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How much will Southeast Asia cost? How much money do I need for backpacking around Southeast Asia? Is Southeast Asia travel expensive?! What will the daily budget be for each country in Southeast Asia? What is the cost of rooms? How much are buses? How much are local meals?

These are all questions that we get asked often and ones that aren’t answered well anywhere else on the web. Of course, the answers are different for every country, so that’s why we made this quick & easy guide to budgeting a Southeast Asia backpacking trip.

Prices have been checked and updated for 2020. All figures are in US Dollars.

how much will southeast asia cost backpacking se asia
Some Delicious Foods Of Southeast Asia.

While traveling Southeast Asia on the budget end, you should be able to live on an average daily budget of about $50-$60/day for two people (around $35-$40/day for solo travellers).

This is including everything while on the road, apart from travel insurance and flights to and from your home country (we’ve broken the costs down based on each individual country below).

If you hardly take any flights and balance your lifestyle with reasonable amounts of drinking and entertainment, and mostly stick to tasty local food, this is an easy travel budget to achieve. *Note, drinking booze is one of the biggest budget busters when on the road. If you can avoid drinking, or at least only drinking a couple of days a week, you’ll save a lot of money.

Some people (including Lonely Planet) may tell you that it’s possible to survive off of less than our suggested budget during a Southeast Asia trip, but that truly is just surviving. Nobody wants to travel Southeast Asia to just “survive” so don’t try to travel on such a ridiculously low budget that you miss out on all the things that make this region so incredible.

There’s not just one Southeast Asia backpacking budget that will cover every country in the region, although they are pretty similar. For the purpose of easy reading, most countries here will be compared to Thailand. It’s usually the jumping-off point and often the most visited country in Southeast Asia. Some countries, however, cost a bit more, while some cost a bit less.

how much will se asia cost budget

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Here’s a breakdown of the daily budget for every country in Southeast Asia (except for East Timor – which costs around $75 – $80 / day on the budget end). The following include visas, a few flights, meals, accommodation, beers, sights, tours, motorbike rental and whatever else a budget traveller may need.

Note: To make a relatively accurate budget calculation for your South East Asia trip, plan for $50 – $60 per day for a couple, which equals $1,500 – $1,800/month. Plan on $35 – $40 per day for one person travelling, which equals $1,050 – $1,200/month.

Thailand Budget

cost of travelling in se asia rent a motorbike in thailand Thailand: ($50/day) This is a great budget for Thailand. Sleep in nice, fan-cooled beach huts, have a few beers at sunset, enjoy a western breakfast once in a while, but mostly stick to delicious Thai food. Every week or so you can go out and have a “bucket” party night. This will also get you into some temples, cover transportation in nice buses, boats and planes.

The following budget is specific to Thailand but can be loosely followed for all of Southeast Asia:

Big Beer at 7-11:
55 THB ($1.75)

Big Beer in a Restaurant:
75-100 THB ($2.40-3.20)

Bucket Cocktail:
250-400 THB ($8.33-13.33)

Regular Cocktail: 
100 THB ($3)

Pad Thai On The Street:
30-50 THB ($0.90-1.50)

Pad Thai in a Restaurant:
50-120 THB ($1.50-3.60)

Budget Private Hostel/Hotel Room:
300-600 THB ($9-18)

Dorm Bed:
100+THB ($3+)

Hut On The Beach:
350+ THB ($10 +)

Massage On The Beach:
300-400 THB/hr ($9-12)

Cheap Internal Flight:
1200+ THB ($40)

Flight/Boat/Bus Combo to Koh Samui From Bangkok:
1,666 THB ($50)

24hr Motorbike Rental:
100-200 THB ($3-6) (Depends On Place & Duration)

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Thailand


Bangkok – from $9 / night

Koh Phangan – from $2 / night

Koh Phi Phi – from $5 / night

Phuket – from $2.50 / night

Koh Samui – from $3 / night

Chiang Mai – from $3 / night

Pai – from $3 / night

Don’t want hostels?

☞ Click here to compare prices for hotels and guesthouses in Thailand on Booking.com

READ MORE:

Cambodia Budget

budget for backpacking southeast asiaCambodia: ($45/day) Here you may get by on a little bit less than Thailand but much of the above budget will be exactly the same. Keep in mind that you will likely be using American Dollars here as well as the local currency, Reil. The reason you may save $5 off of your daily budget is that the rooms in Cambodia can be a bit cheaper. During your stay around Phnom Penh, the Killing Fields, and Angkor Wat you may spend a bit more money, but trust us, the sites are worth it and it all evens out in the end.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Cambodia


Phnom Penh – from $2 / night

Siem Reap – from $3 / night

Sihanoukville – from $2.50 / night

Battambang – from $2 / night

Don’t want hostels?

