How Much Should You Save For An Awe-Inspiring Asian Trip?

our millions of Vietnamese Dongs
How much will a trip to Southeast Asia cost? This is the most commonly question my relatives and friends ask me after knowing of my recent backpacking trip to Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand.

I won't be able to give you an accurate answer to that. But what I can share here is our personal journey from budgeting to spending. 10 days won't cost you a fortune, that's the good news. Asia is comparatively an affordable region to travel. We set aside a simple plan of knowing head on what to save, when to save and where to save. 

Travel Tip: Know when to SAVE and when to SPLURGE. Saving and skimping your pocket money just to "survive" is not a smart thing to do as you will definitely miss out on a lot of things that country can offer. So don't travel on a ridiculously low budget. Know how to balance.

We saved a lot on accommodation as Trip Advisor was pretty much my go-to site. They have the most genuine reviews online. Of course we steered clear from posh hotels since we'll be outdoors most of the time. A nice clean room with friendly staff  in a secured place will be perfectly okay. We were able to reserve some very affordable rooms in Vietnam and Cambodia and chose to upgrade on accommodation in Thailand

Load up on spices!

Food in Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand were relatively cheap. To save, we chose to try some of their street foods and eat at restaurants along the side streets. But we splurge a bit for a one night dinner buffet in Cambodia which I actually think is affordable considering we get to see a free cultural Aspara show.

Here's a rundown of our expenses per country within 9 days (3 days per country).

Php1320          $30                  3 Nights at Bich Duyen Hotel incl. breakfast
Php528            $12                  Cu Chi Tunnel Tour incl. bus
Php576            275000VND       Food
Php31             15000VND         War Remnants

Php1760          $40                  3 Nights at Bou Savy incl breakfast and 2 day tour
Php880            $20                  Food incl. 1 dinner buffett with apsara show
Php880            $20                  Angkor Wat entrance
Php660            $15                  Cultural Village tour

Php2792          2100BHT          3 Nights at Feung Nakorn Balcony and buffet breakfast
Php132            100BHT           Wat Pho entrance
Php930            700BHT           Floating Market + Elephant and Crocodile Show Tour
Php664            500BHT           Chao Praya River Tour
Php704            530BHT           Food
Php66              50BHT            Taxi to FnB (150BHT shared by 3)
Php332            250BHT           Taxi FnB to Airport (1500BHT shared by 6)

Php1217          $27                  Mekong Express Bus (Vietnam to Cambodia)
Php1262          $28                  Natakkan Bus (Cambodia to Thailand)

Plane Fare:
Php6363          Total Plane Fare (Piso Fare Promo from Cebu Pacific) 
                       General Santos - Manila
                       Manila - Vietnam
                       Bangkok - Manila
                       Manila - Gensan

For 3 countries in 9 days, I only spent a total of Php21,097 and that includes the plane fare already (pasalubong shopping is a different story). That plane fare secured during a Piso Fare promo should be less if you’re coming directly from Manila.

I was travelling with my relatives, which included a senior citizen so I can't put up an Amazing Race itinerary of sort. Obviously, this is not my cheapest backpacking trip as I have to prioritize comfort before budget but still getting a sense of adventure at the same time. And I think I was able to give them that Asian thrill.


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