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Butch

What is your Exchange rate "tipping point"?.

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We are currently seeing some pretty bad news regarding USD/AUD/CAD and GPB vs the baht. sadly, the signs are that it is still going to get worse, with predictions of 35 / GBP and lower over the coming Q3 and Q4 of 2019.

When it reaches parity (1:1) with the Sterling, I'm going to sell my arse in Boyztown. 3K a night sounds pretty damn good, even if it means wearing a daiper for the rest of my life.

For many long term visitors and Expats , the situation is becoming rapidly untenable. I expect we all know guys who have cancelled their trips for 2019 and beyond (some on this forum) because p4p is cheaper elsewhere. The RP (Republic of the Philippines) is a cheaper destination if p4p is your one and only aim, with a half decent GFE built in. Currently running at 65 peso to the GBP and LT rates of between 2500 php up to 5000 php for a gogo girl, it effectively almost halves the cost of the equivalent of Thailand. If you can put up with the abysmal infrastucture you're halfway there. Given that you can get a years visa on arrival if you are prepared to take a bit of a chance at immigration, the smart money would be on the RP capitalising on this particular chain of events.

Also, it is possible to get p4p for even less than that. In Manila you can hook up with a girl in a Cowboy Grill or even a regular bar for less without any barfine. However, I digress.

My personal tipping point, the one where I (even as a non monger) throw in the towel because the value is not there anymore is rapidly approaching. 38 baht to the pound will see me no longer visit Thailand, because in my opinion, there is better value to be had elsewhere. I will miss seeing some friends, and may shorten my visit to a few days even if I do go there, but it is very unlikely.

Without bemoaning the expense due to a weak £ and strong baht, even drinking a draft beer which is the bottom end of the drinkers menu at 90 baht is no longer a cheap option.

With the tough Visa regs, increasing costs, decreasing levels of service and the white farang being viewed with even more contempt than he ever was in the first place, it is no wonder why there are people leaving and businesses going to the wall.

Kudos to all you guys weathering the storm, stand fast, but it is going to get a shite sight worse in the coming months if reports are anything to go by.

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30 minutes ago, midlifecrisis said:

Regarding your second paragraph...

please no visuals.

ūüôā

I'll also need something to bite on.

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This evening a pal of mine told me the GBP hit 38 B today. That's in the booths not the banks where its even worse.

I adjusted the balance by not tipping in the bars I visited. I got no comments from the staff but if I had of done I'd just have said 'Sorry, England money down, no can tip. Falang now have small money'. When you tell a girl who you normally buy a couple of drinks for and give her a 100 baht tip that you can't afford it reality must hit home. Especially when they realise that you mean it!

Perhaps the message might get upstairs but I won't hold my breath.  But my money is more important to me than is the money the bars make or the girls take home.

There is little financial justification for the over priced baht and we must let those who control it know as much in no uncertain terms.

Boycott the rip off joints and patronise the value for money places. I've read that 13% of Thailands income comes from tourism and a sight more than that finds its way up to the boondocks where the bar staff come from.

 

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I use US dollars, not pounds, so I suppose I may be in somewhat¬†better shape. ¬†Still, I‚Äôm not sure what my ‚Äútipping point‚ÄĚ might be. ¬†It‚Äôs not really costing me much to be here, so the only thought going through my mind:, from time to time, is whether I could live in similar circumstances elsewhere in the world and at what cost. ¬†It‚ÄĚs not hard to imagine. Spain? France? Mexico?¬†Costa Rica? Panama? ¬†There‚Äôs no real reason I have to be in Thailand.