☞ Click here to compare prices for hotels and guesthouses in Cambodia on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Laos Budget

cost of travelling se asia kuang si waterfall luang prabang laos

Laos: ($55/day) Surprisingly, Laos is slightly more expensive than Thailand. Rooms will cost you a bit more and for some reason so does everything else. The Southern regions of Laos have a tendency to try to “outdo” their tourist crazy neighbour and their prices reflect this. But Laos is worth every penny. Still giving you great value for money.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Laos


Vang Vieng – from $3.50 / night

Vientiane – from $5 / night

Luang Prabang – from $4 / night

Don’t want hostels?

☞ Click here to compare prices on hotels and guesthouses in Laos on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Vietnam Budget

the cost of travelling in vietnam se asiaVietnam: ($45/day) This budget will get you into some pretty nice rooms in Vietnam. The value for money here is great. Nice a/c hotels with wi-fi can run you about $10/night depending on where you are, and which time of the year you travel. Delicious phu (local soup) on the street will be around $1 and the transportation is affordable. The cost of renting motorbikes is also very cheap and we would recommend it. Also, if you’re into tours, you can get some great deals out of Ho Chi Minh City going down into the Mekong Delta.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Vietnam


Hanoi – from $4 / night

Ho Chi Minh City – from $5 / night

Nha Trang – from $4 / night

Hue – from $3.50 / night

Sapa – from $3 / night

Don’t want hostels? 

☞ Click here to compare prices on hotels and guesthouses in Vietnam on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Malaysia Budget

how much will se asia cost malaysia travel

Malaysia: ($40/day) In Kuala Lumpur this budget would be difficult (probably add $15-20 more), but the rest of Malaysia is great value for money. You’ll find comfortable rooms for under $10, cheap flights for travelling across Asia (AirAsia Airline hub is in KL), amazing food for $1 or less and great buses at great prices!

Just keep your hands off of the alcohol if you want to keep to this daily amount. Beer in this Muslim country will rack up your budget quickly. Compare alcohol prices to North America ($4-5/beer) unless you’re on duty-free Langkawi Island where you can get that down to less than a dollar per can of beer.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Malaysia


Kuala Lumpur (KL) – from $4.75 / night

Kota Kinabalu (Borneo) – from $4.75 / night

Penang – from $6 / night

Melaka – from $4 / night

Don’t want hostels?

☞ Click here to compare prices on hotels and guesthouses in Malaysia on Booking.com 


Singapore Budget

what is the cost of travelling in singapore

Singapore: ($75/day) Wow! Get your wallet ready for Singapore and don’t come here during F-1 races or festivals if you want to keep this budget down. It is possible to live off of $60/day in Singapore but this is a big, exciting city. There’s no point in coming here if you’re not going to sample the nightlife, see some sights and indulge in some amazing cuisine.

Keep in mind that private rooms will be around $50/night and taxis and transportation are comparable to western prices. You can hit up China Town or Little India for some cheap(er) beers and food.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Singapore


Singapore – dorms from $12.50

☞ Click here to compare prices on hotels and guesthouses in Singapore on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Indonesia Budget

Beautiful views of Mount Batur and Lake Batur in the Kintamani area, Bali, Indonesia. travel budgetIndonesia: ($35 – $45/day) This is a bare minimum but still includes money for Bintang beers, local transport, basic huts, and the odd snorkel or jungle trek. Depending on which island you travel to, Indonesia can be incredibly cheap and really sets the bar for the rest of Southeast Asia. Not only is it great value for money, but you still get to see and do all you would expect while keeping to a very low budget. If you plan to fly quite a bit between the island, you’ll need to add more to your daily budget. Check out the airlines of Garuda, Lion Air and AirAsia.

Visit the Komodo Dragons, trek volcanoes, surf in Bali, hike into the jungle, enjoy world-class diving, and see orangutans. It’s all at your fingertips…with money leftover in your wallet! When backpacking through Southeast Asia, make sure Indonesia is on your itinerary, it truly is amazing.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Indonesia


Kuta – from $3 / night

Seminyak – from $4 / night

Ubud from $4 / night

Yogyakarta from $4.25 / night

Jakarta from $7 / night

Gili Trawangan from $7 / night

Don’t want hostels? 

Click here to see all hotels & guesthouses available in Indonesia on Booking.com


READ MORE:

Myanmar Budget

the cost of travelling in myanmar se asia Myanmar: ($50-$60/day) This budget will be rising with each passing day. Myanmar is quickly becoming a popular tourist destination and while it still remains cheap today, be aware that swarms of package tourists are beginning to descend on this tranquil paradise and their presence is driving the prices up quickly.

However, it’s still a great budget destination. Hire a boat for the day and see Inle Lake for less than $15/person. Beautiful rooms for around $20/night and great food for around $3/dish. Of course it’s not the cheapest place in the world, but it is great value for money and worth every penny.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Myanmar


Yangon – from $5 / night

Bagan – from $12 / night

Mandalay – from $6.50 / night

Don’t want hostels? 

