Price & Income Comparison

When we first arrived in Beijing, everything seemed a bargain. Then we traveled to rural China and realized that the Chinese must think the capital expensive. By the time we reached Hong Kong, we too thought $2.25 seemed an exorbitant price to pay for a beer in a restaurant and Beijing seemed cheap again. We began to become interested in compiling a list of similar items available in all the countries we visited. Comparing the prices we paid for them with a country's average income can give some idea of relative prices and values. All values are converted to US dollars.

Country:
USA
China
Hong Kong
Macau
Vietnam
Cambodia
Myanmar
Thailand
Laos
Malaysia
Singapore
Egypt
Date Taken:
Sept
2001
Oct
2001
Nov
2001
Nov
2001
Dec
2001
Jan
2002
Feb
2002
March
2002
Feb
2001
April
2002
April
2002
May
2002
Gross Annual Income per Capita in 2000*
$34,260
$840
$25,950
$14,200
$390
$260
n/a from the World Bank but we hear about $250 per year.
$2,010
$290
$3,380
$24,740
$1,490
McDonalds Value Meal - Big Mac, Fries and Soda
$4-5
$2-$2.25
$3
$2.25-2.50
no Mc Donalds here but KFC was $1.93
no Mc Donalds here but Lucky Burger was $2.50
no McDonalds here but Tokyo Fried Chicken was $.60
$1.97-2.21
nothing even close to fast food here
$1.68
$3.11
$2
Can of Coke - 12 ounces
$.50-.75
$.36-.60
$.50-.85
sorry
$.33
$.40
$.39
$.30
$.32
$.34
$.56
$.45
Bottle of water - 16 ounces
$.50-1
$.24
$.50
$.15-.40
$.20-.30
$.12
$.12
$.12
$.21
$.26
$.56
$.22
Bottle of local beer - 20 ounces
$.75-1.00
$.36-.73
$1-1.50
$.46-.50
$.40 -.53
$1.23
$.46-.85
$.90 - 1.86
$.68
$2.40
$2.50-3
$1.30-2.20
Gasoline low grade - 1 US gallon
$1.60 -2.00
$1.20-1.30
$5.11
sorry
$1.29
$1.66-1.85
sorry
$1.25
$1.08
sorry
$2.74
$.84
Private double room w/ bath, two star hotel
$40-60
$5-30
$30-40
$13.75
$6-$10
$4-8
$6-10
$4-10
$1-5
$5-12
$20-25
$5.50-13
Casual dinner and drinks for two
$20-45
$6-12
$15-30
$12-20
$4-11
$7-$12
$1.50-3
$3-8
$3-5
$5-10
$10-30
$2.50-9
Internet - 1 hour
sorry
$.24-2.42
$.64
$.88
$.25-1.25
$1-$1.50
no internet here!
$.50-3
$1-4.50
$.75-1.25
$1-2
$.90-2.20
Local cinema - 1 evening ticket
$5.50-9
$1-2
$8-10
$3.75
$1
$.73
$.09-.39
$2.30-3.50
sorry
sorry
$3.5-5
$1.56

These are the prices as we could best determine them and for the great percentage we believe them to be accurate. In places like China and Vietnam foreigners can expect to pay far more than a local for the same goods and services. In fact we've seen a lot of the same thing in certain tourist towns in the US but no names here. Also a factor in the price in many countries is a travelers skill at the art of the haggle.

*Gross National Income data taken from World Bank National accounts data at www.worldbank.org.

 

   

 

home | itinerary | notes | gallery | nuts & bolts | food wonders & blunders
prices & incomes | conversations | links | about us

site by snow day media