tourist scene in Thailand has really changed over the last three decades as well as more and more Thais have been able to afford to travel and now have a chance to visit their own country. It is a sad fact that places are less charming or unique as more and more people visit. It is harder to get a seat on the sleeper train or a cheap room. etc.

    The up side is that people have started to push out into more and more remote places, and in a sense, there is a much wider variety of atmospheres to explore. It's fun to discover some new and remote destination, like along the Mekong River between Nong Khai and Chiang Khan.

    But it's also fun to hang out with a bunch of other backpackers in Pai. Chiang Mai is still a great experience, if that is what one is seeking. Pattaya has lots to offer too in terms of shopping, restaurants, and fun day trips.

    It is possible to bargin down prices. But typically you'll only be able to bargain down the difference between the inflated price that person was trying to charge a western tourist (which not everyone does, by the way) and the price a local would pay (e.g., the real price). Cheers.

    #24 Posted: 8/1/2009 - 23:25

  • Tilapia

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    Something that's not usually discussed in relation to price jumps is the ever-increasing property values and tax rates.

    A good example here is Sangkhom. Since the Friendship Bridge in Nong Khai opened, traffic has increased along highway 211 and Thais have realized that this is a pretty cool place for holidays. As a result, property values have been boosted with a corresponding increase in property taxes. Even those business owners who own their properties and buildings outright (Buoy's Bungalows, for example) still need to deal with increasing operational costs. As a result, prices have had to increase. Mind you, standards have also increased. Even in the 90's one would rarely have gotten towels, toilet paper, or hot water in places like these.

    The same is true with Chiang Khan, as mentioned by Exacto. Taxes have increased wildly and this has lead to higher prices for tourists (though they are still quite inexpensive.) And if the government starts promoting Issan as a great place to visit (as it did with Pai, Phuket, Koh Chang, Samet, etc.) then you can expect costs in places like Chiang Khan, Sangkhom, Khong Chiam, and other nice spots to jump, as well.

    Thailand is still a bargain, though, as far as I'm concerned, especially the food.

    #25 Posted: 9/1/2009 - 02:42

  • Rufus

    Joined Travelfish
    22nd April, 2007
    Location Laos
    Posts: 962

    Travelrock, I'll back Wilko on this one. I have many friends who live or run businesses in Phuket. Please show us evidence to back your claim that it is easy to bargain down a room.
    I stand by my commet - Pattay has a lot to offer, and i don't mean to single males either.

    #26 Posted: 9/1/2009 - 07:51

  • khunwilko

    Joined Travelfish
    27th January, 2007
    Posts: 560

    TR – you just don’t get do you?
    The post is asking if there has been a CHANGE in the overall cost since the turmoil of December.

    Bargaining is done all the time – successfully by some not by others – BUT, it is the overall CHANGE that we are discussing nowhere do you address this.

    As for your ad hominem comments……more a reflection on your own ability to understand matters than anything else, isn’t it?

    #27 Posted: 9/1/2009 - 08:30

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