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41 minutes ago, yogi100 said:

This evening a pal of mine told me the GBP hit 38 B today. That's in the booths not the banks where its even worse

Well the Yahoo number broke under the 39 baht/GBP barrier yesterday, which would certainly put it there in the old bank booths.  I might do better with Transferwise but if I SWIFT some money over it isn't going to be good. I see it recovered a bit, something upset it yesterday, possibly the discussion that whoever Boris thinks he is, there isn't a new EU deal going to get served up. Got an electric bill behind me, a somewhat cheaper one than normal (in baht), but nevertheless its about  £100 for the month. I haven't hit the GGBs for a spell, may do it this coming week, but a non barfine night out usually costs me 6000-7000 baht. I don't see the girls being sympathetic in the slightest to the  £'s demise. It actually makes me more irascible when confronted by their games. Hide the coins, bring the change very slowly in the hope he leaves, blatant scrounging. If I give a nod to a LD request and a 200 baht thimble of water appears I could explode like a NK missile! 

I could well be looking at the time to call it a day too,  I drink too much on a night out. I don't see the price coming down in the GGB of Pattaya, the rents will go up, the price of booze will go up, girls expectations will go up. When prices start to put the Japanese and Koreans off we will really see a drop in bar numbers, they will all end up like the Russian places. Supported by true 2 week millionaires only. 

The 13% tourism isn't made up of a lot of sex tourists Yogi, it is mostly hordes of Chinese. 

I wonder if my Mrs would believe I was in the UK if I actually flew the other way? 

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2 hours ago, yogi100 said:

There is little financial justification for the over priced baht and we must let those who control it know as much in no uncertain terms. 

I've read that the Americans think the opposite, and have complained that the Baht is being artificially held down. 

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If I was to take a girl from a WS gogo say 1000bf+4000lt+1000 drinks,that seems to be the minimum from WS now days from what I read at today's rate of 34:80baht for one euro it works out at 172euro.just saying.

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Seeing the USD hovering at just above 30 baht has me concerned. For the cost of my flight, lodging and two weeks overseas, I can get my kids, their spouses and myself tickets for a cruise somewhere.

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2 hours ago, Bazle said:

I've read that the Americans think the opposite, and have complained that the Baht is being artificially held down. 

Most Americans probably have no opinion whatsoever about the baht.  Unfortunately, Trump seems to think he dollar is too strong.  So I don’t expect much in the  way of dollar strength while he is in office.  Maybe the dollar is doomed, in any event? I’m sure the money printing will continue.  

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3 minutes ago, js007 said:

Most Americans probably have no opinion whatsoever about the baht.  Unfortunately, Trump seems to think he dollar is too strong.  So I don’t expect much in the  way of dollar strength while he is in office.  Maybe the dollar is doomed, in any event? I’m sure the money printing will continue.  

 

Yes,  a low dollar is bad for those who travel/live abroad.  But it is good for most American businesses.  And that is what is important.  Inconvenient for some of us, but good for the country.

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21 minutes ago, BigusDicus said:

 

Yes,  a low dollar is bad for those who travel/live abroad.  But it is good for most American businesses.  And that is what is important.  Inconvenient for some of us, but good for the country.

Great point. We tourists are the least of the economic puzzle.

28 minutes ago, js007 said:

Most Americans probably have no opinion whatsoever about the baht.  Unfortunately, Trump seems to think he dollar is too strong.  So I don’t expect much in the  way of dollar strength while he is in office.  Maybe the dollar is doomed, in any event? I’m sure the money printing will continue.  

It isn't doomed. It is the primary reserve currency but as Bigus says Trump would like an even weaker dollar to help American business, It also should help companies on US soil so it is an incentive to come back.

Money printing is another issue.

I listen to FED chairman Powell yesterday and he was asked about the strength of the dollar. His response was that FED policy is about the overall economy and the Treasury is responsible for currency policy. I understand his point but interest rates have some effect on currency I should think. Perhaps I can be enlightened on this area. I am good in some investment areas but far from an expert on monetary policy in global economics.

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56 minutes ago, BigusDicus said:

Yes,  a low dollar is bad for those who travel/live abroad.  But it is good for most American businesses.  And that is what is important.  Inconvenient for some of us, but good for the country.

