On a RTW trip for a year, Thailand for £15/day
Replies: 15 - Last Post: Feb 15, 2012 7:20 AM Last Post By: keirsek
Feb 13, 2012 3:14 AM
On a RTW trip for a year, Thailand for £15/dayHey guys... hope you're all doing all right :)
I got a question that I was hoping you might be able to help me with. I'm leaving on a round the world trip for about a year, on a bit of a budget (as most travellers!).
This is my 2nd RTW trip, and I know that bugets go to hell once you hit the ground but its a good estimate to have! In my first one I had to cut it short to 10 months since I ran out of money... :P
This time I'm starting in India (where I'll stay for about 4-6 months) and then going to Nepal and from there flying into Bangkok (that's the only flight, the rest is all overland). Then I'll spend 6 months doing SE Asia (Thailand,Laos, Vietnam, Malasya, Singapore etc etc).
I've been looking at the daily budget from a lot of traveller reviews and the only country that worries me is Thailand... it seems its a lot more expensive than all the other ones I'll be travelling in by a distance.
I can't really afford more than £15/day so I was wondering if it was even possible to do it? I don't mind sleeping in a dorm, and I usually eat the local food (which is delicious!) in stalls, etc. For example I don't mind eating stall food and leaving a healthy tip than in a restaurant. The only thing I don't settle on is bottled water since its the difference between being ok and feeling like a dog.
I'm not much of a party monster, rather spend the time wandering around and socializing with the locals/other travellers. Also I rather travel by bus/train that flying (I'm from Argentina originally and we love our buses there!).
So after this wall of text... any advice? Thanks my fellow travellers!
TL:DR. Thailand on £15 per day, is it possible?
Feb 13, 2012 5:54 AM
Feb 13, 2012 6:11 AM
2Thanks for the reply.
I thought £15 was around 750 Baht at the current exchange rate? In any case, I agree its not a great amount of money... but bare in mind that a lot the budget for a lot of people goes into booze/cigarettes/nights out which is not something I'll be spending on.
So my main expenditures would be accomodation/food/travel and of course fees to enter national parks, etc.
Feb 13, 2012 6:16 AM
3£15 is just over 700B. It's possible to live on that, but you'd have to confine yourself to places where dirt-cheap accommodation is still available, and even then you'd have to eat and drink the cheapest stuff possible. Even a couple of beers a day might be a struggle, and don't forget you still have to have money to move around. It'd be very, very tight and not a lot of fun.
Feb 13, 2012 7:03 AM
Feb 13, 2012 8:26 AM
51000B would obviously be better, but not much. You'll have to plan well. If you cut down on your moving around your money will go further. Cities are much cheaper for rooms and food than islands. Also, if you find a place you like and decide to stay for a week or more, you might be able to negotiate a reduced rate with the hotel / bungalows if you pay in advance. And if you could find a travel buddy (or girlfriend!) that you could share accommodation with, that would make a big difference.
Feb 13, 2012 2:08 PM
6That budget should be okay if you avoid alcohol on the most part, and limit restaurant visits.
Are you budgeting more money for Malaysia and Singapore? They're more likely to eat into your funds.
Feb 13, 2012 2:24 PM
7I travelled around central Thailand last March (Bangkok - Ayutthaya - Lopburi - Sukhothai - Kanchanaburi - Bangkok - Aranya Pratet) and spent less than Baht 1000 per day, this was the last month of a one year trip and my budget was on its last legs.
To travel use third class on ordinary trains where available, its ridiculously cheap and not unduly uncomfortable.
When dorms are available (they're not always) you'll be looking at between 200 and 300 per night, in Bangkok I stayed at Baan Hualamphong and was paying baht 220 for a huge dorm with a balcony, which I usually had to myself one of the best accomodation deals I found.
Cheap food is always easy to find on the streets, also if you go to the large supermarkets such as Tesco at the end of the day they have reallly cheap fresh produce that is going out of date the next day.
I rarely drink which reduced costs significantly, but didn't scrimp on sightseeing anything that I wanted to see I saw entry fees aren't too expensive, I hired a moped in Lopburi to explore the rural parts of Lopburi province and used good ac busses to get to/from Kanchanaburi,(one thing I can't do however tight my budget is, is overcrowded sweatly local busses)
All in all I averaged £15 to £20 per day, some days being rather more expensive and others being vastly cheaper.
