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The financial meltdown

Posted by somtam2000 on 10/10/2008 at 16:39 admin

You'd need to be living under a stone ... or on a blissfully disconnected southeast Asian island ... not to be aware of the financial meltdown that's currently underway.

So an open question to those planning a trip in the near future -- has the market meltdown affected your plans?

Depending on your home currency, you could be doing pretty well out of this, but if you call Australia home for example, your holiday to Thailand just got 30% more expensive as this currency chart illustrates:

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Posted by daflj on 10/10/2008 at 17:12

It's not really made any difference to me and my partner. I'm not sure whether we'll be getting more currency for our £s but the tickets were paid for some time ago so there's no stopping us now.

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Posted by jimsparadise on 10/10/2008 at 19:49

I've traveled 3 straight years for 3 months each time and planned to continue that routine until I just moved there. Unfortunately, the combination of high flight prices and market conditions will probably keep me home working this year. Currency conditions have slightly improved for the Dollar since my trip this last winter. Simply, when you're trying to retire or at least semi-retire, losing even 20% of your savings or net worth has a dire effect on travel. From the Thai perspective--look out---between the political problems in the country, which hardly ever affects tourists, but can harm tourism, and this massive loss of funds worldwide---tourism is going to suffer heavily.

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Posted by swag on 11/10/2008 at 05:37

My wife and I travel to s.e. asia for 1 month each year. Next feb we will be travelling to Thailand and Cambodia. We would generally use some domestic flights as we could afford it and to save some time. Yesetrday I got a quote to fly 3 sectors using the Bangkok Airways discovey pass coupon system. Two months ago I priced this at about $700 aud all up.This has now risen to just over $1000 aud on the current conversion rate.While this won't stop us travelling we will probably travel by bus BKK-Trat and bus PP-Siem Reap to save some cash.All up this it pretty worrying times for the tourist revenues of these countries and political instabilities will only further put doubt in the minds of first time travellers to the region.

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Posted by SBE on 12/10/2008 at 03:27

I'm off to BKK tomorrow for my annual six month wander in SE Asia. Neither the political unrest in BKK nor the financial crisis have put me off going!

However I just looked at the exchange rates on this site

Very strange discrepancies between the different currencies ... the Aussie $ and the Canadian $ were almost on a par with the US $ when I was in Thailand earlier this year (all about 33Baht/$) Now Canadian and Australian currencies are both down to about 22B whereas the US $ is over 34B/$. The UK pound seems very low too.

Stock markets are falling everywhere but I thought the huge economic mess in the US was what precipitated this crisis? How come the US dollar seems to be holding up so well in relation to other currencies?

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Posted by exacto on 12/10/2008 at 09:10

I wonder the same thing as SBE. If the meltdown in the US precipitated the crisis, why is the US dollar appreciating relative to other curriencies? Any econ majors out there wish to comment?

Will look forward to hearing updates and insights from SBE over the next six months. I'd particularly like to hear how you are handling visa issues given the tighter enforcement of the 30 day/onward flight rules by Thai Immigration. Have a great trip.

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Posted by Thaiman on 23/11/2008 at 03:09

Just returned from Thailand and certainly noticed the difference in exchange rates.This year 24Baht and the last couple of years up around the 30.Fortunately don't have to spend much on accomodation as my wife has family around the place.Prices have cerainly risen in the last year as well.Can certainly imagine how some people would find it more difficult.

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Posted by neosho on 23/11/2008 at 06:43

I just bought a ticket for Thailand a few days ago. Cost $1000 US. I'm retired and go every winter so the political situation does not bother me. The dollar and the yen have both been appreciating which helps me in asia. Investors have been buying treasuries and dollars for "security" in these unstable times. But, given the way our government has been spending money lately, I am sure we will see a reversal of this as the economic problems start to stabalize. Hopefully our new president will take us in a different direction. Both economic and politically.

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Posted by somsai on 23/11/2008 at 09:32

As Neosho says dollar is security. There's no market or bond that feels as good as cash right now. The NICs have taken more of a beating than the developed countries. One weirdness, the Lao kip is still strong against the dollar, up over 10% since March 07. I think Laos is affected more by China than Vietnam or Thailand, currency wise that is.

I'm still headed out on my planned trip, but I'm assuming very little income for at least a year, time to hunker down. The high season this year might not be affected, but I'll bet the low season 09 is dead, and winter 09 very slow.

I'm with Neosho on his/her last two sentences. I spent a lot of hours working to make it happen. My step is lighter.

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Posted by fondo on 23/11/2008 at 14:19

I was fortunate enough, and old enough, to change a fair bit of AUD into TCs when I got about USD.95 to 1AUD. This is going to almost last me, I'm out of Cambodia tomorrow after 3 weeks and off to Thailand and Singers for the next week. Lady Fondo is likely to bring the credit card into play there, but I'll still be able to breathe.

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Posted by somtam2000 on 20/2/2009 at 09:16 admin

If you could be jetting off in the next hour, to anywhere in the world, for a week, where would you be headed? Cost, travel time etc don't matter...

Me I'd be headed to Pokhara in Nepal, for a solid week of trekking and floating in that glorious lake.

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Posted by MADMAC on 14/6/2009 at 14:26

I bought a house here... and paid cash for it... so it hasn't hurt me much. I do worry a little about the dollar losing a lot of value, but frankly I live very comfortably and it wouldn't be much of a sacrific to change my lifestyle to something normal.

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Posted by BruceMoon on 16/6/2009 at 10:03

Gee, somtam...

As I said on the 'other' post, like the supermodels, I'm not sure I'd be bothered getting out of bed for a week.

But, if I had to, I'd probably go:

Winter - skiing at Hakata or Niseko, Japan
Spring - bike riding, Guanxi Province, China
Summer - motorhome-ing, South Is, kiwiland
Autumn - trout fishing, Bright - Jameson region, Australia

Yep, I'd probably get out of bed for those.


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Posted by BruceMoon on 16/6/2009 at 10:07

But, SomTam, re: GFC, an article in an OZ paper today may be of interest...

The writer points to a Mastercard survey of consumer confidence in the Asian regions' nations. While the confidence appears holding in China & India - possibly suggesting better times for Australia than presently - the survey suggests consumer depression for SE Asian nations.

To my mind, the bellweather nation for SE Asia will be Malaysia.


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Posted by MADMAC on 16/6/2009 at 13:17

Hmmm, OK, since we're talking fantasy and have gotten off track:

Summer - Dancing salsa in Havana, Cuba.
Fall - Deer Hunting up in Northern New England.
Winter - Hunting Al Shabab in Mogadischu.
Spring - Enjoying psychotic Thais during songkran.

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