Click here to see all hotels & guesthouses available in Myanmar on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Philippines Budget

the cost of travelling in the philippines budget

The Philippines: ($60/day) This includes a few domestic flights (pretty much mandatory), some San Miguel beers, cocktails at sunset and nice (but basic) double rooms on the beach. The Philippines is extremely cheap, but the transportation (mainly flights and ferries) will bring your budget up substantially, but alcohol is cheaper than anywhere else in Southeast Asia. If you just stay on one beach and bum around, a couple can probably get by on $25/day. Amazing!

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in The Philippines


Manila – from $6 / night

El Nido – from $4 / night

Cebu – from $6.50 / night

Boracay – from $6 / night

Don’t want hostels? 

Click here for all available hotels and guesthouses in the Philippines on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Brunei Budget

Brunei: ($60 – $65/day) Another budget buster. Brunei is one of the richest countries in the world, so it’s no surprise that it can be costly to travel here. Luckily, you’re likely only going to be stopping here for a night or two on your way through Malaysian Borneo. In fact, if you want to go from South to North Borneo without taking a flight, you’ll need to stay here. You may find a room for under $35 / night, but you’re going to want to see a couple of things in Brunei and those will cost you. But it’s worth it so don’t stay in your room all day just to save money!


Borneo Budget

the cost of travelling in malaysian borneo Borneo: ($60/day) This is strictly referring to Malaysian Borneo which is considerably more expensive than mainland Malaysia. This budget will get you a double room, local meals, transportation by bus and entrance to some of the less popular national parks. If you want to climb Mount Kinabalu, see Mulu Caves, the Pinnacles, dive Sipadan or anything else, you’ll definitely need to increase this budget.

Many travellers leave Borneo disappointed when they realize that they could only afford to do one excursion. Climbing Mt.Kinabalu alone will cost a couple around $500! Other sights are comparable in price.

Where to Stay: Cheap Hostels in Borneo


Kota Kinabalu – from $5.75 / night

Sandakan – from $7 / night

Kuching – from $4.75 / night

Don’t want hostels? 

Click here to see all hotels and guesthouses available in Borneo on Booking.com

READ MORE:


Now You Have a Southeast Asia Backpacking Budget!

I hope this guide helped with estimating travel costs in Southeast Asia. This region of the world truly is a prime destination for budget backpackers. To save even more money and stretch your budget further, try these tips:

  1. Travel during the shoulder and off-season.
  2. Book through Booking.com (they often have great deals & free cancellation).
  3. If you’re a solo traveller, it can be cheaper to share a room with someone else rather than each of you getting a dorm bed.
  4. Check out Airbnb and share an apartment with other travellers – you can save money on accommodation, and cook food for yourselves in the kitchen. Click here for $35 off your first stay.
  5. Utilize Couchsurfing.
  6. Eat street food – don’t be afraid of it!
  7. Use a water purifier rather than purchasing bottles of water.
  8. Take local transportation rather than package deals.
  9. Enjoy free activities such as swimming and hiking.
  10. Don’t drink alcohol.

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208 thoughts on “How Much Will Southeast Asia Cost? A Budget Guide

  1. Hi, I find this article very useful. If you tell me when did u post this and when did you go on this trip, it will give me the clear picture and i can calculate the currency rate also accordingly. It was a very rare and useful article.

  2. We’re glad the article was useful for you!
    We travelled in SE Asia in 2009 and again in 2011. The budgets and costs of each country vary depending on the time of year you travel as well.

    If you have questions regarding a particular country, let us know 🙂

    Cheers and happy travels.

  3. Hi, me and two friends are planning a backpacking trip to SE Asia next summer (2014) for roughly 6 weeks. Would like to visit more than one country but obviously Thailand has a lot to offer so I realize a lot of time will be spent there. Would £30 GBP per person per day be enough to have an enjoyable time exploring/sightseeing but also relaxing/partying? (I hear the islands are where your budget gets eaten up). By partying I mean experiencing the nightlife in some places we visit and having a few drinks socially in others.

  4. Hello,

    I’ve really enjoyed your article on SE asia, my partner and I are planning our trip to go this September, were currently working out our budget and just wanted to ask if your recommended daily budget for a couple is in Canadian or us dollars.

    thanks for your help 🙂

  5. Hi, I loved reading your article! I’m currently reading up on places to see/go in SEA as I’m planning to travel there in early 2015.

    I see the budget you suggested is for 2 people, if I were to go by myself would it be logical to half this then add on a little more? Also i’m a first time traveller so any handy little tips would be perfect!