It's painful to watch the recent fall in the USD, but that pain is somewhat mitigated by climb in value of my investment portfolio. As you posted, the low dollar is good for business. Hopefully my realized gains when I do sell for living expenses will more than offset the increasingly poor exchange rate.

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23 minutes ago, forcebwithu said:

It's painful to watch the recent fall in the USD, but that pain is somewhat mitigated by climb in value of my investment portfolio. As you posted, the low dollar is good for business. Hopefully my realized gains when I do sell for living expenses will more than offset the increasingly poor exchange rate.

Amen. 

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16 minutes ago, helloitsme said:

I'm in the middle of a month trip. Fortunately I changed a load of sterling at the start of my trip, at, from memory, 39.8ish. 

My first longer trip was at 45 or so. Before that I was a 2 week millionaire for many years... and long for 60plus again!!!

These days, what's changed? 

Gone are the barfines and short times from gogos.  Hello thaifriendly. Short times are now afternoons, not evenings, and mainly with regulars who I know "deliver", although now the gf takes care of those needs. (Gf (a relatively new development for me!) works, often from 10am until 11pm, so I am free during the day and early evening)

Gone are big spending nights out in gogos. I might visit gogos say 3 times a week, but it's one or two, for a solitary drink, not 4 or 5 for several. 

Gone are the schweppes  manoa, or coke light at 140b in some places. Instead I, as a relative non-drinker, buy a draft beer at half the price, and it sits untouched infront of me. If I'm with drinking friends, they have it.

Gone are multiple lady drinks. Tequila is banned. Occasional ladydrinks if a girl is good company, and I'm getting my moneys worth. Tips are now just the lose change, unless there are 10b coins involved. 

Gone is taking laundry to the little lady in her shop. I now use her 30b machine twice a week... no, I dont iron it, so maybe I look a bit scruffier...!!

Gone are the daily back or foot massages. Now twice a week, and 20b tip, not 100. My regular massage girl has an aussie bf and understands exchange rates, and is just grateful for the custom as things are slow.

Gone are the afternoon Starbucks with friends. Cheaper (and better) coffee to be had elsewhere.

Gone is eating out daily. Even catering for one person, I can eat cheaply in the condo, although the menu is a bit similar from day to day. Yes, I do still eat out, but its thai cart food, rather than top, or even middle end stuff.

Gone is the 24hour aircon.  If I'm alone, its windows open and fans on. Fortunately I get a sea breeze, can open doors at both ends of the condo, and have flyscreens. Yes, I use aircon to sleep, but at 26, not 24 degrees.

Gone are the baht bus rides for short distances (I've never used motorbike taxis). I walk, with obvious health benefits. Gone are the 19b ice cream sundaes from Burger King at the end of walks.

Sounds like I am a real cheap Charlie. 2 years ago I stayed in town for 5 months, and was averaging 90k b a month for everything, about 2k sterling. Ive still got 2k sterling, but need to cut 10k baht from my budget. Its doable, but is it as enjoyable?

What's the next thing to go? I'm looking at cheaper accommodation for next winters trip.  Currently paying 16k for a nice 1 bed seaview condo. I know I can get a studio without a sea view for half that, but....

Tipping point? Not sure, but if it hits 35 I'll be seriously thinking about it... but I said that about 40...!!!

Not at all. Only a fool doesn't live within his means. You also highlight something I consider essential. You bring your fun with you. It doesn't take money to guarantee you have a good time. You might long for the 60 baht per days but it doesn't prevent you from enjoying what you can. When you can't you adjust. Sounds like a healthy outlook on life.

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1 hour ago, BigusDicus said:

 

Yes,  a low dollar is bad for those who travel/live abroad.  But it is good for most American businesses.  And that is what is important.  Inconvenient for some of us, but good for the country.

Good for American businesses, but only to a point.  If they keep it up and continue to destroy the dollar’s value, at some point the rest of the world will have had enough.  And when the dollar loses its luster, so to speak, its days as a reserve currency will be numbered.  Then what?  Big trouble.  We’re beginning to see that now.  Didn’t Russia and China just make a deal to trade in their own currencies?  

