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budgeting for fun

Posted by worldbound on 28/2/2011 at 09:05

Ok so I have everything figured out as far as costs go for rooms, food, transportation, airfare and everything else. They only thing I'm not sure about is how much to budget for fun! I want to do some cool things while I am in Thailand (1 day scuba, bungee jumping, Elephant park, visiting islands,...drinking) but as a backpacker I want to save as much as possible.

How much do you think is reasonable to budget for fun things to do?

Thanks

#1 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by ThailandDiaries on 28/2/2011 at 15:10

It is hard to be general as it depend on where in Thailand you are planning to go...
Elephant trekking in Khao Lak was around 850 Bt, bungee jump in Samui is 1500 B (incl pick up and drink) , diving is around 5,000 but it all depends on you experience , day trip to Phi Phi Don was around 1,000- 1,500 B food incl and snorkeling, thai massage is 200-300B for an hr. Now drinkssss- beers 80-120 B, G&T 140 up, wine 150 up. Buckets are popular option and cheep but often result in the worst morning after!!! You are given literary a bucket with something like a quoter of a bottle of local whisky and coke, lots of ice and straws, they should really give you free paracetamol too.

#2 ThailandDiaries has been a member since 31/1/2011. Location: Thailand. Posts: 32
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Posted by laurenladky on 28/2/2011 at 19:16

If you go to one of the more backpacker places (ie: Phi Phi, Phagnan, Railay, Koh Tao), you can get cheap long-tail boats around the island where you can snorkel. (For instance, on Phi Phi my friends and I each paid a long-tail driver 200 baht to take us around the island for the whole day) 

Drinks are also considerably cheaper in the backpacker areas. Indeed, if you don't mind an awful hangover, buckets are the best option. Or keep it classy and have some 711 beers on the beach. (a little over a dollar per beer) 

I bungy jumped in Chiang Mai and it was 1200 baht. That was low-season price. In CM you can book a cheap day trip that includes bamboo rafting, elephant trekking, hiking and swimming in a waterfall. Various tour agencies book these and I really did not think it was as touristy as anticipated! 

#3 laurenladky has been a member since 27/1/2011. Posts: 32

Posted by Krabiman on 28/2/2011 at 19:17

You can do snorkelling trips for 900 baht.

50 baht for beer in 7/11.

Out of every week budget for 3 expensive days and 4 average days. On your expensive days allow for an extra 1000 baht.

#4 Krabiman has been a member since 2/1/2011. Posts: 223

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 8/3/2011 at 08:08

40 baht for Heiniken at Carrefour!

And 400 for one of those day trips to Chicken Island, the ***** cave and a couple of other scenic islands in Krabi, which includes snorkelling!

Surely you're aware of that great value 4 Islands tour, Krabiman?

#5 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by CrankyCarrot on 8/3/2011 at 08:11

LOL - the **** in **** cave was censored by the site.

Let's see, how best to explain what that cave contains without using "offensive" language? Ok... the cave that has many "wooden phalluses" in it

#6 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 8/3/2011 at 10:50

Booze and women, those are the budget eaters here. Are you bringing a woman with you? Are you going to live like a monk (albeit occassionally drunk)? Do you plan on getting some backpacker nookie? Women here cost money. Simple reality - although if you're young and good looking and go into rural Thailand, you might get lucky. I even have to pay my wife!
Booze, again, in rural Thailand not too bad... but will still be somewhat of a budget eater. Hang out on beach locations, watch the price of everything go up. Simple math really.

#7 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by worldbound on 9/3/2011 at 00:15

@MadMac Well I won't be bringing women and I won't be looking for women while I am there haha. But... do men cost money too? :-D

Thanks for the advice everyone. It gives me more of an idea how to budget for the trip. I'm working overtime at home to help pay for my mini side adventures while in Thailand :-)

#8 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by MADMAC on 10/3/2011 at 09:30

I had a female friend come here Worldwide (I'm assuming you are a woman - if not, the answer to your question is yes), and she found a companion in about ten minutes. It was kind of funny actually. That guy was so happy, he literally kissed my feet for making the introduction after she left.

