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Is Thailand Getting Too Expensive?


bberg

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The last year has changed many tings for many people living in Thailand. One and maybe a key element for foreigners are our value for money. The THB is strong towards many currencies, the pund is one currency that has taken a dip over the last year. The currency I represent is the Norwegian Kroner and like the pund it has fallen dramaticlly over the last year.

Yesterday I had a meal at The Bakery near Tepprasit rd down towards Jomtien. The price used to be 105 baht for an english breakfast but is now sold at 148 baht. A quick calculation gives>

Summer 08 105 baht was 1.50 punds January 09 148 baht is 2.96 punds That is a staggering 97% increase in price for the same meal if you buy you THB using punds.

I will not be back for a while when I pay London prices for a breakfast in Jomtien!

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It all depends on the currency, for the Japanese to be able to get a full English breakfast in Jomtien for about 400 Yen is incredibly cheap to them.

A beer in a bar in Tokyo will set you back 1000 Yen around about 370 Baht.

So a full English for 148 baht is excellent value.

What would a full English Breakfast cost you in a restaurant in England ? :o

Or Norway ? :D

But I agree, for many folks Thailand is now a much more expensive place to visit due to currency problems.

Edited by Maigo6
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Mai Go 6, can you fill me in cause I am no economic guru.

As a country very much dependant on exports and to a lessor degree tourism, why does the BOT and powers that be keep the Baht so high? I have heard the rumors that it's just the rich getting their baht out and then returning once it's on the cheap, but surely their is more to this?

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Mai Go 6, can you fill me in cause I am no economic guru.

As a country very much dependant on exports and to a lessor degree tourism, why does the BOT and powers that be keep the Baht so high? I have heard the rumors that it's just the rich getting their baht out and then returning once it's on the cheap, but surely their is more to this?

The Japanese currency is incredibly strong and they are also having really hard times at the moment too.

I heard somewhere that in Japan it was a case of Japanese investors getting out of the stock market and putting the money back into Japanese Banks that has created such a strong yen.

James, I'm as lost as you are mate...... :o

Edited by Maigo6
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For me, i have no choice really but to visit Thailand, so that my family can visit their family. Although i love Thailand, sometimes i wish i could change my holiday destination but that wouldn't be fair on the Mrs.

So what will i do? I'll carry on going to Thailand and having a good time but i won't splash out on luxury items that i usually would have.

It's the same for me here in Saudi. 6 months ago there was 7.4 Riyal to the Pound and now it's about 5.4. This has meant that many ex pats are not buying new cars and laptops and electronic goods etc. Say a car would have cost 100,000 Riyal, 6 months ago this would have equated to about 13,500 pounds, now it's 18,500 pounds. No thanks, i'll keep what i've got for the moment and the same ethos will apply when visiting Thailand.

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One thing Bberg. It's not the Thai bath that has increased, it's the pound and the krone that have decreased. Which means that your problem is not exclusively related to Thailand. It is exactly the same for every country. Everywhere you will go beside your home country will be a lot more expensive to you than it was last year. In this case, it's your currency, not the thai baht, that is to blame. The value you have lost is at home not here.

Yes the bath is (too?) strong but this is not new. It was even a lot stronger a year and a half ago if you compare with the Euro by example.

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The last year has changed many tings for many people living in Thailand. One and maybe a key element for foreigners are our value for money. The THB is strong towards many currencies, the pund is one currency that has taken a dip over the last year. The currency I represent is the Norwegian Kroner and like the pund it has fallen dramaticlly over the last year.

Yesterday I had a meal at The Bakery near Tepprasit rd down towards Jomtien. The price used to be 105 baht for an english breakfast but is now sold at 148 baht. A quick calculation gives>

Summer 08 105 baht was 1.50 punds January 09 148 baht is 2.96 punds That is a staggering 97% increase in price for the same meal if you buy you THB using punds.

I will not be back for a while when I pay London prices for a breakfast in Jomtien!

Is Thailand getting too expensive?? yes in many ways, the pounds just not worth <deleted> at the moment. For me it just means staying home more and adjusting to having less, as many of us will have to do!! :o

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Things have certainly become a lot more expensive in comparison with the UK.

First time here was in 91 or 92 when it was 85 baht to the pound. Everything appeared ridiculously cheap.

I started to live here full-time six years ago and bought a new honda motorbike to get around for 500 pounds, the same bike now costs 1000 pounds. For me, the last five years, or so, seem to have shown a massive cost increase in everyday living.

