Southeast Asia forum

Budget question

  • Busvcur1

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2014
    Posts: 2

    Hi all

    I have decided to quit the rat race and take myself off to explore south east Asia.

    I have countries that I will visit before and after but I am specifically looking at the Thai, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia (taking about 10 months for these countries I think?)

    I have been reading extensively but just wondered what budget is realistic! I've seen everything from $15 to $50 per day! for a daily budget

    A bit about me
    -1 person
    -social drinker but not "on it" every night probably a couple of beers most days though and the odd party night
    -street food is fine
    -Happy with basic accommodation small dorm that's clean (not party hostels)
    -I am planning on doing all the local attractions :) even though I may not know what they are yet :) , short hikes, must sees etc
    -For really expensive experiences, diving, liveboards, Angkor Wat entrance fees, hot air balloons etc I am going to work them out separately so the attractions part I am looking for an idea of an "experience" budget for day trips etc
    -I have already got a fair way through looking at long distance travel costs so this need not be included
    - visas will be separate

    With that in mind what is a realistic budget? Looking at hostel bookers I think I could budget around £10 per day for accommodation??? Does that sound realistic? Or are these pretty terrible in reality (they look pretty good on pictures)??

    Daily experience/tours
    Day to day travel (tuk tuk/bike rental)

    I basically don't mind not living it up but I don't want to constantly stress that I can't have the extra drink etc Any other hints tips.....

    Thanks very much

    #1 Posted: 21/8/2014 - 22:31

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  • magicFly

    Joined Travelfish
    13th July, 2014
    Posts: 60
    Places visited:
    At least 62

    I would calculate 30 EUR a day. I normally have a few beers at night, basic accommondation and do some of the attractions. 30 EUR a day work fine for me. Most of the time I spend even less (also depending on the country). Somedays its a bit more. But this budged is a good average.

    #2 Posted: 22/8/2014 - 01:21

  • antoniamitc-

    Click here to learn more about antoniamitchell
    Joined Travelfish
    13th May, 2012
    Location United Kingdom
    Posts: 436
    Total reviews: 3
    Places visited:
    At least 39

    This question has been asked and answered about a million times already on this site. See, for example:
    etc. etc. etc.

    The really short answer is: you can get by on $20 but will involve roughing it and making some sacrifices. Give yourself a budget of $30 and you'll have more fun (and more beer). Based upon your description above, you're unlikely to need more than that unless you want to upgrade to flashbacker / more midrange accommodation. I think Philippines is slightly more expensive than the other destinations you mentioned, so maybe add another $10 pd for the time you plan to spend there

    If you need more than the above, you can find more posts using the search function above (the search function is your friend) or have a look at the finance and money section of the forum

    #3 Posted: 22/8/2014 - 01:44

  • daawgon

    Joined Travelfish
    17th April, 2007
    Posts: 1065
    Total reviews: 2

    You will spend twice as much in large cities and resort towns as you will elsewhere, and holiday periods are also expensive. I didn't realize that the Philippines was so expensive, but Malaysia and Indonesia are also not dirt cheap (they're more developed). Indochina is the cheapest, and this is where you'll find the true bargains. Get off the tourist trail (not always easy for a visitor) and you can stretch your daily allotment much further.

    #4 Posted: 22/8/2014 - 11:49


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6956
    Total reviews: 10

    I am assuming you are not factoring in things like transportation costs, visa expenses and other such costs are part of this calculation? IF that is a safe assumption, then the big budget eaters are:

    1. Women (If you are a woman disregard).
    2. Booze - which you alluded to. Doubles or more the price of a normal meal.
    3. Accomodation. I would say 500 - 700 baht a night gets you a decent place. In the boonies most places under this are short time hotels. So if you don't mind comings and goings all night, then it won't matter. Sadly most such places are sterile without much character. on the beaten path you have some cheap guesthouses though, and you sound like beaten path is your intent. In that case, I'd guess 500 a night would do you fine. I would say if you strip away the movement / visa / super fun expensive activities, then 1,000 baht will do you, except for point 1. That will raise costs significantly.

    #5 Posted: 22/8/2014 - 12:00

  • Busvcur1

    Joined Travelfish
    21st August, 2014
    Posts: 2

    Thanks all for the replies

    magicFly: cheers for the info it is always good to get a response knowing sounds like that is the ball park to plan for

    : the links were perfect, apologies for not searching before asking (I thought I had, in my defense it was very late/ or early depending on how you look at it [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img] and I had searched another forum and posted here) I feel foolish as I often use the phrase google is your friend [img]smileys/smile.gif[/img]

    daawgon: thanks I am still in the initial stages as I am trying to figure out how long I need to work for before quiting but I am finding info on the Philippines and Indoneasia alot harder to come by!

    MADMAC: yep you are right I think I can research a fairly accruate big hitter budget (although it will take time) it was more the day to day stuff.
    I guess I am like most people in that I want to see some of the tourist trail (mainly historical sights! and some experiences etc) but the thought of being just in tourist areas doesnt apeal at all! I do feel I need to have some experience of them in order to verify that I didnt like them for example the storie on the origin of the full moon parties sounds like my thing much more than the party as they are now! I will go, I will experience it and then I can make a first hand opinion. To be honest I am not at all sure I will like Thailand (well I am not sure i wil like the tourist thailand) and have been searching for some areas that are not so much beaten track (or at least less off to the side of the track:) ). I think I will love Burma but got to get there soon!

    Thanks for the info and fortuntaley I wont have to worry about 1 taking my budget (I am a woman)

    #6 Posted: 24/8/2014 - 15:19


    Joined Travelfish
    6th June, 2009
    Posts: 6956
    Total reviews: 10

    You got the right approach. Tourist Thailand is about beaches and hedonism for the most part. The there's the "cultural tourist". They are mostly interested in nature, architecture, and general sight seeing. Very few people are actually interested in the culture - that's a lot of work to be truthful. Language is a challenge there as well. They more interested in quirky historical culture, but not contemporary culture. If you are interested in that, it's a whole different approach. IF you get here and find the hedonistic doesn't appeal to you, PM me. I live out here and so my life is very much removed from the tourist life style.

    #7 Posted: 24/8/2014 - 20:16

  • goonistik

    Joined Travelfish
    7th January, 2010
    Location Philippines
    Posts: 560
    Places visited:
    At least 9

    The Philippines cost will be roughly comparable to Indonesia. US$30 is doable even in Metro-Manila and Cebu but $35-40 is probably a more comfortable figure. There are some areas where $20-25 will be enough. Some resort areas will be pricey, so I can understand why Antonia Mitchell thinks $40 is the safer bet. It also depends on your activities. There are some places where hiring a boat to go island hopping can be pricey.

    Try googling for "pinoy traveler" and the travelogues written by Filipino backpackers and travelers should pop up.

    See some here:

    #8 Posted: 25/8/2014 - 02:34

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