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Money talk

Researching budget! how much do we need to save ?????

semi-overcast 26 °C

All prices in NZD

Change of plan

First of all, a major decision has been taken! I think we will have to cut down on Indonesia :(
The reasons for that are that we would like to leave Raro end of November and be in thailand for new years eve!
So the new time frame is now:
Month 1: Sydney - Kuala Lumpur - South Thailand
Month 2: Bangkok - North Thailand - Laos - Vietnam - Cambodia
Month 3: Cambodia - Bangkok - Dehli - Nepal - Kalkotta
2 weeks: Kalkotta - Mumbai - Cape Town
Month 4: Cape Town


The major part of our budget will be spent on the airline tickets. I came up today with $5000 in Total, breakdown (one way per person):
Raro - Sydney : Air NZ, 29 Nov, $510
Sydney - KL: Air asia, Mid dec, $340
Bangkok - Dehli: Indigo, Mid feb, $200
Kolkata - Hyderabad: Indigo, hours, $180
Mumbai - CT: Quatar, Mid March, $600
CT - MRU: SAA or Air MRU, Mid April, $800

Total: $5500 for 2 (with contingency)

Day to day budget

I found a fantastic website that has detailed info on how much you should expect to spend in the bigest cities of SEA (south east asia) per day...

These prices include:

  • One night in the cheapest bunk at the least expensive hostel with a good location and good reviews, or half the price of a double hotel room in places where there are no hostels
  • Two public transportation rides per day
  • One paid/famous attraction per day (Every city is loaded with free things to do for budget-conscious travelers, but here we take the average cost of a major attraction in each city for each day.)
  • Three “budget” meals per day (We took our minimum meal price and added 20% to make it more realistic for a longer trip.)
  • Three cheap, local beers (or two large beers) each day as an “entertainment fund.”

Below is what to expect to pay in these conditions for 2 people, starting for the least expensive city to the most expensive one...

1. Hanoi, Vietnam: $ 26
2. Hoi An, Vietnam: $ 33.5
3. Goa, India: $ 34
4. Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam: $ 37
5. Vientiane, Laos: $ 38
6. Chiang Mai, Thailand: $ 43
7. Luang Prabang, Laos: $46
8. Phnom Penh, Cambodia: $ 47
9. Bangkok, Thailand: $ 51
10. Siam Reap, Cambodia: $ 56
11. Kathmandu, Nepal: $ 56
12. Phuket, Thailand: $ 58
13. Dehli, India: $ 61
14. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: $ 65.5
15. Mumbai, India: $ 71

In comparison, 1 day in Tokyo would have cost us $ 220

Now that is an average of $48.20 per day in SEA and India (excl. Sydney)
We are expecting to spend about 122 days backpacking so that means we need about $5580 to spend on:
- 122 cheap accommodation
- 122 attractions
- 488 city transports
- 732 budget meals
- 732 local beers

I would like to add a contingency of 10% to it... to then budget for $6200 day to day budget...

Visa costs

- Malaysia: French and SA passport do not require a visa for a period of less than 1 month, so we good!
- Thailand: Again we both won't need a visa, but as we will be arriving by land we will only get entry for 15 days so we will have to renew in Bangkok for another 15 days or 30 days. (renewal may cost THB1900 = $75(if we dont need a visa on arrival for 15 days, will we have to pay for a renewal, how does it work????))
- Laos: $35 30 days visa on arrival
- Vietnam: Online application for a 30 days stay, $25 + $45 (US) (= $53) to pay cash when entering for the stamp.
- Cambodia: Online application $30 but we HAVE to cross through Bavet (Svay Rieng) which is on the way from Ho chi Minh to Phnom Penh or our online visa won't be accepted and we could be asked to pay whatever the guards feel like...
- India: 180 days, online application, $15 for SA and Mauritius, can't find a fee for French, so might just have to use my Mauritian passport for the first time in my life....?
- Nepal: No fuss, $ US 30 (35) to pay direct on crossing the border

So that all comes to a total of $536 for both of us and about 12 ID photo each to carry with us...


At the moment I can't give an estimate on our travel costs as that will require a fair amount of research...
SEA will be travelled mainly by buses and ferries but also trains and India mainly by train, including overnight trains where we would also save on accommodation...
A fantastic website for travel cost and info is:

Malaysia Transport: Bus and ferries: $103


As we have accommodation in Sydney :) we only need to budget for:
- food and drinks
- attractions
- public transports
- Backpacking bag that we need to get there directly as our choices here in the cooks are extremely limited...

Backpacking bag: approx $ 160 + other equipments = $180
Total: $360 for 2

- Catamaran night cruise and dinner : $75
- Sydney and Bondi hop on bus: $50
- 5 in 1 attraction card: $ 160 includes: madame tussaud, sea life, opera house, tower eye, wildlife etc...
Total for 2: $ 570

Food and drinks:
$ 900 That is just me making that up.... hopefully no more!!!! Approximately $100/day for 2

$ 100, public transport and the occasional taxis

Sydney budget: $1930

Total budget breakdown

Flights: 5500
Day to day: 6200 (seriously that cheap?!?)
Visas: 550
Sydney: 2000
India and Nepal travel: $500
Malaysia and Thailand Island Hopping: $500
Bangkok to Bangkok loop: $450
TOTAL: $15,700

Still to add is:
- Mainland transports for the bangkok to bangkok loop
- Shipping costs
- general extras: e.i. full moon party, day trips
- I would also like to calculate accommodation costs so that day to day can be used on food and general expenses per day rather.

  • ***Please Note*****

Us being able to save more would mean that we would be extending the trip to visit more and staying in some places longer rather upgrading hotels or putting it towards a Pension fund!!! ;)

Keeping you posted,

Sandrine x

Posted by sandnick 17:15 Archived in Cook Islands Tagged budget

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Je suis impressionee!!!
Quel travail!

by Micheline Henry

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