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How much money is enough to live on?

Travel Forums Asia How much money is enough to live on?

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1. Posted by Taz1984 (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Taz1984 has indicated that this thread is about Thailand

Hello,

I am travelling to Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore for three months. I leave on 27.04.10. I am backpacking and intend to do some tourist/backpacker activities whilst I am there; visiting temples etc. I have heard many conflicting reports over the amount of money I should take with me. I have budgeted to spend between £10-£15 a day and this includes accommodation. Is this too little? Is this too much? Help!

Thanks
Tasmyn

2. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 6y

some basic info for Thailand.

An average hotel room with shower and TV maybe air will cost 400 to 1000 baht 0 e.g 8 to 20 quid. - you might even get a pool - however if you are going for dorms or downmarket rooms you should find places from 150 baht upwards. I think you need to allow for extras and budget for a decent room once in a while in case of limited availability, nice hot shower or emergency or just to chill for a night.

As for food - you can get a plate of rice with a "curry" on top for about 50 baht (one pound) or bowl of noodles for 20 to 40 baht. THis is usually eating on a table on the street......again I would allow for extra as you might want to eat in a restaurant with friends or heaven forbid - buy some WESTERN food - ugh!

I guess then I'd allow about 15 to 25 quid a day as a basic comfortable food and shelter budget in Thailand

3. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 6y

Tasmyn,
I think in USD, so will use that for your budget. I found rooms in VN & Cambodia under $10/nite in every city. Laos will be similar. I figure $5/day for all meals. This is 'eating street' and where the locals do. I did it and you can as well. I also figure $10/day for transport/tours. This is $25/day for VN, Cam. & Laos.

Thailand varies considerably on expenses. You should be able to stay at your $25 budget in many of the cites. Korat, Udon Thani, Nong Khai, Trat, Songkla, Chiang Rai, Surat Thani, will be easy to stay on budget. Phuket, Samui, Phi Phi, not so easy.

Singapore will be toughest on your budget. Hard to find a place under $25/nite. Food can be quite cheap if you 'eat street' and use the food courts at the many shopping malls. Good luck with your planning.

4. Posted by Taz1984 (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

Thanks very much for your replies guys, they are very helpful. It looks like I need to really budget and be careful how much I spend. ;)

5. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 6y

Basic rule of travelling...you will always spend far more than you budget for, especially if you are on a tight budget. Work out how much it is possible to do it on and then double it.

6. Posted by Taz1984 (Budding Member 6 posts) 6y

The thing is, I don't drink. I am assuming that most people include an alcohol allowance in their budget, which would take up a large part of the budget?

7. Posted by vegasmike6 (Travel Guru 3562 posts) 6y

Quoting Taz1984

The thing is, I don't drink. I am assuming that most people include an alcohol allowance in their budget, which would take up a large part of the budget?

Tasmyn,
I did not include alcohol. You are right, that will add to your daily expenses. Stay in fan rooms/dorms, eat where locals do, and drink water with your meals. Many low end places and 'eating street' will let you use your own water from your day bag. If not, then ask for a glass of water, or if they don't consider tap water safe, order a small bottle of water. Healthier and cheaper than having a soft drink every meal.

8. Posted by lzl (Respected Member 102 posts) 6y

Quoting vegasmike6

Tasmyn,
I did not include alcohol. You are right, that will add to your daily expenses. Stay in fan rooms/dorms, eat where locals do, and drink water with your meals. Many low end places and 'eating street' will let you use your own water from your day bag. If not, then ask for a glass of water, or if they don't consider tap water safe, order a small bottle of water. Healthier and cheaper than having a soft drink every meal.

I think eating at low end places needs some more thought. Although this will save you money, do keep in mind that your stomach may not take "what the locals eat" very well. Hygiene come into it (and very important, since in the western society people eat ultra clean and simply can't switch to something less), but it also could be the difference in the food to what you're used to. Some people can eat anything, but if you're not one of them, don't go all out stingy on food, you may turn a great day into a nasty, nasty one.

9. Posted by wildfk (Respected Member 459 posts) 6y

In truth most people who get "bad tummies" when travelling in Thailand probably get it from eating Western style food that has been prepared by staff not trained in western hygiene. ....and secondly though possibly not less likely by hand to mouth contact.l
thirdly some people get a reaction not jut to bacterial toxins but stuff like chillies......this mostly doesn't last very long.

Thai "local" or street food is RELATIVELY safe - just use a bit of common sense....buy from popular places. You will have to suspend your normal western hygiene criteria too.

western food can be rather expensive compared to Thai too.

PS - I don't drink and it makes a HELL of a difference to your expenses!

10. Posted by emilyemily (Budding Member 82 posts) 6y

In regard to food safety- Street food wins. My boyfriend (The Dumbass) ate a CHEESEBURGER at a very FANCY resort in Pattaya on one trip to Thailand, and ended up with e.coli. He DID lose quite a bit of weight (and we'd all like that!) but I always always eat cheap quick street food, and have never gotten sick in S.E. Asia (except for that time I was drunk and drank tap water in Saigon... but that's a story for a different day!)

Think about it- restaurants usually have large menus with Western food, and who knows how long that food has been sitting in a warm refrigerator waiting to be eaten! Street stalls, however, usually have 1-3 items available, and they're made constantly, all day long. If it's got a line or a crowd, it's safe and fresh. Don't be shy, go for it! Will also save you about 30% on your budget if you don't eat at restaurants. That's my recommendation for budget in SE Asia- it will stretch much much further if you enjoy the delicious, exotic foods on the streets of Asia. Enjoy!

PS. Drinking does make a big difference. If you drink, budget at least another $5+ per day. Buy your Chang from 7-11 for half the price of bars/restaurants!;)

[ Edit: Edited on 02-May-2010, at 11:40 by emilyemily ]