  6. Hey Charlie,

    That sounds like a great trip! Thailand is a great country and you’re right, it has lots to offer. I think that 30 gbp is enough for one person travelling to SE Asia. You’ll have to take local transport, sleep in dorms or share double rooms, eat local food and drink every couple of days…but it is possible. As an example: we lived off of about $50/day in Koh Phangan for 2 people.

    Moving around eats up a lot of your budget, as does over-partying 🙂

    Enjoy!

  7. Sounds great! Our budget per day was in Canadian Dollars…which was basically equal to the USD when we were travelling 🙂

  8. Hey Christian,

    SEA is a great place to travel, I’m sure you’ll have a good time there.

    Yes, 1/2 the budget and add more. $35 – $40 USD for one person is a good budget. That’s taking local transport, eating street food with the occasional restaurant, having a beer or two every couple of days and sleeping in dorms, or shared double rooms/huts.

    Check out 10 tips every backpacker should know:
    https://www.goatsontheroad.com/10-tips-every-backpacker-should-know/

    As well as our backpacking guides to different countries in Southeast Asia:
    https://www.goatsontheroad.com/category/goat-guides/

  9. Hi,been to south east asia many times,if you want cheap,go to sihanoukille Cambodia..nice place has good beaches,not as busy as thailand…more laid back…but cheap…50 cent beers,$8-12 for a hotel,food 2.00 a meal.. tuk-tuk $1.00….and all the sun fun for free….

  10. Hey,

    You’re right, Sihanoukville has cheap food, beers and accommodation. The beach is pretty nice as well. Not as white of sands as in Thailand or on Koh Rong (Cambodia), but still nice. The only problem with Sihanoukville is that there is a LOT of hassle to buy things or to give money from beach peddlers. We’ve travelled many places, but one of the worst for that was probably here.

  11. I love diving in Malaysia .. it has one of the cheapest PADI Scuba diving course in the world … Ya’LL should

    visit Tioman Island between January-September (off monsoon season)

  12. How much does it cost for PADI in Malaysia? It’s quite cheap in places like Thailand and Honduras. Unfortunately, we skipped Tioman on our trip to Malaysia!! Next time for sure 🙂

    Cheers.

  13. Hey Guys,

    I was just wondering if £1,500 – £2,000 spends would be sufficient enough to last 3 months in SEA?

    Me and my girlfriend are planning on arriving in Phuket and travelling towards Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Were then going to travel up Thailand into the main land and then go East through Loas and Vietnam; up to Halong Bay and then down the Vietnamese Coast and back through into Cambodia and carry on into Thailand again.

    What time frame do you think we should spend in each country and are there any really outstanding sight we shouldn’t be missing?

    Regards,

    Jay

  14. Hey Jay,

    That sounds like a great trip! Although you technically could scrape by on 2,000 GBP (total for you and your girlfriend) for three months in the countries you listed, you would be missing out on some things with that budget. If you upped it to 2,400 GBP, you would have a more enjoyable time. Especially because you plan to visit more expensive places like Koh Samui and Phuket.

    With the lower budget, you would have to stay in dorms, eat basic meals on the street, wouldn’t be able to rent motorbikes/scooters, or go on any tours. But we think it could be possible to get by.

    For a more enjoyable time, it’s probably best to up the budget just a bit – better to have too much, than not enough. We typically budget $50USD/month for both of us in those countries.

    Koh Phangan is such a fun island!! Make sure to eat at My Friend Restaurant, it’s authentic and delicious. Rent a scooter and explore the island.
    In Laos, the southern Four Thousand Islands area is beautiful. Koh Rong island in Cambodia is stunning. The mountainous villages of Sapa and Dalat are nice in Vietnam. Basically everything you do will be awesome!

    Have a great trip 🙂

  15. Hi guys,

    I’m off to SE Asia for hopefully 6 months in July with one of my mates. The countries we are definitely going to visit are Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, and if we have enough time/funds maybe another one or two! I have about £7,000 saved up after flights are taken out. Do you think this would be enough to last 6 months? And would it be enough to be able to do the odd excursion here and there?

    Many Thanks!

    Josh

  16. Hey Josh!

    I have great news for you…that’s TONS of money for Southeast Asia! You will be able to sleep comfortably, eat great food, have beers, go on excursions and you may even be able to squeeze in a flight or two between countries with Air Asia if you wanted 🙂

    Our average budget for SEA was about $65/day (which is your budget) for two people!

    I think you’ll find that 6 months to see those 4 countries is more than enough time. If you plan to stay for more than a month in any of them, you’ll have to extend your visa, or get a two month visa ahead of time.

    If you’re interested, maybe you could check out the Philippines or Indonesia as well…or Malaysia 🙂

    Make sure to have insurance sorted out before you go as well. We recommend and use World Nomads. It’s cheap, perfect for adventurous travel and you can make changes easily while on the road:

    http://www.worldnomads.com/af.aspx?affiliate=goatsroad&subid=&utm_source=goatsroad&utm_medium=textlink&utm_campaign=easy_url

    Happy Travels!

