IN a new TripAdvisor list, Bangkok has emerged as the cheapest destination for southeast Asian travelers this holiday season.
According to the report, the average cost of one week in Bangkok including hotel, airfare, meals, and tours is 43,541 baht (about US$1,221).
Within that figure, an average night in Bangkok will set you back about US$56, an average meal is about US$22, and an average tour will cost about US$64. The report added that the least expensive week to visit the Thai capital in the coming year is the week of January 16.
Data was also tabulated for other cities in the region including Hong Kong, Seoul, Tokyo, and Singapore. Among the cities featured, Cebu Island, Bali, and Luzon were recorded to be the cheapest in weekly costs following Bangkok.
Janice Lee Fang, communications director for TripAdvisor in Asia-Pacific, said Bali garnered the most interest among southeast Asian travelers looking to go on holiday during this New Year period.
She added, “This report comes in handy for travelers who are planning breaks in the New Year, be it for Chinese New Year or Valentine’s Day.”
However, the list curiously excludes some of Asia’s other top sites including Hanoi, Siem Reap, Mumbai, Kuala Lumpur, and Bagan, some of which are notably cheaper than Bangkok.
While a night in a five-star hotel in Bangkok floats around the US$130 mark, a night’s stay in a luxury property in Hanoi will set you back about US$112. Meanwhile, in Kuala Lumpur, you’ll only need to shell out about US$90 for a night in a five-star operation.
But Bangkok’s rise as a tourist destination is unbeatable. This year, the city is projected to welcome 21.5 million overnight international visitors compared to last year’s 18.2 million, making it the world’s most visited city after London, based on the MasterCard Global Destinations Cities Index.
Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, MasterCard chief economist, told Reuters, “It isn’t a flash in the pan. Bangkok is in a strong position to be the top destination city for a long time. There’s the value for money, especially for visitors coming through high-income countries.”