me and my friend are going travelling for the summer, for half a month in june (15th-3rd july) in china (we are staying with friends in hong kong) and we hope to go to places like sozhou etc.
Then we are flying out to Bangkok. We are hoping to travel around south asia for a month in july. (hopefully visiting cambodia and vietnam)
can anybody tell me on average how much money do you think we would need?
I have lived in China for 4 years now and have travelled here extensively. I guess the answer to your question is that its very cheap here. You can travel on local buses and trains and stay in backpacker accommodation for very little depending on what sort of traveller you are. You dont say if you are a student or older. If you prefer more comfort then you can still travel very cheaply compared to the West.
I think that if you are prepared to eat the local food and stay in cheap lodgings you can do it for about RMB200.00 per day not including travel and sightseeing expenses. This is based on shared dormitory accomodation. If you want comfort then I would say allow RMB500.00 per day. Here is a website link for hostel accommodation www.hostelworld.com/Backpackers
I often eat street food which is cheaper and tastier but use your common sense and only choose places that look clean. I have to say that I have never been ill eating street food and generally spend about RMB5.00 for breakfast. If you can live on noodles or simple food like that you can get them for about RMB20.00 in a restaurant.
Buses and trains are cheap and you can get cheap flights too if you look around. I use the CTRIP website for advance specials and there is Spring Airlines that travels to major cities only. There is a weight restriction on Spring so again it depends on how you are travellling.
You say you want to go to Suzhou. You can get a train easily from Shanghai to Suzhou and there is a lot to do there. Everywhere around China make sure you bargain for things that you want to buy, not including food or taxis. You can bargain with the taxi bikes or organise a cheap driver for the day. In Suzhou I had a guy stop when I was walking along who offered his services driving for the day and I did a deal, it worked well. When bargaining just remember to go down to a 1/3 of what they are asking and then work back up to no more than 50% of the asking price or to a price that you are happy with. You will know if they are unhappy with the price as they will just say no and turn away. Then you can decide if you want to pay more or go somewhere else.
Lastly just remember this..... I am giving you the cheapest options here, it can cost more but depends on you really.
If you're on a tight budget, I would recommend saving Suzhou for a different trip when you don't need to go south again. There is a train from HK to Shanghai (around 470 HKD) and a bus to Suzhou, but taking the trains adds up. You could easily spend the time around Yangshuo and in the Guangxi provence. Trains go to Guilin from Guangzhou or Shenzhen (about 200 RMB) then a bus to Yangshuo (15RMB). 3 hours north of Guilin are the Dragon's Backbone Rice Terrances -really beautiful and good taste of rural China. Yangshuo itself is a bit touristy, but you can get away from it. It is cheap compared to HK or Shanghai withgood eating and drinking options (beer is about 10 rmb in a bar or 3.5 in a shop). When I was there I spent time volunteering at one of the language centers -snip-, and this made things much cheaper, plus I learned a bit of Chinese. It's a phenomenally gorgeous area and totally unreal if you're into cycling, kayaking, or climbing. You can rent a bike for about 10 RMB a day, with discounts for multiple days
I agree that you can probably get by on 200 RMB a day, definitely less if you're just hanging out somewhere. Getting the cheapest price bargaining can be a challenge if you do not understand Mandarin, but it is of course worth trying. Even without knowing the language, street food and pointing works well. Noodles on the street are about 5 RMB and claypot rice in a restaurant as cheap as 10. There are hand signs for most of the numbers, some shop keepers will show you the price on a calculator, and many people in Yanghsuo understand a little English.
[ Edit: Sorry, no promos please. ]
Why don't you work up a budget and see how much per day you can afford for this trip. Then you will know what your limits are. Ask for hotel suggestions for each city you are in but also say how much you want to spend on a hotel. That way you will get information that you can use.
Not everyone spends money the same way. A lot depends on your spending habits. Some tourists can get by with $20 a day including a place to sleep and other tourists spend that much on a single meal. Food can be cheap in Asia but you also have a variety of places to eat at that are expensive too.
Want a rough figure maybe have the same amount you would spend in your own home country in a big city away from home.