How Much Money Do you Need to Travel Asia for 2 months?

How Much Money Do you Need to Travel Asia for 2 months?

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How Much Money Do You Need
to Travel Asia for 2 months?

Last year, I spent two months travelling through parts of Southeast Asia. Because I`m always conscious of my finance, I kept track of all my spending.  I travelled alone once, but didn’t enjoy it as much, nor did I kept track of any spending. This time around, I travelled Southeast Asia together with my sister. So, here’s how much money we spent travelling in Southeast Asia.

Total Southeast Asia Spending

As I’ve mentioned above, all expenses listed below are for two people, in USD. Not surprisingly, many Asian countries prefer US currency, so there was never a time I ever needed to use Canadian dollars. Which was lucky since I didn’t bring any. All I brought were US currency, and my visa and debit card. Anyways, onto the expenses. The expenses below will include airfare to give you a better idea of how much money you need to travel Asia. Our trip was 55 days short long.

Accommodation – $2253.81
Flights – $5,296.87
Other transportation – $420.91
Food, drinks and activities – $2,207.10
Miscellaneous – $210.21

Total Spending – $10,388.90 USD

How Much Does it Cost to Travel Asia?
The Breakdown.

Nights spend in each country – Accommodation Cost: $2,253.81

Thailand – 7 nights
Cambodia – 27 nights
Japan – 7 nights
Korea – 14 nights

For 55 nights, this average out to $40.98 per night, or $20.49 per person per night. Lodging in Cambodia should be cheap for us since our parents live in Takeo Province, however, we only spent 2 nights sleeping at our parent’s place, and the rest of the time, we’re travelling around the whole of Cambodia and sleeping in midrange hotels ranging from $25/night to $55/night. Thailand was surprisingly cheap, but Japan and Korea were pretty expensive even though we opted for the Airbnb stay. Our stay in Bangkok and Phuket came to $485.62, which wasn’t too bad considering we stayed at the nicer hotels but could have been cheaper had we booked earlier.

Total Flights Spending – $5,296.87

Breakdown of flights:

Edmonton to Bangkok – $2,108.36
Bangkok to Phnom Penh –  $182.37
Phnom Penh to Osaka – $869.48
Osaka to Seoul – $205.37
Return flight to Canada from Seoul – $1,931.29

As you can see, the bulk of our spending was from Edmonton to Asia and then back from Asia to Edmonton. This is to be expected, Canadian flights are generally overpriced and varies depending on the date you choose to travel. Also, we booked 3 months ahead, and it was still expensive. The rest of the flights between Southeast Asia was cheap, at a combined cost of $1,257.22, which comes out to $628.61 per person.

Other Transportation Spendings – $420.91

Transportation we spent on other than flights was car rental in Cambodia for 3 weeks of travel to most of the major tourist attraction. We paid a fixed fee of $150 since my mum knows a guy in the Cambodian travel and transportation industry, who just happens to live a block or two from her. Other transportation spending were tuk-tuks, long tail boats, sky highway and taxi in Thailand. Not the regular taxi as there are a lot of scams, but Uber.

Southeast Asia travel tips #1: Make sure the taxi got a meter. If not, discuss the cost right up front so there won’t be any last-minute surprises. Transportation in Southeast Asia was incredibly affordable, and once you get used to their public transportation, it was clear and easy. In South Korea, the subway was surprisingly cheap and easy to navigate, but since we booked Airbnb stays near areas we wanted to tour, we didn’t spend much on public transportation. Public transportation in Japan, on the other hand, was expensive. Their subway doesn’t have a fixed price, the price increases in proportion to the distance. It is a little confusing at first, however, people are very friendly and will help if you approach them.

Food, drinks and activities – $2,207.10 or $40 per day (2,207/55 nights)

Cambodia
We stayed in Cambodia for 27 nights, and even though Cambodia is a small country, the roads are sometimes bad and travel can be slow, you can still hit all the major attraction in a month. Starting from Phnom Penh, we toured the impressive National Museum with its excellent collection of Angkorian sculpture and the stunning Silver Pagoda. There’s an interesting shopping area at Psar Tuol Tom Pong if you’re looking for souvenirs, but since I’m not really a city girl, we didn’t stay long. From there we went to Svay Village, which is near Takeo Province. We stayed there at my mum’s place for 2 nights and then travelled to Takeo to see Phnom Da.

From there, we went south to the colonial-era town of Kampot. We stayed a few nights to visit Bokor Hill Station, the seaside town of Kep and the cave pagodas at Phnom Chhnork and Phnom Sorsia. From there, we went west to the beaches of Sihanoukville to sample their delicious seafood, dive in the nearby waters and just soak up the sun. After a few nights, we headed to Kompong Thom and visited the pre-Angkorian brick temples of Sambor Prei Kuk.

