The right budget for Southeast Asia?

A Wat in Bangkoks Grand Palace

A Wat in Bangkok's Grand Palace

Southeast Asia is one of the most popular regions in the world for vagabonds.  The low cost of living, exotic cultures and fantastic food make it a permanent fixture on most itineraries.

But how much money do you need?  On the New York Times travel blog In Transit, a writer attempts to map out a Southeast Asia budget.  Writer David G. Allen wrote a detailed, informative breakdown. Most helpful, there are lots of links to NY Times articles related to all the major destinations in Southeast Asia.

Having recently completed a 5-month trip around the region myself, I can add my two cents. I was more “flashpacker” then backpacker, taking Air Asia flights, staying in nice guesthouses or budget hotels I found on Travel Fish, and eating in sit-down restaurants (check out’s Greater Asia forum).

My rough costs were about US$1,000 a month.  If you take long-distance buses, stay in the cheapest motels and eat from street stalls, you could do it for dramatically less.

Posted by | Comments (4)  | July 3, 2009
Category: Vagabonding Advice

4 Responses to “The right budget for Southeast Asia?”

  1. brian from Says:

    Absolutely much less than than that if you’re staying in even lower cost places like Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. In Siem Reap I had a hostel room for $6US a night. Six. HOTEL, not hostel.

  2. Says:

    Thanks for the advice on budgeting for a trip through Southeast Asia. It can become confusing with exchange rates and currencies. Sometimes you under or over estimate your travel expenses. I guess it comes down what your agenda is and where you’d like to stay (hostels or hotels).

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