Monday, 2 January 2012

The Cost Of A Wonder

What does a Wonder cost? Not in terms of construction or maintenance, but for me and you to visit? Some, as you would imagine, cost more than others. Very often it depends on exactly what you want to do there. In this post, I will outline how much visiting each Wonder has cost me, with it being kept in mind that I have tried to experience each Wonder fully, with cost not being a deterrent. The cost of buying the model Wonder is not included and transport is only included when the Wonder requires an extra effort of transportation to visit. I will also add what I think the minimum cost to visit the Wonder would be, if all you wanted to do was have a look around.

It should also be noted that many of these figures are not exact, with some relying upon memory and others being loosely converted into pounds from the original currency.

1. The Sydney Opera House

Evgeny Kissin Piano Recital: £59
Couple of beers during half time break: £9
Crap Tour (booked online with 15% discount): £20
Total: £88.

Minimum cost to visit: Free. You don't need to do the rubbish tour, you can walk around the outside of the building, a little bit of the inside, for free.

2. The Marina Bay Sands

My share of a twin room for one night: £91
A few beers by the infinity pool: £20
Avalon nightclub entry: £40
Two beers at Avalonh: £20
Casino losses: £25
ArtScience Museum entry: £12
Access To Cantilever Deck (as a non-guest): £10
Total: £218

Minimum cost to visit: Free. You can walk about the base and admire it, though it looks better from a distance anyway. If you want, you can walk about the extensive foyer for nothing; only a visit to the cantilever deck costs and probably isn't essential (though the view is nice).

3. Borobudur

Entry for foreigner: £10
My half of a two hour tour: £5
Sunrise access: £12.50
My share of a twin room at Manohara Hotel (with unlimited access to Borobudur): £26.50
Total cost: £54

Minimum cost to visit: £10 entry for foreigner (£1 if you're Indonesian). You can't really see it from outside the grounds so need to pay to get access.

4. Petronas Towers.

My share of twin room at the Traders Hotel: £54
Beers at the Traders Hotel SkyLounge: £8
SkyBridge and Observation Deck Tour: £10
Total Cost: £72

Minimum cost to visit: Free. You just need to go to the park outside and look at it.

5. Shwedagon Pagoda.

Entry fee (twice): £6.50
Tour: £3
Total: £9.50

Minimum cost to visit: £3. Although you can see it without accessing the site, you really need to go in, costing $5, or about £3.

6. Ananda Temple/Bagan

One-time entry to overall site: £6.50
My share of horsee and cart for the day: £7
Bicycle hire for two days: £2
Total cost: £15.50

Minimum cost to visit: £7.50. Upon entering Bagan, whether by boat or bus, the $10 (£6.50) entry fee is mandatory, though this effectively lasts as long as you stay around. Seeing it on foot is impossible, so bike hire of a day is another £1 (though one day is not enough). Minimum cost therefore, £7.50.

7. Bodhi Tataung Standing Buddha

My share of a tuk-tuk to the site, twice (there's no other way to get there): £8
Total cost: £8

Minimum cost: £8 or less. By yourself, £8 for a tuk-tuk ride, though you may be able to haggle down if you try hard. Access to the site is entirely free.

8. Angkor Wat (I'm only taking into account the costs incurred for Angkor Wat itself, not the day we explored further afield temples).

Seven day pass: £39
My share of a guide for a day: £8
My share of a tuk-tuk for the sunset: £1.50
My share of a tuk-tuk for the day's tour: £5
Bicycle hire for two days: £2
Total cost: £55.50

Minimum cost: £20.50. It's $30 (£19.50) for a day's pass, and another £1 for bicycle hire (there's no way you're going to get there on foot), so £20.50.

9. Banaue Rice Terraces.

My share of guide for three day trek: £40
Total cost: £40.

Minimum cost: Free. Just turn up in Banaue and you can walk around to your heart's content.

10. Ayutthaya Historic Park.

Two audio tours: £4
Bike hire for a day: £1.
Total cost: £5.

Minimum cost: Free, at least during the time I was there. I think it usually costs a small amount, maybe up to £2, to access some of the temples, but due to the aftermath of the flooding access was free for my visits. Bicycle hire isn't essential, just convenient.

11. The Temple of the Emerald Buddha.

Entry fee (twice): £16
My share of a 45 minute tour: £5
Total cost: £21

Minimum cost: £8. You can't really see it from outside the walls of the Grand Palace, so the entrance fee is necessary.

So, my total cost of visiting all the Wonders so far: £587.50.
Minimum cost of visiting all these Wonders: £57. You see, it's possible to travel on a budget. If you don't eat, sleep, and can teleport everywhere.

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