$5 a Day Would Be Difficult

The Galare Guest House in Chiangmai

When I was in my twenties, someone published a series of books about surviving in foreign countries on the equivalent of $5 per day.  It might be possible to do that in Thailand, but it would not be easy. Western culture and easy-living tourists from Japan, Europe and the USA have inflated the prices of many things here. In the city, it is easy to find a hotel where the cost of a room ranges from $100 to $300.  Mom and I have been staying at guest houses where the cost of a room ranges from $30 to $50 per day. [The upper end for Bangkok and the lower end for Chiangmai.]

Typical Guest House Room

The guest houses all offer similar services: an air-conditioned room with two beds, a private bathroom with a western toilet and a shower with hot and cold running water, cable television that offers one or two English-speaking channels, and a small [dorm-sized] refrigerator.  Most have a desk (writing surface) and chair. Most have laundry services so clothes can be washed, dried, ironed and returned to the guest in one day. Some offer a hot pot so the guests can make their own coffee or tea.  All have some access to the Internet, but mostly on public computers with coin-fed, “pay-as-you-use” equipment.  Most offer clean sheets and towels that are changed daily. All the sheets and towels are white cotton. Minuscule bars of soap and individual packets of shampoo are provided… and toilet paper. Some offer breakfast, but very few have a restaurant at the guest house. The Galare does.

Mom having her morning coffee.

A note for my American friends: In these guest houses, the mattress are very firm.  There is no “give” to them at all, though some, like the Galare, have a mattress “topper” that cushions the firmness.  Now, the pillows… well, suffice it to say that I cannot sleep on them.  They look nice, but they are very firm… solid, in fact.  Mom and I bought our own early in this venture and have kept them with us from guest house to guest house. Something new that we found in Chiangmai: The practice here (as with our hotel in London and many “first-class” hotels everywhere) is to sandwich a very heavy blanket between two sheets.  I guess I can understand that in a country that has a cool climate [In London in April, it was great!], but here we have to crank the air-conditioner to a much lower temperature in order to sleep comfortably at night.  It is a puzzlement…


About ladypreacheratwork

For more information about me and my ministry in Thailand, please select the 'About' tab in the header above.
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One Response to $5 a Day Would Be Difficult

  1. Russell Bowden says:

    I think they sandwich the blanket between two sheets for sanitary reasons. They wash the sheets but not the blanket. But I could be wrong. I’ve been seeing this for some time.

    I enjoy reading about your adventures. Hope you don’t get tired of writing. –RB

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