Photo: Street food Phetchaburi Soi 10, Bangkok.

Southeast Asia forum


Posted by jajaradak on 10/5/2012 at 04:22

Hi everyone,
I'm a Malaysian girl, aged 25. I plan to backpacking to all these countries for about 1 month and half. I would love to try backpacking alone, as all my friends could not join me. I will travel on a tight budget, the cheapest as I able to. So I will somehow try to use land transportation as much as I can.

From Kuala Lumpur, I will take flight to Bangkok-Kanchanaburi (Erawan waterfall, national park, limestone)- Seam Riep-Phnom Penh-Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon)-Dalat (mountains, waterfall, lake)- Hoi An- Halong Bay-Hanoi-Sapa (trekking, mountains)-Luang Prabang-Chiang Mai-Pai (trekking)- Mae Hong Son- Bangkok- Kuala Lumpur
I would love to see Ban Gioc waterfall in vietnam..

Hence, I really appreciate if you could tell me how much I need to spend for each day, the overall trip.. and also any parts which require high expenses..
This is my first time travelling solo, so i'm a little bit scared. However, I will consider for travel buddy.
Thank you very much for your help. :)

#1 jajaradak has been a member since 10/5/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by altmtl on 10/5/2012 at 10:49

Well, a lot of the things you're planning to do aren't that cheap... nor is flying everywhere, also it's a short time, you may be cramming too much in.

#2 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,003
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Posted by jajaradak on 10/5/2012 at 11:06

Maybe I will skip the itinerary, but I really wanted to see Ban Gioc waterfall... Lets say I f I only have US$1,000 in hand, which include everything eg flight, transportation, eat, sleep... where do you suggest me to?

#3 jajaradak has been a member since 10/5/2012. Posts: 2

Posted by altmtl on 11/5/2012 at 00:35

My last trip, 1.5 months ago I spent an average of $30 a day for 3 months, this did not include flight, some days it was more, sometimes less, tours can be expensive. Really all you need to do is research and take travelling time into account. Planning your route is up to you and what interests you the most - :)

#4 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,003
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Posted by DLuek on 12/5/2012 at 09:01 TF writer


You've picked some really great places to go, but I don't think it's doable with the amount of time and money you have. It takes A LONG time to travel many of the routes you're planning (12 to 30 hours for most of those legs over land) and there's also a fair amount of border crossing, so altogether that would mean about half of your total time on buses. You'd be pulling in to a destination, spending one day there, then shoving off the next day for another 20 hour bus ride. Doesn't seem very enjoyable to me.

But also, with the budget, you're looking at about US $21 per day - not very much - and I don't think that itinerary is possible considering you would need to pay for local transport and/or tours and/or rent motorbike and/or hire guides for a lot of the things you want to do (i.e. Ha Long Bay, Sapa , Mae Hong Son , Pai, Da Lat, around Kanchanaburi, around Angkor), so those costs plus the long-haul travel costs (even by land) will eat up that $21 per day fast. If it were me, as your itinerary stands, I'd be stressed out about money and that would kind of ruin the trip.

I'm not trying to discourage you - you can definitely have a great experience with the time and money you do have - but I think you should reconsider. Pick the regions or destinations that you want to see the most and save the rest for another trip. If you really want to see Ban Gioc waterfall then make that a priority and go see it! But going all the way to Laos just for a couple days in Luang Prabang might not be worth it. Also if you trek Sapa it's probably not worth trekking Mae Hong Son too (or vice versa), etc. etc.

I know it feels like you have a nice loop planned around the region, but honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if you got 2/3 of the way through and had to go straight home because you're almost out of money. And in terms of time that's a lot of ground to cover in 45 days.

You have to figure out how to do it - there are endless options: you could just pick a couple countries, pick some regions over others, or still hit all 4 countries but only 2 or 3 highlights in each one - it's up to you.

Best of luck,

#5 DLuek has been a member since 19/6/2008. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,297
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Posted by altmtl on 12/5/2012 at 10:24

Very good points :)

#6 altmtl has been a member since 18/5/2009. Location: Canada. Posts: 1,003
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Posted by ashw1n on 27/5/2012 at 05:19

Totally agree with the comments above... if u wanna stick to that itinerary it might soon start eating up all the money uve planned fr the whole thing... and more than money the time is gonna b an issue once u r dere... most important.. for d first time trying solo... all d things u plan won't fall in place.. Like d transportation.. Weather, entry fee differences or temporary closure @ certain places, etc etc.. so that can prove costly money wise n time wise.... I'm not dat experienced traveler but ive got bitten by dese issues during my first solo.. just keep a reserve amount accessible throughout ur trip.. apart from ur budget... and try to avoid a list with places scattered throughout the map... coz dat way most of ur time will b wasted on transportation... I believe ur time limit is fixed... if u can manage all dese issues traveling solo will b very addictive n in a few trips...

I'm plannin a trip to Laos, Cambodia n Thailand this July n Aug.. almost 3weeks as well.. have a few local friends in bkk/ayuthaya.. hope to see dem again and some travel photography.. that’s the most fun part of traveling solo.. uget to meet a lotta new ppl backpackers groups… localites… get to noe bout new things u can do.. new places u neva knew wen u were planning.. We could share some info on the trips n places must c... if it coincides could meet up fr a drink too… :)

#7 ashw1n has been a member since 27/5/2012. Location: India. Posts: 2
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Posted by charina on 27/5/2012 at 09:40

Hi Indochina!
when are you planning to start your travel?
i'm gonna be doing the planning to travel solo bangkok-siem reap..i already have my tickets booked..would you mind if i join you? i'm looking also for a travel buddy to share the expenses since i have a VERY limited budget..and would be great to share great adventure the way, i'm a 22 years old filippina but i lived in milan, italy and i will be coming HOME(the philippines) for a vacarion and there is my jump point for my travel..

#8 charina has been a member since 27/5/2012. Posts: 9

Posted by ashw1n on 30/5/2012 at 00:48

nyone interested in joinin me on a thai-lao-cambodia trip towards the end of july plz add me on fb with the same id ive posted on my previous comment.. or send me an email on the same... traveling solo is fun but sharing expenses lays more options...

#9 ashw1n has been a member since 27/5/2012. Location: India. Posts: 2
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