I think the Romans once tried to print more and more money by diluting the silver in coins.  Didn’t work out too well.  Ditto for the Weimar Republic in Germany.  

 

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19 minutes ago, yogi100 said:

But as you can imagine financially that was pretty dire

Hang on there.... my early trips were about 1982. I too remember the low number  of baht to £. It was far from dire! I wish I had taken notes but everything was dirt cheap. To the point I didn't even think about what I spent. The people were very happy to sell you things and hadn't developed a rip-off or greedy attitude. Seem to remember big bottles of beer in hotels at 25 baht, meals for pennies. A night out at beer bars and you couldn't spend 500 baht! Fried rice, a big lobster and a few beers about $20 in Phuket!

Edited by jacko

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Yogi and MLC. Thanks for your posts. They were both sensible, to the point and both hit a lot of nails on a lot of heads.

Sent from my Nokia 6.1 using Tapatalk

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13 minutes ago, jacko said:

Hang on there.... my early trips were about 1982. I too remember the low number  of baht to £. It was far from dire! I wish I had taken notes but everything was dirt cheap. To the point I didn't even think about what I spent. The people were very happy to sell you things and hadn't developed a rip-off or greedy attitude. Seem to remember big bottles of beer in hotels at 25 baht, meals for pennies. A night out at beer bars and you couldn't spend 500 baht! Fried rice, a big lobster and a few beers about $20 in Phuket!

You hang on. Your memories are obviously not the same as mine. Why do you think my pal and I ran out of money? It was because it was a lot more expensive that we'd bargained for, that's why.

The package holiday we'd gone on cost us around 550 quid.

A small Kloster beer in a hotel was 45 baht, a small Singha was 35.

A small Singha in a BB was 30. In one of the few GGBs like Caligula it was 40 baht. I do not recollect draught beer being sold.

A simple fish dinner with rice in a cafe with the big chromium plated lorry outside and where the fancy Lobster place is now was 30 baht.

A BF was 100 from a BB. From Caligula it was 150.

A girl wanted 300 - 500, although they stayed till the bars were about to open the next day.

The hotels wanted 300 to take a girl back.

We did a lot of drinking and being young men we took a girl every night.

Neither of us were stupid with money but without that Visa card we'd have been skint a week earlier than we expected to be.

 

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1 hour ago, helloitsme said:

I'm in the middle of a month trip. Fortunately I changed a load of sterling at the start of my trip, at, from memory, 39.8ish. 

My first longer trip was at 45 or so. Before that I was a 2 week millionaire for many years... and long for 60plus again!!!

These days, what's changed? 

Gone are the barfines and short times from gogos.  Hello thaifriendly. Short times are now afternoons, not evenings, and mainly with regulars who I know "deliver", although now the gf takes care of those needs. (Gf (a relatively new development for me!) works, often from 10am until 11pm, so I am free during the day and early evening)

Gone are big spending nights out in gogos. I might visit gogos say 3 times a week, but it's one or two, for a solitary drink, not 4 or 5 for several. 

Gone are the schweppes  manoa, or coke light at 140b in some places. Instead I, as a relative non-drinker, buy a draft beer at half the price, and it sits untouched infront of me. If I'm with drinking friends, they have it.

Gone are multiple lady drinks. Tequila is banned. Occasional ladydrinks if a girl is good company, and I'm getting my moneys worth. Tips are now just the lose change, unless there are 10b coins involved. 

Gone is taking laundry to the little lady in her shop. I now use her 30b machine twice a week... no, I dont iron it, so maybe I look a bit scruffier...!!

Gone are the daily back or foot massages. Now twice a week, and 20b tip, not 100. My regular massage girl has an aussie bf and understands exchange rates, and is just grateful for the custom as things are slow.

Gone are the afternoon Starbucks with friends. Cheaper (and better) coffee to be had elsewhere.

