SE ASia budget for 3-4 months?

Travel Forums Asia SE ASia budget for 3-4 months?

1. Posted by lara-ameli (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


I am leaving next week, the 13th, to Thailand and have got myself an open ticket for 6 months...problem, I have had some unforeseen financial complications recently so my budget has gone down by half. I realize that 6 months won't be possible unless I get a job (I have a CELTA teaching certificate), but then the problem of visas and such arise and I don't know if I can deal with that stress at the moment.
So, I guess my question is...what kind of budget should I keep in mind for a 3-4 month trip...? I don't mind sleeping in dorms/guesthouses and eating from streetvendors. I do hope to visit Cambodia/Laos and perhaps even Vietnam (Cambodia would be 1st choice). However, I can't spend too many hours cramped on a bus because I have a hernia in my neck (yes, that's uncomfortable) and wouldn't want to make it worse...trains should be ok.
I am not much of a drinker, but wouldn't mind going to one or two parties here and there.

Is there anyone who could help out with budget calculations? I am worried that I will like it so much there but will have to come back sooner than hoped for? Any tips of where to go and sleep and eat and how to travel? Any ideas on teaching English (and visas involved)?

Yikes, I guess I am getting a bit nervous.

Thanks for your interest

2. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lara,
I can't help you with teaching English because that's something I have no idea about. But I can give you a rough idea of how much I spend in the area. It sounds like you are willing to go pretty cheap on your trip, so if you really mean that you are a budget traveller, you can get by on quite a small amount.
Most of the countries in Southeast Asia are pretty close to the same in terms of cost. Some are slightly more, and some are slightly less, but if you budget for Thailand, you can pretty much budget the same for all. As a couple, my girlfriend and I budget 1000-1200 baht a day together. Travelling solo things are a little more expensive because you can't split the cost of taxis, accomdation, food etc.. So by yourself, if you stay in basic cheaper (though usually still spotless and safe) places, eat mostly in local restaurants (doesn't have to be street food), travel by the cheapest means possible, and don't drink every night (though there'll be room for a few nights out), then you can easily get by on about 6-700 baht a day. That works out to 13.5-15.8 Euros a day. Over a month, that should run you about 400-475 Euros. So for three months: 1200-1425 Euros.
Of course this is the budget end. I know alot of people who think I'm crazy getting by on so little, and I know lots of people who spend much less, so it totally depends on the person. But if you want to travel on a budget, yet still be confortable, this budget is fine. Start adding beers every night, air conditioning, and lots of shopping, and the price starts going up rapidly.
As for comortable transportation - well, it's pretty much doesn't exist in Cambodia. You will be on crappy buses on half paved roads and you neck probably won't fair too well. I would recomend bringing a pillow with you for bus rides. Laos isn't a whole lot better, but I actually don't remember it being too bad. Vietnam has great trains running the whole length of the country, as does Thailand so you might want to take advantage of that. Thailand and Malaysia also have some very comfy buses and nice smooth roads. Though lots people complain about the VIP buses offered for backpackers in Thailand, Ive always found the ones that head South to the Islands and up North to ChaingMai to be very comfortable and really good value for the money. Just watch your belongings, people often report theft.
In 3 or 4 months you also have lots of time to do a nice loop of Thailand-cambodia-Vietnam-Laos-Thailand, and then head down for a couple weeks the South. If you want any more suggestions about itineraries, let me know.

3. Posted by paul j (Respected Member 217 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hi Lara , I cant really help because i am going for the first time myself in April. I was wandering how much you paid for your six month ticket .

4. Posted by lara-ameli (Budding Member 6 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!


firstly, thank you very much Degolasse (name makes me giggle) for your help! Sounds like I could probably stay longer than expected as long as I go 'budget'...I'm very pleased!

As for the question about my ticket. It's a direct flight from Schiphol, Holland and was 800 euros incl....


5. Posted by JAY_H (Full Member 69 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Well i dont know how much you have to spend but i am going for 7 months (with "Travelbag" paul) and i am taking 2500 spending money. Its ganna be tight i know but i want to stay there for a whyle. Why would you want to come back to England hey!! It works out at around 11 pounds a day but i have a little back up money incase i get in money trouble. I am going to try not to use that though and i booked my ticket without even having the back up money (Its only about 300 quid extra).
How much money do you have?
Check some of my posts im sure ive asked the same Q a whyle back!
Have fun & enjoy your trip!!

6. Posted by Mel. (Travel Guru 4567 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hello Lara

Here are the recommended daily budgets, from the SE Asia on a Shoestring book.

11 to 15 US dollars per day
The islands are more expensive, than many other parts of Thailand. But the suggested budget is a good average. That was my experience, from travelling in Thailand.

15 to 20 US dollars per day

23 US dollars per day

20 US dollars per day


7. Posted by Mr Gecko (Inactive 34 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

i would have thought that thailand was the more expensive compared to vietnam, laos, and especially cambodia? shows what i know so...

8. Posted by Degolasse (Travel Guru 823 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Quoting Mr Gecko

i would have thought that thailand was the more expensive compared to vietnam, laos, and especially cambodia? shows what i know so...

I would agree. I found Cambodia only slightly more than Thailand, especially since you have to consider the cost of Angkor which is 3 days budget in itself. But Vietnam and Laos were both far cheaper than Thailand for me. Of course I was in Vientnam during the SARS epidemic - tourism was at a low point, hotels were begging us for customers, and we were getting rooms with a pool, AC, and TVs for about $5. But food was good value anyway, and beer, especially the draft stuff (bia hoi I think it's called) was a fraction of the price compared to Thailand.
Mel, how did you end up spending almost twice as much in Laos and Vietnam?

9. Posted by andyt_uk (Budding Member 42 posts) 11y Star this if you like it!

Hey im here at the mo for a similar amount of time.I'v budgted for 10-15 pounds a day and im doing fine!