#9 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 11/3/2011 at 20:58

I think the price of booze only goes up if you insist on drinking it in bars - 7/11 prices are generally fixed or close to it across the country.

Singha for example, a small bottle, is about 36 baht. 700mls of Hong Thong whiskey is usually 160-180 baht. This is in Patong, Phuket - the priciest town on the priciest Island in Thailand... or at least one of the priciest.

I've travelled the southern half of Thailand fairly extensively (from Bangkok on down) and the price was always about the same in the minimarts.

Since you can drink in public anyway, you really don't have to spend a lot to booze it up with the locals. IF you're dead keen on getting hammered anyway, just gin it up in your room THEN hit the bars. One or two beers at 80 baht a pop won't kill your budget. Believe me - I consider a shoestring budget extravagant. Been having the time of my life on a fibre from a shoestring for almost eight months now.

Good fun doesn't cost that much money ;)

#10 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by worldbound on 11/3/2011 at 21:49

@CrankCarrot Thanks for that info. Those minimarts are something I'm glad you told me about. I usually don't like to get sloppy drunk, just a little tipsy. A little pregaming sounds like it will save me some cash if I feel like getting trashed (brings me back to my college days!).

@MadMac ah your assumptions are wrong! I am a guy! But regardless, getting laid or finding love is not even on my to do list for Thailand.

#11 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 11/3/2011 at 22:33

@Worldbound - I knew what you were hinting at all along. Most of the tourist spots I've seen are gay-friendly to put it mildly. In fact, as a straight guy, I've felt like I'm the odd one out in Patong more than a few times. I should probably stop taking short cuts through that gay street near Ratutit, but with all the one way streets in this damn town I don't have much choice.

I don't have a problem with it but some of the young fellas can be a bit touchy-feely, even when you zoom past at speed, lol.

#12 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by worldbound on 12/3/2011 at 04:49

@CrankyCarrot Well like I said, that is not on my to-do list... BUUUUUT, it might still be nice to take a stroll down Ratutit... just for the hell of it :-D

#13 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 12/3/2011 at 08:06

It's a soi/street off Ratutit - a couple of streets south of Bangla (non beach end). Look for the Paradise hotel building which looms over the area. Two streets have these big, plaster banner-looking things going over them. One street is sexuality-neutral, and the other is very much not.

Makes Oxford street back home (that's Sydney, Australia for me) look conservative - even during Mardi Gras.

I knew someone staying in the Connect Guest house and had the privilege of viewing some of the artwork on the walls. Probably one of the most humorous paintings I've ever seen hangs in the stairwell. Gay or straight - everyone needs to see that painting.

#14 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by thatvaletguy on 12/3/2011 at 15:37

If you find yourself in Sihanoukville, check out the Dolphin Shack. They offer a weekly Booze Cruise for $10 all day, see 3 islands off the coast and they have drink specials every hour. Just smuggle your own liquor on board. 0.75 cent Angkor beer isn't too expensive. I managed to fit three in my pockets, then later learned that people brought whiskey. FREE SHOTS!

#15 thatvaletguy has been a member since 25/10/2010. Posts: 14

Posted by MADMAC on 12/3/2011 at 16:52

"But regardless, getting laid or finding love is not even on my to do list for Thailand."

Well, for your everyday, normal guy on vacation, if he's lone wolfing it, then he's not likely to be celibate over a protracted period. Most men aren't built for that. I can't speak about gay guys - outside my experience. But I would assume that hooking up with a Thai of whatever gender is likely to cost money.

#16 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 12/3/2011 at 20:38

"I would assume that hooking up with a Thai of whatever gender is likely to cost money."


Likely, but not inevitable...

#17 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 13/3/2011 at 10:36

But for budget planning purposes...

