It will soon be vacation time. If you are looking to do something out of the ordinary but still not break the bank, you might consider southern Thailand as a destination. While its true that the airfare may be marginally more than a domestic trip, this is more than compensated for with the cost of excellent hotels and cheap, tasty food.
Southern Thailand has a number attractive and hospitable resort destinations. Hwa Hin and Cha Am are favored by the Thai Royal Family and the setting is very cosmopolitan with big hotel names ( with low prices compared to the North America and Europe). One can also expect a far higher standard of service and amenities that are really only found in Asia. Other Thai beach destinations include Ko Samui, Phuket Island and the Krabi pennisula. All of these may be accessed via the international gateways of Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur.
Fly to Krabi via a low cost local airline such as Tiger Air from Singapore. Round trip from the gateway will be about $100 Round Trip ( one class of service, brand new A320′s). In Krabi you can stay in the town or out at one of the island or penninsular resorts which are reached by boat. In town, a hotel similar to the standard of a Holiday Inn will cost you @ $30 a day double occupancy with breakfast. At the name resorts, expect to pay @ $60 a day with some meals. Meals at local seafood restaurants ( the local lobster is legendary) will run as high as $10 if you can swing it. The food at street stalls is generally safe and delicious and can be bought for just a few Baht. Pad Thai, the national noodle dish which costs about $12 or so in Oklahoma, costs a dollar on the street in Krabi.
In addition to cheap lodging and food, Thailand’s coastal resorts offer a number of excursions which take the visitor up front and personal with exotic coastal islands, clear turquoise water for snorkeling and pristine white sand beaches. The entire trip to these distant and friendly lands will cost less than an excursion to Hawaii.