  17. Thanks for the reply!

    Thats fantastic news! Have not done a trip of this size before so as you can imagine feel a little nervous in terms of how much money will last! With that said, sleeping comfortably is not my style so some money will be saved there! Beer on the other hand is something I wont be missing out on haha.

    Yeah a few people I have spoken to have said that 6 months is quite a long time for those four countries so will definitely have to visit one or two of the surrounding countries.

    I am just about to sort out my travel insurance actually so will make sure to check them out!

    Thanks

    Josh

  18. Hi

    me and my friend have booked flights to SEA for August, we plan to have around £3000 each, we have no set time for coming back, were just going to see how much we can stretch our money. are there any excursions you recommend skipping/ tourist traps

    Thanks
    Stephen

  19. Hey Josh,

    Enjoy your time in Southeast Asia, you’ll have plenty of money and will be able to see many countries in 6 months. Our trip to SEA was fantastic and I’m sure yours will be too 🙂

    We work with World Nomads Insurance (the link I gave you) and we recommend them for sure. If you book your insurance using the link I gave you, you still pay the same amount as you would going to the actual site yourself, but we get a small percentage if you use the link I sent.

    It would really help us out and we would really appreciate your support 🙂 Thank you!

    Happy travels.

  20. Hey Stephen,

    Where do you plan to go in SEA? Some countries cost more than others and you could spend longer on the road if you skipped Brunei, Borneo, Singapore, Myanmar and some places in the Philippines, Thailand and Laos. Your money will go further in Indonesia, Cambodia, Vietnam and Malaysia. The longer you stay somewhere, the longer your money will last. If you’re constantly moving around, you’ll spend lots on transportation.

    Cheers!

  21. Hey,

    I am planning a 4 week trip to South East Asia (Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam and also Philippines). My budget is around $1200-1300 (excluding flights, but including Visa). Do you think this amount is enough to survive (well, not just survive) for 4 weeks in South East Asia. I would be spending a week in Thailand, a week in Philippines, 4 days each in Vietnam and Cambodia and 5 days in Laos.

    Also, do you think 4 weeks do justice to South East Asia? I am a student and short on both budget and time but I really want to make this trip.

    Also, I would welcome your recs/comments on my trip plan.

  22. Hi Andy,

    SE Asia is a great place to travel to! You’ll have such a great time. 4 weeks isn’t a lot of time to see all of the countries you’ve listed, but it is doable. We personally feel that the slower you travel, the more you’ll see. However, many people like to travel faster than we do and you would be able to see all of those places, but you’ll be rushed.

    You will need to fly between countries due to your time constraints. Check out Air Asia or Indigo for cheap flights.

    If you have $1300, that would give you $46/day for 4 weeks. We usually travel to SE Asia on $50-60/day for two people, so I think $46 would be a good budget. However, since you’re moving so fast and will have to take some flights, it may be cutting it a bit close.

    I would suggest going to SEA with a loose plan and see how you feel. Maybe you’ll fall in love with Cambodia and want to spend more time there and skip Vietnam, etc. You don’t need to book anything in advance, you can book flights and buses when you get there, which leaves room for spontaneity!

    Whatever you end up doing, I’m sure you’ll have a great time 🙂

    Cheers and happy travels.

  23. Thanks for your reply, mate.

    Right, even I think I need to be more flexible and also I understand that 4 weeks isn’t a lot of time.

    Do you suggest, alternatively, that I actually don’t travel all 5 countries here and stick to say, 3? I think I would definitely want to visit Thailand (though it would really depend on the political situation, which doesn’t look great at the moment) and Philippines. So maybe I could negotiate between Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. But I want to leave this as a last alternative.

    Also, don’t you think booking the flights instantly would cost a lot and since I would have to provide my bookings for entering and leaving the country at the time of applying for visa wouldn’t it make sense to book flights already?

  24. Hi guys,

    Your blog is fantastic! My girlfriend and I are seriously considering travelling to SEA next year once she graduates and my temporary job contract runs out. We are first time backpackers and have only ever done package tours besides my girlfriends trip to Kenya with World Challenge. We were hoping for a little advice on budgeting and where is best to go (political climate/crime etc), or whether we are reading too much into the government website. We come from the UK, so have to do a few conversions for your budgeting. Any help and advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!

    Thank you and take care!

    Joe and Sarah

  25. Hi Andy,

    You could definitely shorten the list of countries down to 3, but it’s entirely up to you! The Philippines is a big place and you’ll have to fly to and from there. If you stayed in The Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam circle, you could get around by land if you wanted, or fly if you felt you were running out of time.

    If you have exact plans, then yes, book your flights ahead of time. If you’re still up in the air about where you’re wanting to go, then you can just book flights as you go. You can usually find cheap flights even if you book only a week or so ahead of time with Air Asia. I just suggested this because it would leave you some room for changing plans 🙂 Also, there are good overnight buses in SE Asia.

