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Southeast Asia forum

Travelling Southeast Asia, budget and itinary HELP much appreciated

Posted by DD1987 on 4/4/2014 at 13:31

Hi Everyone

I am travelling Southeast Asia on my own starting in Febuary 2015. Im in early stages of planning to be honest.

I will have a budget of between 7-9K (British Pounds)

I do not drive, so local transport will be taken at all times (planes when necassary) I do not care about my level of accomadation and my drinking/partying will be at a very minimum (thats not why im travelling)

My Itinary thoughts are as follows - Starting in Thailand (Bangkok) Make my way across North Thailand, upto to Chang Mai. Then into Burma (which will be a short visit (1-2weeks) then into Laos, Hanoi, Vietnam, Cambodia. Then back into Thailand going through South Thailand (this will be where i do some partying) then onto Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur), Singapore (short stay) Then over to Malaysian Borneo. Then going up to the Philippines (This part will be more than likely my second biggest stay after Thailand. Either finishing in the Philippines or potenially doing a short trip (1-2weeks) in Taiwan.

My interests vary widely and is the reason im visiting Southeast Asia but some are as follows - Trekking, Culture, Buildings, Mountains, Diving, Wildlife, Beaches. So basically everything!

Questions i need help with are -

Is this an achievable itinary with the budget i have got?
Is the Itinary good?
How long should i stay in each place (which to spend more time in and less time)
How long will my budget last (this will determine the length of my travels)

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated

Many Thanks


#1 DD1987 has been a member since 4/4/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by antoniamitchell on 4/4/2014 at 16:30

Here we go again....

Basic budget for SE Asia: suitable for the cheaper Asian destinations (Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos):
* $20 / £13.33 for very basic budget (staying in run-down places, probably sharing bathrooms, eating very basic food on the streets, not moving around too much or doing much/visiting many attactions that charge)
* $30 / £20 a more comfortable basic budget (you'll have your own bathroom and maybe even air-con, eating mostly street food but also a few restaurant meals, moving around a bit more and visiting more places, maybe the odd beer)
* $40 / £27 is getting more into a comfy, almost mid-range budget (now you can afford to take a few taxis, splurge on a mid-range hotel or two, eat more of your meals in restaurants, have a few big nights out)

Bit more expensive destinations (Burma, Philippines):
1.5x the above

Expensive destinations (Singapore):
2.5x the above

Now you know the basics of in-country, you need to think about of the overheads and ex-country costs:
* Main flight to/from Asia - expect £600-800, depending on route in and out
* Insurance £100-300, depending on length of trip
* Visas, bank charges, meds where needed £200-300
* Gear if required (your shoes and clothes will wear out fast during the rigours of the trip, so you may need to replace them before you go, especially if you have larger feet) - add anywhere up to £300

Assume those fees add up to an average of £1300, that leaves you £5700-7700 of your original £7000-£9000 left. You can use the budget levels above to calculate how long you can afford to travel in the three types of destinations (from cheap to expensive).

Only you know what level of travel (very basic to almost mid-range) you'll feel comfortable with, but remember that most people find they don't want to "rough it" for a really long time. What's bearable for a 4 week trip can become soul-crushing on a 6 month trip.

I highly recommend that you don't budget the whole thing - leave yourself at least 15% left for contingencies (there's always some extra expense that crops up that you don't expect). Remember also to include some budget allocated for internal flights - in country hops can range from £30-150, and cross-border hops can be more.

Have fun!

#2 antoniamitchell has been a member since 13/5/2012. Posts: 541
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Posted by daawgon on 6/4/2014 at 22:51

I just spent 18 days in Vietnam and spent about $1500. in the country. I lived extremely well ($30.-40. hotels), ate like a king, bought many pricey gifts, etc. and never even thought about what I was spending. With that kind of cash, you could hire a helicopter and look down on the rest of us. The very worst thing you could do would be to stay in 5* international hotels and miss out on the charms of SE Asia.

#3 daawgon has been a member since 17/4/2007. Posts: 1,151
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Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 6/4/2014 at 23:55

Pricey gifts are like $200 items not $20. I love how these guys say they lived like a king. Kings wear clothes worth more than $10,000.
If you have about $10,000 it should last about 4 mths, maybe 5.

#4 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by irishcanadian on 9/4/2014 at 02:46

This is basically the same trip I have been looking into. I was reckoning it would take about 4-6 months depending how long we like places. We are planning to leave in January 2015.

I am travelling with my girlfriend and our basic route is:
Northern Thai, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Southern Thai and & Islands, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and up to the Philippines or else back to Thailand and then back to Ireland.

I am also trying to figure out our budget and have come up with a figure of about $25/$30 each per day.

This would include basic accommodations, eating mostly street food, travelling by sleeper buses and some trains, entry to sites and museums. Then we are planning a few more expensive things like visas, basic diving course, halong bay junk boat and the gibbon experience. We were going to put aside around $1000 as a rough guide for all the high end tourist things and then expect to cover all the other daily costs in our $25/$30 budget.

To help reduce our daily costs, we are planning to spend a couple of weeks in each country just lounging on beaches etc not really spending anything apart from basic food and shelter to relax in between all the tourist stuff. We have no time limit on when we have to leave so will be just getting a one way flight from Ireland and when the money goes, we will book a flight home.

Is this a realistic costing for a couple?

We have all the other costs like vaccines and flights etc worked out separately, its just the money on the ground so to speak. Everywhere I look online, I see people saying how cheap it is but it seems too good to be true.

Also, I have never been to hostels in south east asia but is it similar to the states where everyone buys drink in a liqour store and parties in the common rooms or do all hostels have makeshift bars where you cant bring your own liqour in? Also, what are the levels of safety like in the hostels/guesthouses? If you have a private room, is it pretty safe to leave your stuff locked in your backpack or is it common place for break ins?


#5 irishcanadian has been a member since 9/4/2014. Posts: 2

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