#18 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 13/3/2011 at 13:55

So... um, I guess work out how many roots a month you need and factor in 35 bucks a pop, lol.

#19 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 13/3/2011 at 17:58

Closer to 50 nowadays, with the dollar being what it is... but yeah, that's the basic math of it.

#20 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 13/3/2011 at 20:53

50 would be for long time, right? Short time from what I understood (after asking out of curiosity) was 1000 baht.

http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=AUD&to=THB&view=1W

Aus exchange pegs the dollar at over 30 baht.

1000/30 = $33.33 or approx $35

Ah, the economics of 'boom boom'.

I was curious why so many Thai girls get into this line of work. Now seeeing is how the average daily wage is like 200 baht ($7US/aud) for 10 hours, I guess you can see why making 5 times that amount in an hour or so would be appealing. Especially if you've got sick relatives and buffalos and stuff.

This is a pretty loaded subject and I'm not looking to pass judgement or start online fisticuffs or anything, but those are the facts as I know them.

Please correct me if I'm wrong :)

#21 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 13/3/2011 at 23:58

I imagine the reasons are as varied as there are people involved in it - but at the end of the day, of course it almost always comes down to money. Same reason all of us work, more or less. I don't pass judgement. The girls have their reasons, and who am I to judge them?

#22 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 14/3/2011 at 13:30

Probably.

I wasn't suggesting people pass judgement on the girls - more just wondering if most were doing it out of choice or absolute necessity.

#23 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 14/3/2011 at 17:44

Well, I would guess most out of necessity from their perspective. If you have a couple of kids who need clothes, food, school... that's going to seem like necessity to a mother. Some do it for drugs, some do it because they're bored silly in the village and want to get out and this is the ticket. A lot of reasons I guess.

#24 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by worldbound on 14/3/2011 at 20:09

But the Thai police are pretty strict about this kind of thing aren't they? I mean if you get caught paying for services, you're kind of screwed right? Especially as a tourist? That's how I understand it.

#25 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by MADMAC on 14/3/2011 at 22:28

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. Man, that was a good one. Nearly fell off my chair.

#26 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by worldbound on 14/3/2011 at 23:01

@madmac haha ok maybe I was trying to be a little too diplomatic. So I'm guessing it's not enforced very well.

#27 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by MADMAC on 14/3/2011 at 23:20

Try not at all. I've never even heard of anyone getting prosecuted for buying nookie in Thailand. Now underage crap - OK different story. Guys do get prosecuted for that here, fortunately.

#28 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 15/3/2011 at 11:44

What's with all the young mum's with kids and no support from the father?

Thai guys aren't the biggest advocates for 'protection', right? And then there's no laws regarding child support or anything so the mother just gets lumped with the baby 99% of the time?

Have I answered my own question?

#29 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by CrankyCarrot on 15/3/2011 at 11:49

@Worldbound - if the enforcement of anti-prostituion laws was going on around here, nobody told Bangla Road yet, that's for sure.

#30 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 15/3/2011 at 15:48

Cranky
You haved to remember that Thailand is not a society of law. Law here is far more flexible in its execution than in western societies. That can be a good thing (sometimes our law enforcement agents are too pedantic and lose sight of intent of the law, vice it's letter) and sometimes that can be a bad thing. We see both elements in Thailand. At the end of the day, it is what it is, and when someone comes here they are either down with that or they shouldn't come. Cause it ain't going to change for us. How we evaluate their systems doesn't matter because we don't get a vote.

#31 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 15/3/2011 at 22:30

But enough of us and our cultural influence (through movies or just the presence of increasing numbers of tourists) might bring them around to our way of thinking. Or just a bit closer to it.

Aren't they striving to have a less leaky legal system? Aren't they getting slowly closer to it?

There's some progress towards order going on surely?

