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 Chowhound.com’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.