    As for visas, if you’re flying into Thailand, you will get a visa on arrival at the airport, valid for 30 days. Depending on which airline you are leaving home from, you will need to show proof of flight out of Thailand…which can just be a printed out itinerary, you don’t actually have to book the flight (many people don’t realize this).

    You can get a Cambodian visa at the border. You can get your Laos visa at the border. You can get your Philippine visa on arrival at the airport when you land. You can get your Vietnam visa in Cambodia or Thailand.

    However, if you don’t want to deal with getting the Vietnam visa while you’re on the road, you could book them ahead with Visa HQ, here:
    http://www.visahq.com/?a_aid=vaff4200

    I hope this makes sense and helps. If you don’t go to Vietnam, you don’t need to get any visas ahead of time.

    Cheers!

  26. Hi Joe & Sarah,

    Thank you for the kind words!

    We’ve always felt that Asia is a very safe part of the world. There is more crime in Central/South America and Africa and obviously, in some cities in Europe, North America and anywhere in the world!

    If you’re on a budget, then SE Asia and Central America would be the places to go. If money isn’t a concern, then you could backpack around Europe, Americas, Australia, etc.

    But, for first time backpackers, I think SE Asia has great tourism infrastructure, friendly people, awesome sights and beaches, fantastic food and interesting culture.

    I hope this helps somewhat! And yes, don’t look at the Government warnings too closely 😉

    Happy trails.

  27. Thanks very much! Duly noted!

    We are thinking Cambodia for 4 weeks with a rough budget of £3400 for all including air travel from Scotland. Will this do the job?

    Cheers

    Joe

  28. Hey

    Thanks for the reply, were planning on doing Thailand(depending on the situation), Vietnam, Cambodia, and possibly Indonesia, and the Philippines but this could all change as we have no return flight, we want to see as much as possible, but at the same time, we don’t want to rush. I’ve heard the floating markets are meant to be a disappointment.

    Thanks again 🙂
    Stephen

  29. Hey Joe,

    That should be more than enough 🙂 I’m not sure exactly what flights cost from Scotland to Cambodia, but you could even look at flying into somewhere like Bangkok, Thailand with a bigger hub. The flights to there may be cheaper, then you could just take a bus across to Cambodia.

    If you figure on 30 pounds a day total, then that’ll only be 840 pounds for the both of you to travel in Cambodia for 4 weeks, leaving you with plenty of money to fly there, or increase your budget if you wish.

    Cheers!

  30. Sounds great! Those are all affordable countries, especially Cambodia, Vietnam and Indo. As for the floating market, we really liked it. It was really touristy though, but we had our own boat for just the two of us and it was definitely a cool sight to see. Check out the weekend market in Bangkok, that’s pretty awesome as far as markets go.

    Have fun!

  31. Great blog!!
    Me and my sister and travelling south east asia in October for 2 months: 1 week in Indonesia, a few days each in singapore and Kuala Lumpur, 4 weeks thailand, 10 days laos, 2 weeks vietnam and a week in Cambodia…

    We plan on having £2000 each not including our initial flights, domestic flights or visas. This amount will include accomodation, overland travel (singapore to KL, Koh samui to krabi, all island travel, chiang mai to vientiane, hanoi – hue – Ho Chi Minh and then HCM through Cambodia to bangkok).

    Do you think this will be sufficient? We want to do a lot of the activities but I’m not sure that we will dive. We will probably drink most nights in bali and thailand but hardly any whilst travelling a lot across Laos and vietnam. We are happy to share very cheap accomodation and street food will be perfect. How much would you typically spend on alcohol on a night out in bangkok say?

    Cheers,

    Lucy

  32. Hi Lucy!

    Sounds like a great trip. 2,000 GBP is plenty for one person travelling in SE Asia for 2 months, especially because that amount is only for accommodation, activities, food and overland travel.

    The cost of alcohol on a night out in Bangkok really depends on how much you plan on drinking 🙂 As an example, a big beer (600ml) is 96 pence. A cocktail is usually around 1.80 – 3 GBP.

    I hope this helps! Have a great time 🙂

  33. Hi Guys!

    Me and my Girlfriend have organised a 3 month back packing trip across Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam; for which your lovely blog has been a fantastic reference point! We have booked our flights to/from Bangkok, paid for travel insurance, booked the first 3 nights in a hotel and have booked an in flight from Hanoi back to Bagkok. After this I, individually, will have approx £1,600 to spend whilst there. Firstly I would love some feedback on whether or not you feel this budget is suitable, I am worried about the cost of the long distance coaches and not being able to contribute as much as my partner. Also some tips on booking the coaches and accommodation whilst there would be very welcome! Is it really as easy as everybody tells me?