A weakening pound, strong baht, high 'real' inflation in Bkk (prices for so many things seem to have jumped up by a minimum of 50%), profit expectations from locals / businesses - make everything more expensive.

Too expensive? I can still live comfortably enough, but it isn't great value any more. Things change...

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Nickbk: Firstly, the currency here in Thailand is called the "Baht" not bath.

Secondly, Bberg stated; "The currency I represent is the Norwegian Kroner and like the pund it has fallen dramaticlly" so he is obviously aware that the decline in these currencies is the primary reason for the recent changes in exchange rate.

Anyway. For me (having my base currency as the UK Sterling) Thailand has become dramatically more expensive in recent years. I now pay a similar amount in going out i.e. drinking and eating here as I do in my home town in the UK. Also buying decent clothes here is now far more expensive than the UK.

Out of interest Britmaveric, to what are you referring when you say;

Still cheap as chips!!!!!
Edited by ashacat
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It really all depends where your income is derived. Mine being in Japan, I have no problems immediately. I have paid their crazy prices for years, yes 370baht beers etc.. so its still good to be on the other end now. Although I have noticed you lose track of what is happening with prices in your own currency and adjust your mindset accordingly. Continually converting to your own currency is the problem, armed with an old concept of what stuff really costs there NOW.

If anyone has the sure fire way to stay ahead of the artificially manufactured inflation curve then you are more than welcome to PM me with the details.....lol!!

OZ

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Renting an apartment and eating Thai food is still very cheap. Medical care is still relatively cheap as well however just about everything else has inflated dramatically. Movies, supermarket goods, pharmaceuticals, airfare hotels. I often end up spending as much or more than I used to in Farangland.

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Mai Go 6, can you fill me in cause I am no economic guru.

As a country very much dependant on exports and to a lessor degree tourism, why does the BOT and powers that be keep the Baht so high? I have heard the rumors that it's just the rich getting their baht out and then returning once it's on the cheap, but surely their is more to this?

The Japanese currency is incredibly strong and they are also having really hard times at the moment too.

I heard somewhere that in Japan it was a case of Japanese investors getting out of the stock market and putting the money back into Japanese Banks that has created such a strong yen.

James, I'm as lost as you are mate...... :o

The yen is quite strong now, and there are a number of economically-based reasons for that. And the pound is quite weak, although the reasons for the degree of weakness probably have more to do with hysteria than sound economics. But at least you can make a reasonable comparison between the pound and yen to explain where they are in relation to each other.

The baht, on the other hand, is much stronger than it should be given the economics and the political situation here. The baht should be weaker than it is, and the fact that is is not leads many to assume manipulation of it.

The Japanese will be able to weaken their currency, especially when other nations start showing signs of a turn-around, and the pendelum will swing back for the pound. But where the baht will go is anyone's guess. Quite a few pundits foresee a major and quick devaluation, possibly as soon as this year.

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Thailand is still dirt cheap if you stop acting like a tourist and go a bit native. How can you compare - Jomthien is a fully-fledged tourist destination to the cheapest possible breakfast in England.

Yeah, you can get 3 quid breakies in England - in some greasy cafe. Try though getting 3 three quid breakie at a fully-fledged tourist destination down at the beach in say the Isle of Wight or Brighton. Talking at least 5-6 quid.

Say you fancy fried rice in London - cheapest possible youre gonna find is another 3 quid and that's take-away (already cooked in heaps) in Bangkok is 50p! Cheap hotel in England = 2,500B. Cheap hotel in Thailand = 500B.

Live like a local and not a well-loaded foreign tourist and Thailand is real cheap. Example....small beer at Soi Nana = 100B. Local Restaurant small beer = 30B.

Edited by ThaiEye
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Yes, it's getting expensive. Several months ago, I went to the States for a couple of weeks and had Thai friends ask me to get things for them--a laptop computer, a digital camera and a few other things. I asked why and they said it was because they were cheaper!! I opted out of getting things because I was going to be too busy to do much shopping (I told them there was the difference in the electrical current--110 vs. 220).

They had checked this stuff out on the internet. It was always the other way around before.

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Still cheap as chips!!!!! :o

Are you sure about this bm?

I must admit I've lost contact with UK prices.

I think if you are in the farang scene then things are getting a bit pricey.

Perhaps we're at the top of a cycle and Thailand will start to experience a deflationary period at least amongst the farang sector.

