22 days. Bangkok and the South of Thailand. We will be getting to North Thailand in a few months. Until then, here are our overall thoughts on the parts we saw.
- Number of massages: 3 (1 for S, 2 for D)
- Number of times having laundry done: 4
- Number of runs: 10 (for D, S skipped out on one to go swimming in the ocean)
- Number of beds slept in: 13 (includes overnight train, overnight ferry, etc.)
- Water index: See below. We tracked the price of the same purchase (1.5 liters of water) across every town we visited in Thailand. If possible, we bought the water from a 7/11. For us, this became an indicator of the prices we would be seeing in this location. For example, we roll into Koh Tao and stop at the 7/11 for a water. The cheapest water is 20 baht versus the 13 baht we were used to paying in Bangkok. This allows us to get a feel how expensive other items will be in this location – food, lodging, etc.
- We used the current USD to Baht exchange rates (current as of 2/18/16).
- No, this isn’t actuarially sound.
- Deep water soloing in Tonsai.
- Caving in Khao Sok.
- Beach camping in Tarutao.
- Trail running in Koh Tao.
Least favorite experiences:
- Transportation to Krabi
- Pad Thai in Koh Lanta.
- Our proposed budget for this trip was $50 USD per day. We knew some countries would be more expensive and other countries less expensive. Thailand fell into the former category. We ended up spending $62.38/day in Thailand. Breakdown as follows:
- Some things are jumbled together. See: transportation that also serves as lodging (overnight train and ferry). Deal with it.
- Fees. I have not added all of these in (it is on my to-do list, but near the bottom), so it will increase. But hot damn, this is one area we were not prepared for. Tip – look for banks that offer to waive ATM fees (such as Charles Schwab). One of those things we thought about but didn’t really THINK about. One of our biggest regrets thus far.
- That sunscreen.
- Wow, the food is cheap. After a few weeks you get used to it, but the fact that we were able to eat so much delicious food each day for less than $14 USD/day (for both of us!) is amazing.
- Transportation was a real budget killer. The ferries to and from the islands were pretty expensive. Even more so due to our constant moving around. If we had stayed put for 5-6 days at a time instead of 2-3 days at a time and let those costs amortize (while I’m using business words…synergy), I imagine we would have been much closer to hitting the $50 USD/day mark.
- The Khao Sok tour package and deep water soloing in Tonsai (combined) averaged out to be $8.46 per day, which is a big chunk of the $50 per day we were trying to hit, but they were so worth it.
- Goggles. Add this to the list of ‘things I did not bring but I wish I would have’. Two years of constant triathlon training has made it impossible for me to be near water and NOT want to swim. As soon as we arrived in Koh Tao (our first island) I was regretting not bringing a pair of goggles. Not just for swimming, but snorkeling too. I ended up splurging and buying an overpriced pair on the island.
- Kindle. This was a bad day – the day the Kindle died. Turns out, the Kindle screen is fragile and doesn’t respond well to the pressure caused by jamming a water bottle into an already stuffed backpack directly on top of said Kindle screen. Also, Kindles are not available in SE Asia (at least at US prices). Rats.
- Underwear. Danielle thinks dry fit underwear (especially those at $15 a pop) are not necessary. I, however, love my dryfit underwear. Maybe as a compromise, we’ll say that the Target version is more affordable and does a fine job. No need to spend hundreds on underwear.
- External battery. This thing is a lifesaver. Momma Johnmeyer bought it for us for Christmas and I thought, “that’s a great idea.” Now that we are here I realize, “that’s a GREAT idea.” It’s already saved us a few times in a pinch when our phones were about to die and we had no idea where we were. Cathy FTW.
- Elephant Pants. How can you go to Thailand and NOT buy elephant pants? Also, since they are one size fits all, Danielle and I are able to wear the same pair (though not at the same time). They are a little long on her and more capri-like on me. We’ll let you be the judge.