    Thank you so much,
    Oscar

  34. Hey guys,
    great write up there”)
    Really don’t know why I’m asking this for because I’ve lived in Thailand of a few years now but interested in Cam/Vet and the cost.My wife and i are heading there in a month and was just wondering how much we would need?We are 28/29 and i have put away $6000AUD for 6 weeks,flights are already paid for,half accommodation as well.We are going to stay with my wife’s family for 1 week in Thailand so not a lot to do in Udon Thani-Thailand!Koh Tao and Koh Samui were we have friends that work at nice hotels so we got them for a bargain price.
    So do you think $1000 a week would be enough for Cam/Vet
    thanks Jordan

  35. Hi guys! great blog.
    I have a some questions :p
    I have backpacked around Europe several times and i was wondering how different is it?, i’m planning to go with 4 friends for about a month during winter, i think cultural shock wont be a problem since we all come from 3rd world countries 🙂 .

    Will 2000-2300 USD (excluding long flights) will suffice for 5 countries (Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore)?
    Do you recommend any webpages were we can book accommodation or domestic flights?
    Do you recommend the Full Moon Party at Ko Phangan?
    Do you recommend going to Phuket or are there any other similar places for a more reasonable price?

    Thanks in advance, glad to see your country counter at 42! we’re currently at 34 hoping to reach 100.
    hope you guys had a great time in my home country!
    Regards.

  36. Hello Oscar!

    It sounds like you two have a great trip planned 🙂

    As a couple, we spent about $50USD/day in the countries you’ve listed. The budget you’ve told me is $30USD/day for ONE person. Therefore, I think you’ll have enough cash, especially if your partner also has $30 to spend – $60/day for a couple would be a very good budget.

    Buses are very easy to book in that part of the world. Many (most) of the guesthouses/hostels/hotels can either book the tickets for you (for a small fee), or they can point you in the direction of the bus terminal where you can buy your ticket yourself. Try to buy your bus ticket a couple of days in advance if you can.

    As for booking rooms, check out Hostel World, Hostel Bookers or Booking.com. However, it’s very easy to find rooms in the countries you’ve listed. You could even show up and look around if you wanted, but if you’re like us, you’ll want to have your rooms booked ahead 🙂

    Good luck and enjoy Southeast Asia!

  37. Hey Jordan,

    You’ll have more than enough money. Prices are similar to Thailand, but we found accommodation and transportation to be cheaper. As a couple, we usually budget for about $50USD/day. Your budget will give you $135USD/day for a couple, so I think you’ll be fine 🙂

    Enjoy!

  38. Hello Fernando!

    Where are you from? The Philippines?

    The budget you listed will give you about $75/day spending money. I’m not sure what sort of “long flights” you mean – from home (which is where?) to Thailand? I’m just wondering if you are needing to fly from somewhere further away because that will cost a lot more than if you’re coming from Asia.

    $75/day will be plenty for accommodation, food, transportation and some entertainment. Singapore is much more expensive than the other countries you stated.

    Have a look at Air Asia or Indigo for flights. If you’re coming from the Phils, check out Cebu Pacific.

    As for booking rooms, have a look at HostelWorld, Hostel Bookers and Booking.com.

    We had a great time at the Full Moon Party – it is quite a crazy drinking party, but we have to admit that we enjoyed it. Outside of the Full Moon Party, Koh Phangan is nice and quiet, love it there.

    Never been to Phuket as it’s more of a resort type place. Have a look at Koh Tao, Railay or Koh Lanta for beautiful beaches, but cheaper prices.

    Enjoy your trip 🙂

  39. Hey guys,

    Super helpful article! 😀

    My boyfriend and I are planning to travel se asia for 6 weeks this winter, just wondered if you know whether we should expect any increase in cost of living over Christmas and new year? We plan to be in thailand at that time, probably around the islands… Do you recommend a slightly higher budget for this time of year? Do you know if it will still be quite easy to find accommodation as we go etc…?

    Thanks!

  40. Thanks a lot !

    We are from Mexico, I think i didn’t explain myself well , we already bought the intercontinental flight at 1200 USD so i think it was ok 😀 we’ve got 2300 apart from that.

    Regarding visas do you have to issue them before your trip as you would in China for example? or can you get them upon your arrival to any country?

  41. Hi Beth,

    Over Christmas and New Years, cost of accommodation can increase. If you’re staying in mid-top end places, they could increase quite a bit. At the budget end, they don’t increase all that much. If you’re on Koh Phagnan for the full moon party though, rooms do increase quite a bit. Food will be the same price and I don’t think bus costs increase (flights would though), however, they will be busier so you’ll want to book ahead.

    I would recommend having something booked for Christmas and New Years, it’ll be busy.

    Check out:

    HostelWorld.com, HostelBookers.com, Booking.com or Hotels.com for rooms 🙂

    Cheers!