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I went back home last oct for 3 weeks and theprices are crazy over there.yes,things like cheese are cheaper,but i wont pay more than 120 baht for 250grm of cheddar.still believe its much cheaper for me to live in pattaya than the uk.if i needed to i could go to live in khoen khen,korat,buriram,udon,nong kai etc etc and it is even cheaper there.

i have a great life here and if i need to pull my belt in i will.

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A weak pound; strong Baht and prices in LoS on the rise, yes its getting more expensive - but too expensive? That's got to be a personal choice.

For me, although I don't live in Thailand, I spend as much time there as I can and also have financial commitments there, and given my income is based solely in Sterling, things are much more difficult.

Hence the personal choice. A pound, or a baht, yen, dollar or euro can only be spent once and for me I still choose to spend mine in Thailand, so for me, too expensive - no, but more expensive and a cause for concern - for sure.

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Thailand is only 'cheap' if you ignore quality difference. In fact, it is a lot more expensive for a far lesser quality than for instance South Africa. Comparing Thailand prices to US, UK and European prices is ridiculous. Compare apples to apples.

Even SA, where the food, housing etc. are of a much higher quality than here, is cheaper than Thailand in virtually everything. And the salaries for comparable positions is about 3 times it is here, or more.

Edited by OlRedEyes
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Thailand is only 'cheap' if you ignore quality difference. In fact, it is a lot more expensive for a far lesser quality than for instance South Africa. Comparing Thailand prices to US, UK and European prices is ridiculous. Compare apples to apples.

Even SA, where the food, housing etc. are of a much higher quality than here, is cou have to start adding in heaper than Thailand in virtually everything. And the salaries for comparable positions is about 3 times it is here, or more.

I agree it's also an issue of value for money. yes Thailand's cheap if you are prepared to tolerate a poorer quality product and worse than bad service. But when costs increase, suddenly it doesn't look so good anymore.

Live over here long term and you are adding in visa, legal and medical expenses, suddenly it's not so cheap at all.

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I really should stop being surprised at the number of people who spend so much time on a forum dedicated to all things Thai and just want to say how bad everything is - but each to their own.

I think it is a relevant question and is actually comparing apples with apples - or Durian with Durian :o as you still need to eat, have somewhere to live and somewhere to crap, whether you live in Thailand, The UK, South Africa or Mars.

OK, mini rant over, back on track :D The cost is only one variable and is not the reason most people live in any particular place.

It is an important factor, but to me - in no particular order - the climate, the people, the stunning scenary, the food, the lifestyle - oh and the wife :D are all factors ranking above cost of living.

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I bought all my electronics in Aus before I left, I saved a small fortune by doing so.

The only thing I notice that is still cheap is taxis. PTL :D

40kms for 300bt !

Once again, just in the last 6 or 7 months, the little aussie battler, the Australian Paeso has dropped from 32.** to 24.**, straight up that has made everything 25% dearer. Interestingly fuel has fallen by about that much....so to fill up (& convert the tank back to Aussie $) I am still spending roughly the same amount. Its a bad thing to do, constantly think about the exchange rate, especially at a level of 32 for the Aussie, because that was too high. I remember years ago only getting 20 baht to the Aussie....so I guess its just how you look at it.

I know one thing, the cost of living in Australia is very high & I imagine GD that the price of some electronic gear there may actually be going up now, as it will be dearer to import with the fantastic new Australian Paeso. :o

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It's a mixed bag. For sure, many things are cheap. Example, the other day I put a new headlamp on top of my motorbike's regular lamp. I then took it to a shop to get it wired. The guys did a fair amount of intricate wiring. The bill was just 50 baht! I paid 100. Many stories like that.

On the other hand, electronic stuff is often more expensive here than, for example, the US.

There's a chain store there called Fry's in the US that has dozens of extremely cheap specials each week - computers, cameras, accessories, for about 1/4 of what they'd retail for in Thailand.

I don't know if this has been mentioned, but a BIG BIG reason the poor in Thailand have trouble digging themselves out of poverty is there are hardly any outlets for 2nd hand stuff. No thrift stores, no bulletin boards, no real classified ad sections in newspapers, no yard/garage sales, etc. Whether I'm flush or poor, I love to peruse bargains regarding 2nd hand items. I've gone to re-cycling places in northern Thailand, but bargains are hard to find. Usually, they'll ask full retail prices for old grimy items (metal, bottles, plastic junk, etc) - instead of the scrap price they should charge. Maybe because I'm a farang.

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