Zihua vs. Thailand

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Escrito por Scott desde (?) el día martes, 27 de julio, 2010 a las 04:30:16 horas :

For the last three weeks I've been staying at a decent, clean, professionally run hotel, that has all the amenities I care for. The room isn't huge, but big enough for me. It has a desk and relatively comfortable chair where I've got my computer set up, a TV with scores of international channels, everything from Fox News to Russia Today, European ones like France 24, TVE Spain, and RAI Italy, and from various South East Asian countries. Free in-room wireless Internet, that worked great the first two weeks, has been a bit flaky the last week though. A telephone that my family can call from Canada for 2 cents / minute, a safe, a fridge, and a balcony with a little chair and table. Also has an air conditioner that I can use any time I'm in the room, works fine. There is also a western style toilet with a toilet seat, for what it's worth. It is 15 minutes walking from the beach, but very close to bars and nightlife, and a big shopping centre with a grocery store. I can pay with a credit card, and I trust them with it. Cost? $18.61 US / night (600 baht). In Phuket.

The last time I was in Zihua, I stayed in a dive hotel called Hotel El Dorado, behind the Scotiabank, but on the other side of the road. Cost was 250 pesos / night ($19.60US at todays exchange rate). For this in Zihua you can get a place that is still a bit removed from the beach, but close enough to nightlife. Walking around Zihua centro in the early morning is definitely more sketchy than Phuket. In Zihua you get a small and very basic room with a bed, a little TV, a little bathroom that may or may not have a toilet seat, not professionally run, rather family run. Getting in and out of these little $20 / night class family run hotels can be difficult in Zihua since the families often go to sleep and lock the front gate. If you come back from the bar at 2am, you might have to stand out on the street for 10 minutes ringing the bell, until they wake up. Which has happened to me on several occasions. Also the A/C may or may not work properly, but in any case, in a $20 / night class hotel in Zihua, they don't like you running it all the time. At several of the little hotels in Zihua, they charge around 50 pesos / day or so for A/C. So that 250 peso room could have been had for only 200 pesos / night, without the air conditioning. But those $20 / night class rooms in Zihua are very unlikely to contain a fridge, desk & chair or Internet. Also, the floor in one of those places may or may not be tiled.

I'm a bit surprised to have seen more than once recently on this board someone suggesting that Thailand is a competitor with Mexico. This place is so far away from Toronto that I can't imagine very many people coming here for only a week or two. The flights are very expensive, and would eat up any savings that might be had over Mexico if you're only coming from a week or two. But in terms of those longer term travellers, Thailand, it would seem, has a lot to offer over Mexico. But I guess for those from California it is a bit closer, since from Ontario or the mid-west USA, we still have a 5+ hour flight just to get to California.

Anyway, I share some of those sentiments that Mexico is not really a bargain anymore. But the primary reason I didn't go back to Mexico this year is because of the drug war.

One of the best things about Thailand is that I don't speak the language, don't understand the news, pretty much have the ignorance is bliss feeling that so many have when travelling to Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo. A state of emergency? So what, Bangkok is hundreds of miles away, what do I care, everything looks peachy keen, nothing out of the ordinary, here in Phuket. Unfortunately I can't think like that in Mexico anymore. Prisoners being let out on a day pass to go assassinate 17 people at a party? Seriously? I can't believe what things have come to in Mexico, I hope it gets better. But until I start to see a change of direction, from downhill to slowly recovering, I will continue to explore these other options such as Thailand.

(Sorry for the rant, it is hard to access Rob's board from Thailand, and I didn't get a chance to participate in the recent "Interesting Results" thread, nor the original associated thread).

By the way, I'm pretty sure I stayed in Waikiki for about $20 / night too when I went. Backpacker hostel, just a few minutes walking from the beach. Had a great time. Also spent a week in San Francisco for $25 / night, in the middle of the Tenderloin district but whatever, it's not like I spent the days inside the room. I'd rather spend $20 / night and stay 3 weeks, rather than $60 / night and only stay 1 week. But I recognize that I'm in the minority here.

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