I love how you can pretty much just point over a traffic cop's shoulder and say "Hey! What's that?" and then drive off sans-fine without any repercussions. That's awesome :)

But I don't like the idea of serious crime affecting good people in bad ways when it doesn't have to be that way. I've spoken to enough Thai citizens to know they appreciate justice as much as we do, and are capable of perfectly rational, logical thought processes. It's just going to be a matter of time before they get their s--t together...

...I think

#32 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by worldbound on 16/3/2011 at 00:12

How well are drug laws enforced in Thailand? I assume you'll get in a lot of trouble for trying to cross the border with drugs. What about using in country though? No that I ever would, but I'm curious simply for academic reasons.

#33 worldbound has been a member since 21/2/2011. Posts: 23

Posted by MADMAC on 16/3/2011 at 00:37

Worldbound
You want to lived out you sexual fantasies here? Nobody cares what you do - except perhaps some uptight people back in white world. You want to engage in drug activity, my advice is don't do it here. They don't have as much of a sense of humor about that **** here as back home.

#34 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by MADMAC on 16/3/2011 at 00:39

Cranky
I hope the place stays the way it is. I didn't move here in order to have the same rules and mores as we have back in the land of feminists and the moral majority. They stay there, I stay here, and we're both the happier for it.

#35 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 16/3/2011 at 11:57

Hmmmmm....

#36 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 16/3/2011 at 13:43

In fact, I was talking to a friend of mine here the other night on this subject. We were having a couple of beers, enjoying the band, and I didn't have to worry about getting stopped by the cops on my way home. Now, I know that most of the drivers out here after about nine are drunk. So I have to drive accordingly. And if you don't like that, then don't drive here at night. I'm not a big drinker, but that's not the point. I like the lessaiz faire attitude, the relaxed atmosphere. Sure, I would like to be able to walk down the sidewalk without dodging vendors stalls, but not at the price of having German-like order imposed. That's the charm of living here. If I wanted German-like order, I'd live in Germany.

#37 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 18/3/2011 at 01:14

So there's no vendors selling t-shirts that say "iPood" tackling passers by on the streets of Germany? No wonder they get so much done in a day.

A while back I slunk up to a bar in Rawai and struck up a brief conversation with a man who looked not unlike Jabba the Hut, albeit in human form. He was knocking back shots of Sangsom or something and chartered boats for a living. I asked him how business was and his reply, as he stared off at nothing in particular, was "Miserable."

Since he'd obviously been here a while (at the bar, as well as in the country), I asked him what the story was with drink-driving and the law. "Err, I dunno... it's mandatory?" he slurred back before swallowing another shot and wiping off his mouth with a gimpy arm.

I remember being appalled at the time, but after all this time it feels like I was making a big deal out of nothing. I think I'm in for a massive reverse-culture-shock punch to the face when I head back to Australia where there's hard and fast rules about everything.

I guess that's when the fun stops and the safety begins.

#38 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 18/3/2011 at 10:10

It's a compromise. Those same lack of standards that drive me crazy in the western world cause fires, driving fatalities, and other horrible things here in Thailand. But you can't have it both ways. You want western order, you have to have western rules that are enforced. I'm not saying one way is better, I'm saying I personally prefer to live in a more laid back environment and deal with the consequences. I will say that to do so, you'd better have some personal discipline, though, or it's awfully easy to turn into Jaba the Hut.

#39 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 18/3/2011 at 12:14

On balance, I think I prefer it the laid back way too... as long as I have my wits and reflexes about me.

Squash, swimming, jogging and gyming keep me from morphing into Jabba.

#40 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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Posted by MADMAC on 18/3/2011 at 20:48

Dancing and boxing for me. But the beer... in hot weather I'm a sucker for beer.

#41 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957

Posted by CrankyCarrot on 19/3/2011 at 10:34

In hot weather, like that experienced by Phuket yesterday afternoon (wasn't there supposed to be a cold snap across ALL of Thailand?) I'm a sucker for slumping back in a chair and barely being able to move, jaw hanging open.

#42 CrankyCarrot has been a member since 24/3/2010. Location: Thailand. Posts: 662
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