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Thailand should really be called Teflonlandia. It doesn't seem to matter what happens here: tsunami, political upheaval, strange murder of tourists, and people keep coming back. Actually it's not hard to understand. The food is good, tourist infrastructure is good, English is widely spoken, and there's a diversity of offerings: beaches, outdoor sports, culture, shopping. That's not overlooking the fact that tourism to Thailand is down nine percent this year, but wethinks recovery should not be far off.
Right now one RMB gets you about five Thai baht. That means a good-sized bottle of Singha beer costs RMB 11, a Coke is RMB 4 (that's expensive), but a Thai massage is about RMB 60, and a plate of pad thai is RMB 16. And all of these are in a tourist area, although not in Bangkok, so a bit of searching might uncover lower prices.
Thailand currently remains under military rule, but the average visitor will not notice. When I landed in Bangkok, there were so many arrivals waiting to be processed through customs, other passengers and I were shunted to a second overflow area, something I've never seen before.
This is the end of the shoulder season for Thailand, with high season beginning on about December 15, so great deals on air tickets and hotels won't be available much longer. Considering there's at least a 30-degree Celsius temperature difference between Bangkok and Beijing right now, that will unlikely be an impediment for many travelers.
Don't put much credence in the recent label that one book slapped on Thailand, calling it "one of the most dangerous tourist destinations on earth." Maybe that's because so many people feel that laws of physics or of the Kingdom don't apply to them while they're here?
The road seems flat and safe here for the moment. More from Thailand on Thursday.
Photo: Travel Moments
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