  42. Ohh, Mexico! I should have known 🙂 and yes, we did have a wonderful time in your country!

    Because you hold a Mexican passport, it looks like you will need to get your visa for Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand ahead of time. For Singapore, it looks like you get a free 30 day visa on arrival.

    As Canadians, we also have to get our Vietnam visa ahead of time, we got it while we were in Cambodia.

    Definitely check with each consulate to figure this out!

    have a look at VisaHQ also – http://www.visahq.ca/

    Good luck!

  43. Hi guys! Great post but I just wanted to pick your brains a bit on the prices of things and how much to budget.

    I know there is a lot mentioned about various budgets but myself and my girlfriend will be visiting Cambodia/Vietnam for 25 days(ish) next April.

    Our plan is to do the following….

    Bangkok (3)
    fly to Siem Reap (2)
    fly to SIhanoukville (6)
    bus to Phnom Penh (3)
    bus to Ho Chi Minh (3)
    fly to Nha Trang (6)
    fly to Ho Chi Minh (1)
    Home

    Does the above itinerary look feasible? We have already booked our flights out there and will be prebooking and paying for all of the visa’s, internal flights, buses, hotels etc so the only money we need to account for when we get there is literally just spends for food, drink, local transport (tuk-tuks), tours/excursions/activities.

    Would you say the same budget applies as I’m having difficulty sussing out how much we will need to spend. I’ve actually been to Thailand before for about 4 weeks but I can’t for the life of me remember how much I spent as it was the start of a backpacking trip!!!

    We like to eat and drink in nice places from time to time but similarly we aren’t afraid of getting amongst it with the street food and such like, we party occasionally (obviously won’t be every night) but we do enjoy a good bit of nightlife.

    Any help with figuring a budget would be greatly appreciated.

  44. Hi,

    Me and my girlfriend are planning a trip to SEA starting in November and we’re having trouble deciding whether to organise it ourselves or pay for a guided adventure. We want to see Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia then make our way down through Thailand to Malaysia and Indonesia. Is public transport cheap and reliable? I am aware there are companies such as ‘Stray’ that offer guided adventure tours and bus routes you can hop on and off. Have you ever had any experience with these kind of tours? We would like to travel SEA for 2 months then maybe onto New Zealand but that’s another story. What budget will we be looking at for 2 months in SEA? Thanks

  45. Hi,

    First of all your blog is awesome! I couldn’t stop reading it on my way home.

    Me and my friend are planning to go to SE Asia in February 2015. As our work doesn’t allow us we are going there only for 2weeks (including overseas traveling)

  46. Hey,

    Sounds like a great trip you have planned. The budget we listed above includes accommodation as well as land transportation. So, if you figured on $5 each/meal (you can get meals for much less), that would be $30/day. Tuk-Tuk rides are about $2 or so and beers in Cambodia are $0.50 in some places and $1 in others. Excursions are also very inexpensive. About the same pricing in Vietnam. So, if you had $50/day (USD) you would have more than enough money I’d say.

    Hope this helps 🙂
    Enjoy!

  47. Brilliant, thanks for the help guys. Just trying to get my head round everything! Do you think our itinerary looks feasible and is the best use of time? We wanted to do a bit of travelling around but not heaps hence the longer stays in Sihanoukville and Nha Trang so we could relax etc and take in the beaches etc. Or are there better places to visit for that kind of thing?

  48. Hi Adam,

    Sounds like a great trip you have planned! We always recommend people travel independently through Southeast Asia (and, well, everywhere!) Here’s why:

    1. It’s much, much cheaper than joining a tour.
    2. What if you don’t like the group you’re with? You’re stuck with them!
    3. You won’t have the freedom to stay longer if you want to or move on sooner if you aren’t enjoying a place.

    With joining a preplanned tour, you just get to sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. So, if you’re interested in having your trip planned and not having to worry about having to get from point a to point b, then maybe joining a tour would be for you.

    Local transport in all of the countries you’ve listed is reliable and easy to navigate. You could always splurge a bit more if you wanted to and take a private taxi rather than a bus in some cases.

    For a budget, you’ll be looking at around $50USD /day for the both of you. Hostel rooms and bungalows are between $10 and $20 /night (dorm beds are less) – we once got a double room in Indonesia for $2! Meals range from $1 – $7 ($7 being a very nice meal) Transportation is cheap as well. You could bank on around $1 – $2/hour in transportation (so a 2 hour bus ride would be about $2-$4) Boat/Bus combination tickets in Thailand from Bangkok to the islands will set you back about $20USD.

    Sooo, for two months at $50/day, expect to spend about $3,000. This doesn’t include flights to and from your home. If you bumped it up to $60, you would have lots of money to play with.

    We recommend getting Travel Insurance. We use World Nomads, here’s why:
    https://www.goatsontheroad.com/world-nomads-best-travel-insurance-backpackers/