A group of university friends and i intend to travelling from October 2011. We're looking to backpack Thailand for up to a month, then move onto Australia with a view to staying for a minimum of 5 months.
We're anticipating the need to save £5.5-6k for the trip, but we're looking for any evidence of how much it has cost you or friends in the past to travel Thailand/Indonesia in the past for this period of time.
Look forward to hearing of the experiences!
I travelled around Thailand and also worked there as a teacher. You can easily live off 500-600euro p/m if you live like a Thai (eat street food, drink Thai whiskey from the 7-11, stay in basic accomodation) However if you are only in Thailand for one month you will likely want to party and tour around which is more expensive. I would say to really enjoy the month in Thailand you would need about 1,000- 1,200 euro. On the other hand if you fancy being a beach bum on one of the islands for the month you can get by on a lot less.
I have not lived in Australia but I have travelled there and it is expensive-like the UK. A bed in a dorm room will cost about 150 dollars a week and food and bus tickets etc. are expensive. If you are not planning to work while you travel I would suggest saving 5-6k and travelling all around SE Asia- you could have a great time on that amount of money travelling around Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnem for 5 months. Have fun whatever you decide!
As lou say Thailand is cheap. As for Oz I would budget on spending around £1,000 a month there, and that is living very frugally, ie maybe only having one big night out a week and very rarely eating out, etc. Oz is very expensive.
Again as lou says, For me SE Asia is much more fun than Oz.
If there are number of you rents one or more apartments. I had a fairly good though basic apartment in Bangkok for 5,500 baht a month plus rent and water charges. 7-Eleven do chicken and hamburgers for 19 baht each, and you have have as much salad and toppings as you want on them.
Remember 30 days visa (exemption) in Thailand means day of arrival and day of leaving count as a day each. extra days over 30 are 500 baht each.
Australia is fairly expensive but if you all have one car between you then travel is fairly cheap.
It's nights out and alcohol that will cost you money.
Indonesia is cheap too. Not much in Malaysia but Sumatra and Java can be interesting.
If flying to Australia, book flights ASAP as seats quickly fill up and prices go up. Flying to a different destination in Australia or on a different day can save you money.