What It Costs
Despite rapid development, Thailand is still a relatively cheap destination. You'll spend the most getting here: at this writing, round-trip fares start at around $1,000 from the West Coast of the United States and $50 or so more from New York. Traveling within Thailand is a bargain (though becoming less so). You can cross Bangkok in a taxi for $5, while a third-class train to Ayutthaya, 45 miles away, costs $1.50. Budget accommodation runs from as low $4 a night, and even five-star is available at $250. One of the reasons people dine out regularly is the cost: a street-food meal might set you back $1.50, while a blow-out Thai restaurant meal with a beer would be about $15. High-end international dining starts at around $40, though imported wine could easily double that.