We then headed to Siem Reap for our long ass temple excursions. We stayed in Siem for 2 weeks to enjoy all the Angkor Wat, from Angkor Thom to Ta Phrom, Kbal Spean and my favourite jungle-clad Beng Melea. Throughout this whole trip, we find that the food and drinks were very cheap ranging from $4 – $10, feeding a family of 4. Since we’re Cambodian, we didn’t spend any money on entrance fees to any of those major attraction we explored, so that was a plus for us. But for others, entrance fee to the Angkor attractions were $20, with a three-day pass being $40, and a seven-day ticket going for $60.

Cambodia Angkor Pre Rup

Thailand
We started our Southeast Asia trip in Phuket, an island in the Andaman Sea in order to hit Thailand’s most popular beaches situated along clear waters of the western shore. We stayed 3 nights in one of their beach hotels, and enjoyed many of their shophouses, spas, restaurant and especially the amazing night market where there’s no shortage of interesting things to see, buy or eat. 

Actually, while walking the night market, a guy came over to us and offered us a pamphlet that says they got everything from a fire show, to acrobats. We were curious to see this wonderful place that is hosting all these amazing events, so we followed his guide, and ended up in a female strip joint. Southeast Asia travel tips #2: Don’t trust the Asian guy. We laughed it off and noticed we’re at their red light district/clubbing area, so we explored this rowdy, but definitely entertaining area.  Once we were done with the beaches and nightlife of Phuket, we flew over to Bangkok, which had a completely different atmosphere. Most of our spending in Bangkok were massages, boat tours at the floating market, food, drinks, and entrance fees to temples. 

Thailand Wat Pho atraveldiary

Japan
This was the bulk of our food and drink expenses. Their food prices were about the same as North American pricing or even more depending on what activity you choose to do. However, entrance fees to many of their major attractions were quite cheap.

osaka japan southeast asia travel atraveldiary

Korea
Most of the spending we did in Korea was the on the entrance fees to their temples, food, and drinks. Their food is much more reasonably priced than Japan. A meal for 2 ranges from $10 – 30, and that’s including alcoholic drinks. We love their makgeolli and flavoured soju. Their western restaurants are as pricey as North American ones (we didn’t go in opting for a more authentic Korean stay), but their street fares are where it’s at. There`s so many varieties to choose from at such a great price, that we spent most of our food money on them. It kept our budget low and our stomach full, and in the end, that’s the most important.

N Seoul Tower South Korea atraveldiary

Miscellaneous Spending – $210.21

Most of our miscellaneous spending were souvenirs and cold medications since we got sick from the fluctuation of temperature from the super hot Cambodia to the pretty damn cold air of Japan.

Asia Travel Tips: What You Need to Know

If you are planning on taking a similar South-east Asian path, these are a few of my recommendation and advice on travelling around Asia.  

Take it Easy
Asia has their own way of running things. They don’t operate on a timetable, so don’t expect your organised plans to go your way all the time. So getting angry, screaming and ranting at the worker will get you nowhere, and will be a huge waste of time, and face –you’ll just look like an idiot. Sometimes, plans just don’t work. This is Asia. It’s different, take a breather.

Be Flexible
Allow time for the unexpected –in Thailand and Cambodia, trains will be delayed, tuk-tuks will break down, minibus drivers will take a 1-hour detour to visit whoever they want at that moment, and hotels will be closed without notice. Strict deadlines are not a part of local life. So, as they say, when in Rome do as the Romans do. Leave your strict deadline and hectic lifestyle behind, and enjoy the leisure. Also, if you are planning on visiting during holidays, such as new year, expect large crowds at the airport. Save yourself the hassle of rescheduling flights, and be at the airport 2 hours ahead of your scheduled flight time.

Learn A Few Line
Here are a couple of phrases you should take the time to learn, and do not worry about enunciation. They will be happy if you try to learn their culture.

Hi, how are you?
Excuse me, do you speak English?

That’s it. English is widely spoken in some of the tourist areas, and not spoken at all in many others. The non-English speaking locals get very flustered if English is bombarded at them before an introduction. If you have access to data, use google translate, if not, I hope you are good at charades and expect a certain amount of misunderstandings to occur due to the language barrier.

Travel Light
Carry a backpack, and pack lightly. For my trip, I carried a medium size luggage with wheels since I was staying in hotels. However, in retrospect, it was a bad idea. Some parts of Southeast Asia, specifically Thailand and Cambodia had terrible roads with huge potholes and dirt paths. In South Korea, specifically Gangnam district, the roads were very hilly, and there weren’t many elevators so we had to lug our luggage through many flights of stairs. It was a workout. Japan, on the other hand, had elevators everywhere. It was very convenient to carry wheeled luggage there. Luckily, I packed very lightly –camera gears, laptop, batteries, 2 pants, and 2 sweaters. I basically just bought whatever else I needed while travelling Southeast Asia.

