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south east asia advice

Travel Forums Asia south east asia advice

1. Posted by decbrowne (Budding Member 4 posts) 8y

hi there,
my gf and i will be travelling s/e asia in november until xmas so approx 6 weeks. we fly into singapore and out of bangkock. we plan to visit thailand, laos, veitnam, cambdodia.
i assume we need to get a multi entry visa for our trip.

we'll be travelling for almost a year at that stage and it'll be the final leg of our trip. we want to do it on a backbacker budget but not too extreme. how much should we budget per day? how easy is it to travel to and in these countries? any ideas on an itinery and what not to miss??

many thanks
dec

2. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Dec,
You will not have to plan ahead on visas until you hit VietNam. Singapore, Malaysia & Thailand will issue a free visa on arrival. Laos & Cambodia will issue a visa on arrival for $30/30days and $20/30 respectively. VN has a visa on arrival system in place for those who fly into VN. If you are going to cross into VN via a land border, you must obtain your VN visa before you arriva at the border. Buy your VN visa in either Phnom Penh or Vientiane before travelling to the VN border.

I just spent a month in SEA and did notice prices were more than my last visit in 06. But, you can still find fan rooms under $10 in most cities. Easy to do in VN, Laos & Cambodia, a bit harder in Thailand and not possible in SIN. I spent roughly $600 for a month, or $20/day for basics of room, food, transport. You will save some on shared room costs, so $600 each per month is easily done if you don't drink beer regularly.

Send me a PM if you have specific questions.

3. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru 1993 posts) 8y

I have to comment on SEA prices (I was in Viet in March), and don't agree with Mike's! $20. a day (only if you never eat in restaurants and stay in the very cheapest of hotels).
My cheapest hotel was $9. in Can Tho (Mekong Delta) and my most expensive place was $35. in Hanoi. While it's true that I probably spent more than the average backpacker (I'm a geezer), I'd say that $40. minimum would be a more practical figure - inflation is alive and well in this world (price of rice has gone only one way - UP!)

4. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 8y

Quoting Daawgon

I have to comment on SEA prices (I was in Viet in March), and don't agree with Mike's! $20. a day (only if you never eat in restaurants and stay in the very cheapest of hotels).
My cheapest hotel was $9. in Can Tho (Mekong Delta) and my most expensive place was $35. in Hanoi. While it's true that I probably spent more than the average backpacker (I'm a geezer), I'd say that $40. minimum would be a more practical figure - inflation is alive and well in this world (price of rice has gone only one way - UP!)

Johnny,
Yes, as I stated, inflation has hit SEA. But I was still pleasantly surprised to find rooms at $10 or less in every city. My buddies paid $13 in HCMC, I walked mini hotel alley behind De Tham St. and found a $10/nite room in 5 minutes. It had A/C, cable TV & hot water. Same in DaLat. Hanh Cafe stops at Pacific Hotel and they charge $6 single, $8 double. I walked 50 meters away and found a much quieter room at the Kim Loan Hotel for $8/nite. Hot shower and TV, nice bed. Same in Nha Trang(NT). Hahn Cafe stops at the Hanh Cafe Hotel. They started at $8/nite we walked away and he quickly dropped it to $7. I wanted to stay at the 62 Tran Phu Hotel where I stayed before. They have raised their prices, now $10 for A/C room. Stayed one nite then moved to Nice Hotel, located down a small alley off Hung Vuong St. $8/nite with A/C, cable TV, hot shower. I stayed on the 8th floor and they have an elevator! That was a first for me. You usually have to trudge up several flights of stairs, try 5 in HCM, for a cheap room. The Nice Hotel will be where I recommend TP members stay in NT. Quiet, free Internet, nice rooms, ocean view from the 9th floor and an elevator. In Mui Ne the Sinh Cafe stops at a very nice hotel, the Mui Ne Resort. Swimming pool, great buffet and superior room. At $30/nite it was way out of my budget. I told the girl at the Sinh Cafe booking office that I needed something under $10. She stuck her head out of the door and shouted at a guy on a moto. He told me his hotel was 20 meters away and had $10/nite rooms. I went with him and decided to take a double room with A/C for $12. Walking around that nite I found a $8 room just 30 meters further on. Yes, Mui Ne can be more expensive than NT, but they still have low cost rooms. In Cambodia, both Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville have $10 rooms everywhere, less for fan room. In Pattaya I stayed in an A/C room because of the heat and paid $13/nite. Just too hot for a fan room IMO. But even in 2008 you can find rooms for $10/nite or less if you just do a bit of looking around. A couple pay a bit more per nite, but if you use my average of $20/day each for essentials, they have $1,200 a month to spend. That still goes a very long way in the countries they are visiting.

We ate in decent restaurants in HCMC, DaLat & Nha Trang and paid appox. 60,000VND for dinner average. We did 'eat street' several times in NT and paid 15,000VND for dinner, along with the locals. Dinner for one dollar is possible in every VN city if you just look around. You will see VN people sitting on the sidewalk eating/drinking. Join them for a unique experience and cut your food budget for that day as well. The table & chairs look like those for young schoolchildren, but even I managed. Even with BF & dinner in restaurants, I never exceeded $7/day in VN, Cambodia & Pattaya. Yes, I spend less than most because I am a veggie, but I was answering 2 young BPers that have will have been on the road for a year. They should be pretty adept at being 'cheap charlies' by that time. I rest my case.