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Finance and money

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2 people - US$3,500 - 3 months?

Posted by luchy1309 on 28/3/2009 at 19:12

My husband and I are going to be in Southeast Asia from the beginning of June till the end of August. We're planning on traveling around the most that we can (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam).

Do you think with US$3,500 we can make it? Or is it not realistic to think we will be able to wander around all these countries?


#1 luchy1309 has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by rsyamil on 28/3/2009 at 22:05

does that include air ticket? If it doesnt then I think should be enough.

lets say
accomodation cost you 10 dollars per night, then for 90 days it should be - 900 dollars.

Visas and stuff - 150 dollars

Food, beer? - 15 times 90 = 1350 usd

flight tickets in SEA - 500 usd maybe, you can choose to trvel by land, its cheaper.

souvenirs? - 100 dollars

spa/massage? - 100 dollars

total 3100 usd. Rough estimate though

oh i forgot tuktuks cost

#2 rsyamil has been a member since 28/3/2009. Posts: 1

Posted by chrispyrolls on 29/3/2009 at 00:40

hi - it all depends on how you want to travel around i suppose... what do you expect to pay for accommodation for example? my wife and i spent $1500 in 3 weeks in Vietnam, didn't buy any souvenirs, places we stayed at were between £25 - $60 a night, did the trips we wanted to do, and ate and drank like kings (and queens)... local food mostly with a few splurges...

obviously you can spend $10 a night but if you were in Hanoi that would probably mean a dorm room - if you are in Don Det in Laos then you can crash in a hut for $3 a night... trips can vary in price too ... you can do halong bay for anything from $40 to $200 for example

hope it helps


#3 chrispyrolls has been a member since 2/11/2006. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 197

Posted by amazon_blonde on 29/3/2009 at 07:39

$3500 USD for 2 people for 3 months works out to about $40 USD per day, if the tickets are already paid for.
Sorry, but I don't think that's at all reasonable, unless you're prepared to sleep in dorm type accomodation or bungalows with shared bathroom, eat street food only, travel on only the cheapest buses, and really not do anything. I might be wrong, but if you're married, I expect this isn't the type of trip you have in mind.
Particularly in Thailand, this would be very difficult budget. I can't imagine where you'd sleep for $10 a night in Bangkok, for example. The islands aren't cheap any more either.
It helps that you're going in low season, so your costs will generally be less than ours, particularly for accomodation, but I think you'd be happier if you planned on about $60 per day. Even then, it doesn't include any flights within SEA or gifts/souvenirs, diving, etc. You could be tempted to spend more on accomodation as well.
See my also previous post on this topic: https://www.travelfish.org/board/post/financemoney/5812_mr-and-mrs-backpacking-on--8000

#4 amazon_blonde has been a member since 20/12/2008. Posts: 116

Posted by luchy1309 on 29/3/2009 at 16:15

Thanks everyone so far for your messages. They have been really helpful.

Indeed our budget does not include our air ticket, so the 3,500USD are to spend it there.

We are willing to stay at budget but somehow comfy places, clean bed, private bathroom. I don't know if we can achieve that with US$10-US$20?

Eating street food is no problem for us, I love this kind of food, but would from time to time try something different.

Does anyone know if there's possibilities to find jobs in these places? Mainly in Ko Samui where I'm planning to spend perhaps my last month.


#5 luchy1309 has been a member since 30/1/2009. Posts: 24

Posted by neosho on 30/3/2009 at 02:13

Sorry but I agree with Amazon. First time trip to Asia you will probably spend more than planned unless you are very diciplend(SP).

#6 neosho has been a member since 13/8/2008. Posts: 386

Posted by Lother on 30/3/2009 at 02:41

It's certainly possible to travel with that budget, but especially for a first time, it will take planning and discipline. A lot depends on which places you are planning to spend most of your time at. For example, for pretty much all of Laos, $20 / person is plenty. Well, plenty in the sense that you'll do fine with it without counting your pennies all the time. You could also manage okay with that budget in most of "non-touristy" Thailand. On the Thai islands, that budget (~ 700 baht) is very little, and the same goes for Bangkok or HCMC for example.

On the whole, aside from Bangkok (and to a lesser extent other very large cities) and the Thai islands, $20 per person is enough for budget accommodation, food, water, tuktuk/moto rides and such necessities. The problems with a lowish budget like this come from inter-city transportation and activities. For example, if you go to Cambodia, you'll probably want to see Angkor - that'll be around $25-30 per person per day just for tickets and transport around the temples. A longish bus ride could cost $8-12, taking most of your budget for the day.

So in conclusion, I'd say if this is the final budget and you want to stay for the three months, maybe consider cutting out one of the countries and think about where you might want to spend longer periods of time at. The costs really come down if you stay in one place for a week or two instead of seeing 4-5 places in that time. Also consider spending more of your time in Laos or in smaller places in Thailand and Cambodia where the costs are lower. Get used to street-style Asian food (also for breakfast) and fan rooms (maybe with Asian toilets too - really not any worse once you get used to them), and I think you'll be fine. The most important thing will be to keep track of your spending day-by-day or at least week-by-week while travelling, so you know where you're at.

#7 Lother has been a member since 12/5/2006. Location: Earth. Posts: 214

Posted by KRStamm on 16/4/2009 at 13:10

I spent $1200 in Thailand for a month. That was for 2 of us staying in basic rooms, fan room with cold water shower and eating street food. It did include transportation which adds up quick in Thailand. Ko Samui is one of the most expensive islands and food (fish particularly is what you would pay in the states!) Rooms on Samui are not cheap nor is getting from beach to beach. Personally I disliked Samui. It was over run with tourists, frat boys and farang oriented food. We did not drink much in Thailand since it was an easy way to cut costs and rejuvinate my liver from summer in Lake Tahoe.

If you are looking for a great place to spend a month check out Ko Lipe . It is amazing! I stayed at Porn resort for 6 days and it was a fantastic time. Basic Bungalow for 400bht a night with an ocean view.(the 2nd row of bungalows). Ko Lipe is very much a place for relaxation, reading, swimming, diving and hanging out. You can also camp in Ko Taratau(sp). I did not have time to do this but would have loved it I am sure!

As for working while you are there... This is only my opinion but there are many locals with out work or not enough work so dont impose on them! In addition if you have to work while on vacation and not volunteer your time you many need to rethink your spending or locations.


#8 KRStamm has been a member since 10/9/2007. Posts: 38

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