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Southeast Asia forum

Please help, need advise on SEA :)

Posted by steveandrowan on 26/3/2015 at 21:47

Myself and my misses are heading off to Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia in August (we understand this is the wet season). We have been travelling for just over two years non stop and are now hoping to do this on a budget of 7000AUD, is this possible for staying in private rooms in hostels for the most part? We would love to visit Hoi An, Halong Bay, The killing fields and the full moon in Koh Phangan. Also we were hoping to get the slowboat to LP and from Vietnam into Cambodia through the Mekong. Please help with an itinerary no time limit just money limits :(
Thank you

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Posted by amnicoll on 28/3/2015 at 06:26

there are plenty of cheap guesthouses and hotels in all of the countries but go away and do some homework because there is no way with the limited info you provide that I could even start to draft you an itinerary

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Posted by magicFly on 28/3/2015 at 08:01

I normally calculate 1000$ a month. That includes, private rooms, food in tourist places, all activities, transport and a few beer every night. You can do it way cheaper. For instance I met a couple in Cambodia they spent 15$ a day togheter. So it depends on your standard of living. But your budget should keep you going a few months

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Posted by antoniamitchell on 28/3/2015 at 14:43

First thing to note: hostels aren't that common in SE Asia. You'll be looking mostly at small guesthouses.

WRT budget, a couple's daily spend could be $35-40US (doable but a bit bare bones - expect to share bathrooms sometimes, eat simply, etc.), $50US (is comfy but doesn't allow for partying, so add in an extra $10US if you like a regular couple of beers), or considerably more if you like good hotels, nice restaurants, cocktail bars, diving, shopping, etc. Some couples manage for $30US or less, but that does involve really roughing it (way below what's I'd be willing to consider).

As your $7000 AUS equates to about $5400US, If you assume $50US per day, that gives you 108 days to cover the 4 countries (not including any extra costs like visas): that's doable. If you're willing to be a bit more careful with money and don't drink much, you can stretch that further.

But, as Amnichol says, there's really no way to suggest an itinerary without knowing more about your interests and travel style (are you a $30 per night couple, or a $60 per night couple?).

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Posted by steveandrowan on 30/3/2015 at 02:23

Thank you for all the replies, Sorry for the lack of information. Before I start I would like to apologise for the grammar and spelling not my strong point. We will start in Bangkok then head south by night train to go to Phi Phi, Lanta, Samui and Phangan for the full moon at the end of August. Then head up north towards Chaing Mai and Rai (wanting to stop of at the tiger temple but not sure how they are treated?) and visit the Bridge on the river Kwai. Head towards the crossing for the slow boat into Laos where we will then head towards LP and then to VV and then head south towards Vietannie. Not sure what crossing to take into Vietnam but then head towards Hanoi and Hoi An whilst going to Halong Bay for a day trip. Then head south to HCMC.(Need to do more research on Vietnam and Cambodia still.) After HCMC head towards Cambodias crossing hopefully by taking a boat down the Delta. Visit Sihnoukville, Phenom Penh, Siem Reap and go to the killing fields and Angkor Wat. This is a minimum of what I would like to do in these countries but haven't had time to look long enough into it all due to work. Most journeys I will take train or boat as I get very bad travel sickness on buses. We do like a drink tbh but am more then happy to eat minimum and sleep rough. Rowan was also thinking about elephant world and monkey temples as we love animals? once again not sure on how they will treat the animals though. I was also hoping to take a trip to Wat Bang Phra not sure if anyone knows what its like there?

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Posted by Captain_Bob on 30/3/2015 at 03:40

What you describe is a very logical and well-followed route. The classic SEA loop.


So it's more or less this plus some time down south for FMP, etc. On your budget of A$7000 and minding your wallet, staying in cheap guesthouses, using public transport, a few drinks, etc. (and the AUD exchange rate) you're probably good for about 100 days with wiggle room to spare. Maybe keep a separate stash for indulgences like scuba diving which can cost 2-3 day's normal budget. Train travel is an affordable option in Thailand and Vietnam, but not in Laos or Cambodia. Getting between Vientiane and Hanoi is a common dilemma - cheap 20-hour bus or expensive 1-hour flight? Or you can break it into a few shorter bus rides and stop a day or two along the way. Probably a waste of time (yours and mine) to make a detailed itinerary. At least you have a basic framework and know it's doable. You'll of course meet people and discover new things along the way which will likely sway your direction and duration. Happy planning, and if you have specific questions fire away!

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Posted by amnicoll on 30/3/2015 at 04:01

There are no train services in Laos or Cambodia (rather than affordable) but otherwise I would agree with Captain Bob

- when you have specific questions start a new post

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