Originally Posted by DakotaDude
I have always been fascinated by the idea of traveling to Thailand. Could you give me an idea of costs for food, accommodations, car or scooter rental, and possibly recommendations as where to visit. I am more prone to the smaller cities or rural areas versus Bankok. What is the Thai currency, and to what major currency is it tied?
I will let Michael give you more accurate details since he is over there now, whereas I was there last in '05.
In general, things can be very inexpensive in Thailand, especially in the rural areas. Food in particular is very inexpensive, and one can have a very good meal for very few dollars.........that is, if you don't go for western food!
Accommodation price varies greatly, from inexpensive but clean youth hostel type for few dollars to first class hotels that can run thousands of dollars a night. You can have great selection, especially in Bangkok or any of the larger cities. Things tend to be much less expensive outside of Bangkok.
The currecncy is the Thai Baht, which is currently at 35 Baht to one USD. The currency is tied to the USD and the Japanese yen to some degrees.
even think about scooter rental in Bangkok! It is far too dangerous. The traffic is horrendous, and it used to be much worse! I call myself an aggressive New York City driver, and yet I am too afraid to drive in Bangkok. Now, if you were up in Chiangmai (which you should visit), the story will be different. Michael can tell you about that. I have read (I think in the Adventure Rider forum) where people go up to Chiangmai and rent motorcycles to tour the area. Chiangmai is in the mountain, and personally I would love to ride up there!
BTW, transportation is quite cheap in Bangkok, and so you shouldn't have to think about a scooter. Taxi is very inexpensive, but one should know the approximate cost for the ride (perhaps from your hotel) since prices are usually negotiated when you call a taxi over. Can't get the right price, then just send him on his way and call another! However, the most convenient method of traveling in Bangkok is the overhead train system. Price is great. Fully air conditioned, and you don't have to mess around with the extremely heavy Bangkok traffic.
You will find that Thai do not speak English, but you will not have problems communicating. People are extremely friendly, and will try their best to help. You will find people who can speak some English in the big cities and other tourist areas.