One thing to be wary of is transport costs in Bangkok (metro skytrain etc) they might seem small individually but add up very quickly. And always remember you don't need to spend money to have a great time I went to Lumphini park in Bangkok at 6am one morning to watch the tai chi and ended up learning the tango in a pavillion with a group of middle aged Thai ladies didn't cost a penny and is one of my most treasured memories.
Feb 13, 2012 3:32 PM
8220 for a dorm. You can get big aircon rooms for 300-400 baht around Issan. Bangkok is expensive.
If you want to live on 800-1000 baht a day go to Issan but you'll have to take slow buses to keep costs down.
Reckon if you cut your time in half and double your budget to 1400 baht you'll have more fun and be able to actually see and experience more.
Feb 13, 2012 9:40 PM
9North can work out half the cost of staying down south. Sometimes rooms can be the same price, but in the south food and drinks can be more expensive, especially on the islands.
A good way to save is to enjoy what's free (or v cheap)-beaches, mountains, walks down the street, cycle rides, parks, local restaurants, etc.
Feb 14, 2012 12:45 AM
Maybe for you. What's required is some discipline, and paying attention to where the money's going, if you want to travel on a very low budget. What you read about Thai travel budgets may have something to do with holiday-makers being more inclined to party etc. So it's a bit overinflated.
Still, 800 baht a day is quite low. What's physically/financially possible may not be very enjoyable. This raises the issue of your comfort zone. All you can do is try. If 800 baht a day is too miserable for you (travel ought to be fun some of the time) then trade off number of days with the daily budget, as has already been mentioned.
If you've already been on one RTW trip, and will have had several months behnd you by the time you get to Thailand, you'll surely have picked up a few tricks on how to enjoy yourself without spending too much. One of the more important ones mantioned by others is to stay away from the more popular, more highly visited, tourist (including so-called backpackers) locations.
Feb 14, 2012 1:15 AM
11Thanks for the great advice all, it's been extremely helpful!
I will do two budgets. One for 1000B a day for more time and one for 1500B for 2/3 of the time... so if I find I can't make it on the lower budget once I'm there I can always stay less time and go for the higher one. As people mention traveling is about having fun :)
Oh what I meant by budgets going to heck once hitting the ground is that there are always a lot of unforseen things that happen to you whilst traveling. It's a bit like that saying that no tactic survives the first encounter with the enemy in a war. A budget is absolutely necessary as a guide but not something to obsess with as long as you're responsible and keeping tabs on what you spend your money in (e.g. in my last trip if one day I had to spend more doing a fun activity I did it with no regrets, knowing that the following day I'd just cut expenses a little).
Anyways thanks a lot again, and I'll continue my planning!
Feb 14, 2012 7:53 AM
Feb 15, 2012 1:49 AM
13For ALL MY DAILY EXPENSES in a day (not just food and drinks) in my days travelliing I was spending twice as much in the south as north, but roughly staying in accommodation of similar or slightly higher value. Factor in boat costs to and from islands, long bus journeys or trains, tuk tuks, higher food and drinks prices, it can all send one over budget very easily. By staying north (or even northeast Isaan) one can cut food costs in half and over a prolonged period of time one can keep on budget or balance the budget, or spend too much money being south and go over budget. I'd say hit the islands first, enjoy the beaches, but if funds are getting low because of constantly being over budget, head north.
Regardless of a budget one can spend less by: eating where locals eat, avoiding higher priced western food, buying bigger water bottles, buying beers at 7-11 or local shops, and enjoying free natural surroundings or cheap activities like cycling.
Feb 15, 2012 6:24 AM
14Of course boats trips are going to cost a bit. But up north hiring a car would also. You're not comparing similar situations and touring.
I pay 700-900 baht for a good room in the south and paid 900 baht in CM for slighly better and 600 baht in Issan for the same.
They have cheap 40 baht meals in the south too and beers much the same.
Really only daytrips that cost a bit but so do treks.
Very little difference.
Bangkok always costs more because rooms below 1000 baht arent much fun.
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