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Cost of living

Travel Forums Asia Cost of living

1. Posted by Rambot (Budding Member, 15 posts) 26 Jul '12 17:43

I'm just about to press confirm and finally book my flight to Asia for my trip in September, except I feel doubtful and I'm holding back from booking it.

I'm curious as to how much Hostels on average are going to cost in China, Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand? And will there be hostels throughout each of the countries I visit and if not, where would you stay for a similar price?

I have a spending of approx £39pd to cover for food, accommodation and travel, etc, etc. For a 23 year old, is that a realistic figure?

I'm not really bothered about the room I'll sleep in, and sharing with others is fine if it helps bring the cost down.

Also how do you book a hostel if you're looking for somewhere to stay on the day? Are they as cheap as they would be advertised on the internet, somewhere like HostelWorld?

[ Edit: Edited on 26-Jul-2012, at 17:53 by Rambot ]

2. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru, 1730 posts) 27 Jul '12 08:38

You are going to Asia in September? Do you like rain? That is why flights to Asia are cheaper this time of year. It's monsoon season.

Leave it till at least November. Even better December or January when you can have sun ev ery day and not be freezing back home.

Travel will be your biggest expense.

Book some accommodation before you arrive but then you can book in internet cafes as you go.

hostelbookers is better than hostelworld. There is also travellerspoint, asiarooms, etc. Shop around. Book the hostel room online and pay by card. They should charge the same rate for people who just turn up, but then you are not guaranteed a room.

Tell your bank when you will be away and that you will be using your card to stop them blocking such payments.

Food is cheap. 7-Elevens you get two burgers for just over 40 baht and as much trimmings as you want (tomatoes, onions, etc)

Buy bottled water. Drinking anything else can make you ill. Having said that, in Thailand you will see locals filling up bottles from machines. I have never had any problem with them, where you can fill a bottle for one baht.

You get 30 days visa free on arrival in Thailand (and 15 days if you leave and return by land or 30 days if you leave and return by air) so pop into a travel agent on KSR or check out see if AirAsia has any cheapies (near Burger King at end of KSR) and you can arrange your trip around what money you have.

I don't know how much your fare is to Asia but kayak is quite good for budget fares.

A visa for China can be arranged by a travel agent on KSR, but travel to there is not cheap. Perhaps a fairly cheap flight to Hong Kong and then bus in from there?

3. Posted by Rambot (Budding Member, 15 posts) 27 Jul '12 09:36

Thanks for your help,

I'm planning on travelling to China first, Shanghai precisely. Apparently the climate is fair and by the time I reach Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand in November-Janurary. Weather should subside.

4. Posted by Daawgon (Travel Guru, 1940 posts) 27 Jul '12 12:06

"Food is cheap. 7-Elevens you get two burgers for just over 40 baht and as much trimmings as you want (tomatoes, onions, etc)"

What a waste, China and Thailand have some of the most flavorful cheap street food imaginable. I just picked up a copy of Bangkok's Top 50 street food stalls - who wants a crummy burger?

5. Posted by Emmett70 (Travel Guru, 534 posts) 28 Jul '12 02:48

I would say £39 per day is a generous budget for backpacking in Thailand and Vietnam. It depends how much travelling you do, but provided you don't mind staying in budget hotels/hostels and don't expect to travel first class you should be okay.

For example the overnight train from Bangkok down to Surat Thani (the stopping point for Koh Pha Ngan and Koh Samui) was around 550-600 baht (£11-12) for a second class fan bed the last time I used it. And a meal plus your drink can be found for under 150 baht (£3) in most backpacker destinations. I generally pay under 300 baht per night for my accomodation but I generally stop in basic fan rooms.

Some hostels only accept walk in bookings, e.g. The Rock on Koh Phi Phi, but others can be booked online, e.g. Pak Up hostel in Krabi town. Most of the time though, there's no need to book in advance, especially in low season. There are a few exceptions to this, however, for example if you plan on turning up for the Full Moon Party at the last minute then it would be very wise to book ahead.

6. Posted by Emmett70 (Travel Guru, 534 posts) 28 Jul '12 02:51

Sorry, talked too much about Thailand and forgot to mention Vietnam. When I was in Vietnam I was paying around US$10 per night for accomodation. The one exception to this was Mui Ne where it was pretty full when I arrived so I ended up paying a bit more, but generally speaking you could usually find somewhere for US$10 per night. That was about five years ago though, so prices may be a touch more expensive now.

7. Posted by Cyberia (Travel Guru, 1730 posts) 28 Jul '12 09:49

Daawgon. I don't like Thai food much (and not just because it sometimes looks like something in swamp water or that the meat used is sometimes rancid* before being cooked by a chef who is none to careful about sanitation) but obviously you do.

A pork or chicken burger with vegetable toppings is a well balanced meal. Nothing crummy about it unless you go to a fast food joint.

  • Take a sniff at the meat in markets, where it is left out in the sun all day as fly food.