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Finance and money

Finance and money forum

Six Months: Viet/Thai/Indo/India

Posted by kalasw5 on 5/8/2009 at 03:14

Hello all.

I'll be heading to SE Asia with a friend in late September. We plan to stay for around 6 months. I'm trying to get an estimate on how much it might cost (USD).

Here's the agenda:
About one month in Vietnam, few weeks in Cambodia/Laos, six weeks thailand, six weeks India, few weeks Nepal, one month Indonesia.

We'll fly from Kuala Lumpur to India around early January (about $150) and fly back to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore sometime in March and head to Indonesia from there.

We don't have extravagant tastes and don't plan to spend much time in bigger cities. I'm comfortable staying in dorms most of the time, and single bedrooms at hostels every now and then.

As far as transportation, I don't mind taking cheaper/slower buses and trains, and I'm fine to stay put in one area for a while to cut down on travel costs.

I'm more interested in immersion than riding elephants and snorkeling, though I do like to have fun. Any thoughts?

#1 kalasw5 has been a member since 5/8/2009. Posts: 3

Posted by BruceMoon on 5/8/2009 at 05:50


I can't comment on India.

It's not a case of how much does it cost, (and hence, how much one
'needs'). That question depends on where you go, for how long, and what
you plan on doing.

Rather, its how much does it cost per day (on average) to travel around
SE Asia.

There is no set 'amount' that you must plan for, rather, an amount that
reflects the sort of lifestyle you want to live while travelling.

- - -

Cities are more expensive than (most) rural areas. The exception being high attraction tourist centres (for example, like southern Thailand).

I'll start with Thailand, then go other countries.

Aside from travel between cities/places, there is accommodation, food and sightseeing.

Accom - US$15
Food - US$5
Sightseeing - US$5

So, on average US$25 / day

In the rural areas, I suggest you can shave US$5-10 off that (depending on the place).

In some rural areas, you may want to rent your own wheels: for treadly add US$2, for motor + US$10.

In southern Thailand (& Chiang Mai), depending on where you stay and what you do, figure on about somewhere between US$20-25.

These 'costings' are not super scrimpy budget, rather, they assume a few incidentals each day - or at times when you have saved and want to splurge.

- - -

I suggest that while some aspects of budget items in Vietnam are cheaper than Thailand, because of the distance, and that most travellers tend to stay in Banana Pancake Trail cities, the overal budget is only about 10% cheaper than Thailand.

Malaysia is a little different. In the major cities Malaysia is about 10% more expensive (overall), but in the backblocks its probably a little cheaper than Thailand.

Laos is about 30% cheaper than Thailand, and Cambodia about 40% cheaper than Thailand (city Vs city, country Vs country).

Indonesian 'backblocks' can be cheaper than Thailand, though tourist places like Jakarta and Bali are not. But, the budget 'killer' in Indonesia are the travel costs between islands.

- - -

Travel itself is (relatively) expensive, staying in a town and renting a pushbike for a day to go visit, and eating at streetstalls, the market, etc., will be the sort of thing to do to limit expenditure.

- - -

There are websites that enable you to determine the sort of travel costs for wherever you want to go: depending on rail (www.seat61.com), bus, boat, air, etc.

- - -

Travelfish.org have also discussed this matter.

For general pointers to 'fashion' your travel expenses - go read each
post at:



For actual daily travel costs, go to these posts:




And, then look at some stories at:


These threads are focussed on Thailand (mainly). That is why I focussed the budget on Thailand.

- - -

I've written in detail. I could have said 'budget for US$20 for sleeping/living and add US$5 for travel per day'. But, by explaining it, I think you may be a little more focussed.

So, the short answer to your query, try for (say) US$4500-5000 for 6 months. I'd also have a backup available of (say) half that 'just in case'.

Remember, this is not a scrimpy budget, so with US$5000, you may come home with money left over.


#2 BruceMoon has been a member since 27/12/2008. Location: Australia. Posts: 1,941

Posted by kalasw5 on 5/8/2009 at 10:03

Wow, I couldn't have asked for a more helpful response.
Thanks for your help!

#3 kalasw5 has been a member since 5/8/2009. Posts: 3

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