Gone is eating out daily. Even catering for one person, I can eat cheaply in the condo, although the menu is a bit similar from day to day. Yes, I do still eat out, but its thai cart food, rather than top, or even middle end stuff.

Gone is the 24hour aircon.  If I'm alone, its windows open and fans on. Fortunately I get a sea breeze, can open doors at both ends of the condo, and have flyscreens. Yes, I use aircon to sleep, but at 26, not 24 degrees.

Gone are the baht bus rides for short distances (I've never used motorbike taxis). I walk, with obvious health benefits. Gone are the 19b ice cream sundaes from Burger King at the end of walks.

Sounds like I am a real cheap Charlie. 2 years ago I stayed in town for 5 months, and was averaging 90k b a month for everything, about 2k sterling. Ive still got 2k sterling, but need to cut 10k baht from my budget. Its doable, but is it as enjoyable?

What's the next thing to go? I'm looking at cheaper accommodation for next winters trip.  Currently paying 16k for a nice 1 bed seaview condo. I know I can get a studio without a sea view for half that, but....

Tipping point? Not sure, but if it hits 35 I'll be seriously thinking about it... but I said that about 40...!!!

Great post and brings up the question. Its not the 'Tipping Point" rather than when are you going to change your spending habits and can you handle a holiday if you have to make some saving?. There are so many ways to change your spending without down grading your holiday but I accept for some it wont be easy. I have met people who refuse to eat Thai food. I love my condo living in Pattaya and it halved the cost of staying in a hotel. I could go on but I am sure that almost everyone could cut back if they truly wanted a Pattaya holiday. I am in such a good place that I hadnt even considered a tipping point although I admit I was horrified at the airport rates a week or so ago. 

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Halfway through the first of two monthly trips this year.  Have quickly padded my Thai bank account with enough baht for probably even two monthly trips next year also.  Having just turned 67, I do not wish to plan Pattaya trips further than that.

Guess I will ascertain my situation around this time next year with regards to health, my finances, the Pattaya scene and the exchange rate then, to see if I will proceed further.  Next year will be my fourth year of trips and I am realistic enough to know that the "good life" cannot go on forever.

So in answer to the thread, my (unknown)  tipping point may be reached next year, if the deterioration continues at the current level, but it remains only one element in a number of considerations.

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2 hours ago, yogi100 said:

You hang on. Your memories are obviously not the same as mine. Why do you think my pal and I ran out of money? It was because it was a lot more expensive that we'd bargained for, that's why.

The package holiday we'd gone on cost us around 550 quid.

A small Kloster beer in a hotel was 45 baht, a small Singha was 35.

A small Singha in a BB was 30. In one of the few GGBs like Caligula it was 40 baht. I do not recollect draught beer being sold.

A simple fish dinner with rice in a cafe with the big chromium plated lorry outside and where the fancy Lobster place is now was 30 baht.

A BF was 100 from a BB. From Caligula it was 150.

A girl wanted 300 - 500, although they stayed till the bars were about to open the next day.

The hotels wanted 300 to take a girl back.

We did a lot of drinking and being young men we took a girl every night.

Neither of us were stupid with money but without that Visa card we'd have been skint a week earlier than we expected to be.

 

Well it is a long time ago for me and I had started working in the Middle East, so I had a bob or two and compared to Abu Dhabi where I was a sight cheaper for a beer, Back then I remember the flight was a major component and a reason many didn't go so far afield. And what crazy person was paying the hotel to take a girl back? (Joiner fee) Everyone used the Nana in Bangkok, no charge. First trip I brought a Bangkok girl with me. I got hit a couple of times in Pattaya for joiner fee, but I soon changed hotel. (Pattaya Tower, they were twats, and The Merlin, 500baht, now Hardrock). I was about 28 so rarely without company myself. I still remember it being a cheap destination, not as you make it. Most of the prices you quote there are still buttons compared to now! Sounds like you underfunded yourself, plenty of young lads in Pattaya running low on money, dodged a few myself!

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