Smooth Criminals
No matter how experienced a traveller you are, expect to get ripped off now and then. Avoid taxi that doesn’t have a meter, count your changes, and definitely, know your currency exchange. For example, I may have been ripped off in Cambodia twice, even though as a native-born, I speak the language. The problem was, Cambodia uses two forms of currency –U.S., and Riel. I bought food at a stall and gave her $10 dollar. She gave changes back to me in both dollars and riel, and I was clueless. I must have looked clueless since she started telling me the exchange rates and counted out the money for me. I smiled at her because really, it was my ignorance. I should have been more informed, but losing a few bucks here and there isn’t gonna ruin the trip I’ve been planning for years. So, in the end, do your research, be vigilant, and notice your surrounding because there’s no shortage of scams, and hopefully, if you stay vigilant, you wouldn’t be caught up in the more sophisticated and dangerous scams out there.

Booking is Overrated
I booked the hotels ahead of time in Thailand, but for Cambodia, I didn’t. I noticed that the best deals you can get are usually found by walking around, and just entering hotels that you’re interested in –to get a walking tour of the room. In Cambodia, the hotel price is very negotiable and the online quotes are usually overpriced. This also goes for sightseeing tours. The best deals are the ones on the street. In Thailand and Cambodia, it is better not to stick to the scheduled itinerary, as most things don’t need to be arranged more than a day in advance. Less planning provides more flexibility and less stress for you. Japan and South Korea, on the other hand, adheres to a very strict schedule, and transportation is always on time.

 

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How much money do you need to travel Asia for 2 months: Thailand, Cambodia, Japan and South Korea? Breakdown of the cost of travelling in South East Asia.

13 Comments

  1. This is actually the best! Thank you so much for all of this information! Really helpful!

  2. Hey, good one! Have enjoyed Singapore, Thailand & India in Asia. Nice to get idea about the rest. Specially Cambodia is one which is next on my wishlist. $40/day is good deal I suppose, Keep posting about the same.

  3. Your photos are really pretty !
    I’m planning a trip to South Korean next summer and your article is so useful. Thank you for all the great information!

    Also, I have a question. How much money did you spend on acommodation in South Korea? Do you recommend to book a hotel on booking.com or use Airbnb?

    1. Thank you! Glad this was of help. If I remember correctly, we rented an airbnb stay in Hongdae at around $40 per night. We stayed there for 7 nights and then went to Gangnam to stay there for another 7 nights. The rent at gangnam was more expensive at $50 per night. So combined was around $630 for 7 nights.

      You could go more expensive or cheaper depending on what you choose. We chose to have the whole apartment to ourselves so it was more expensive. If you want to go cheaper, you could look for shared apartment. If you’re travelling alone, that could be more fun because you get to meet new and friendly people who’ll be more than happy to show you around.

      Hotels in South Korea is very expensive. When I was searching around, I couldn’t find any that would fit our budget. That’s why we opted for the Airbnb stay.

      IF you’re adventurous and it’s just you, you can opt for couchsurfing. You’ll be able to sleep in someone’s apartment for free, and sometimes they do have guest room if you’re lucky 🙂

      Good luck on your trip planning!

  4. This is an amazing post! Thank you for the travel details. Awesome! I have spent a lot of time in Thailand and Indonesia but haven’t made it to Cambodia yet. It’s on my bucket list! I love your blog.

    1. Thank you! I hope you do make it to Cambodia soon. I haven’t been to Indonesia yet, but I’ve seen and heard so many great things about it. I also love your page. Not too often you find such an informative domain about one particular vegetable. And I happen to love beets 😀

  5. Ok, this post was very helpfull! My brother and me made a sort of ‘pact’ to visit Japan before I turned 30 or he turned 25 (I’m 26 now, and he’s 21) but nobody we know ever visited this country! It’s very hard for us to know how much we have to save up in order to visit Japan, but this post definitely gave us a rough idea! Thanks!

    1. I`m glad the post was helpful. Japan is a beautiful country and rich in history and culture. There are so many things to explore that you would need to revisit it a couple of time to completely explore everything. Expense wise, I find that transportation fees are much higher than food prices. A big chunk of our travel expenses in Japan went to transportation fee since it varies(increases) depending on the distance.

  6. This is amazing!! Thanks for the details, it’s so helpful for planning a trip 🙂 would love to come across more of these for your future travels.

  7. Interesting, that’s quite some money just for the flights 😮

  8. Looks like you had a lot of fun and your pictures area beautiful!

    I totally agree with that last part about not booking hotels online in advance… I used to live in the Philippines, and my favourite resort had rooms for $12 per night (I always just booked when I arrived, or via text). I was amazed when I went online once to look at the ridiculous prices they had on their website!

    Complete opposite from in the States, where it really pays to book things in advance.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. travelling light is always a good tip!

    1. Thank x for sharing travel article. It’s helpful to me . keep it up good work dear.

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