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half year travelling in SE Asia

  • molko

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2013
    Location Romania
    Posts: 3

    hi guys ! i'm planning a half year off travelling in SE Asia from december. still faraway i know, but started planning. Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, i want them all in. not chase for checking tourist attractions, but to sit back and relax enjoying food, beaches, nature and most important learning about people's lives. so my first question that comes to mind is regardingthe budget. would be USD 8k be enough for this 6 months trip?

    #1 Posted: 17/1/2013 - 11:41

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  • ryder80

    Joined Travelfish
    19th December, 2010
    Posts: 83

    hi, on my 3 month tour, thailand, maylasia, singapore, laos, cambodia, i spent about $4,000 canadian, and that includes 1 flight from hong kong to bangkok, singapore to bangkok, and bangkok back to hong kong, so if your not planning to fly around, you'll do just fine as well...

    wish i had 6 months, you should include more countries if you can... i wanted to do every one, but 3 months, heck no...

    #2 Posted: 17/1/2013 - 13:37

  • ericgsmith

    Joined Travelfish
    1st September, 2012
    Location New Zealand
    Posts: 23

    Yeah pretty jealous of having 6 months! I'd visit Indonesia as we if I were you. Spend maybe 1 month in each country. Keep it flexible so that if you don't like a country / place you can just move on, and likewise if you fall in love with a place you can stay for as long as you want. Travel overland to save money. Only other thing would be to maybe plan to fly into Thailand so you get the 30 day visa rather than the 14 days you get overland.

    That's around $45 USD a day so I would say you will have no trouble keeping to that. Most days you will spend less, some days you will spend more especially if flying.

    #3 Posted: 17/1/2013 - 15:08

  • 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

    I'm afraid what's enough depends on your travel style.

    - Are you going happy with cheap accommodation, maybe with shared bathrooms, or are you likely to want air conditioning?
    - Do you plan expensive activities (elephant trecking, scuba diving) and plenty of drinking?
    - Does the 8k include your main flights?
    - How much will you be moving from place to place? (from your post I'm assuming not too much).
    - How much time will you be spending in the more expensive countries? (for example, in Hong Kong I spent as much in a week as I did in a month in Thailand)

    For example, while Ryder80 above spent 4000 dollars in 3 months, I spent 4000 pounds in 3.5 months (which at the time was about 6000 dollars) including my main flights as well as a few internal flights. Why the extra? Maybe I stayed in slightly more expensive hotels than Ryder80. Maybe I spent more time in more expensive destinations (like HK and Singapore). Or maybe I'm just not as good at bargaining.

    Yes, it's perfectly possible to spend six months in the region on 8000 dollars. It's possible to spend less. But it would be awful to get out there and then discover you didn't have the money to do things that you really wanted to do or to have the sort of trip you really want to have... so since you've got plenty of time for planning, I'd suggest you come up with a rough wishlist of where you'd like to go and what you'd like to do, and then cost it out. And then you'll know for sure how much money you'll need - and you may be pleasantly surprised that you need less than you think.

    #4 Posted: 17/1/2013 - 15:39

  • molko

    Joined Travelfish
    14th January, 2013
    Location Romania
    Posts: 3

    yeah i know i asked for a rough estimation on a budget. i am not pretentious on travelling so things like shared bathroom don't scare me :) but i've seen you can find pretty decent acomodations at a cheap price, more if i will travel with somebody would be cheaper sharing costs. i know there will be days i will spend more cause what's the point travelling there if i put a zipper on my wallet, but of course there will be other days doing nothing at the beach and drinking a beer or two. of course except for some cheap tickets bought in advance for travelling between those places, no fixed plan, allowing myself to fall in love with some places like you guys said before. the future is yet to be written

    #5 Posted: 17/1/2013 - 17:47

  • DLuek

    TF writer
    Joined Travelfish
    19th June, 2008
    Location Thailand
    Posts: 1106
    Total reviews: 14

    Based on your tone and the fact that you want to keep it flexible, I'd say $8000 will be plenty. With 6 months, you'll be able to do something on the expensive side (a few budget internal flights, trekking tours, etc. here and there) but should be able to counter that by taking a week to just kick back at a cheap but interesting destination. Some places are more expensive, like Bangkok, many of the Andaman islands and Hanoi to name a few, but even in those you can find solid accommodation in the $10 to $15 range with private bathroom if you know where to look - and in Bangkok it doesn't have to be on Khao San Rd either. And then, in a lot of cheaper destinations, you can score really solid accommodation for $10 or less. The great thing is that many of those cheaper destinations are also some of the most interesting - accommodation is just cheap because of high competition among guesthouses (examples: Sukhothai, Ayutthaya, Cat Ba Island, Nha Trang, and many more).

    If either of these interest you, you could always consider doing some volunteer work or staying in a temple to learn meditation for a few weeks or a month. Good cultural experiences that can also save you cash - just as long as saving cash isn't the only reason you're doing them.

    I also always advise people to make sure you have money set aside for after the trip. Put a good $1000 in a separate account (or in an old book on your Mum's bookshelf) for when you get back. I once returned from a long trip with like $19 to my name, and I'll tell you, it doesn't make the reverse cultural shock / depression from an amazing trip ending any easier.

    #6 Posted: 17/1/2013 - 22:34

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