Budget Wise :: NE Thailand Supplement

30 03 2009

When we left Thailand back in December the country was about to start their new Visa on Arrival. What used to be a free 30-day Visa for Americans is now only a 15-day Visa. Luckily, it is still free, but this does put a little cramp in a schedule if you’re expecting a full 30-day Visa. (If you fly into the country, I believe you still get the initial 30 days, but any land crossing after that now only gets you 15 as far we understand.) Although we didn’t have as much time in the country this time around, we did still manage to visit three new cities in Northeast Thailand on our way down to Bangkok from Vientiane, Laos. Therefore, the following is meant as a supplement to the original Budget Wise Thailand.

Our 12 day daily average :: $28.87 USD (for two people: one couple) :: 1 USD = 35 THB (baht)

Since this was the end of our Southeast Asian tour and also our international trip we did relax a bit on our budget, but also on our motivation to get out and do things as well. At this time of the year, it is HOT in this region, so our main priority was a room with A/C and some near by tasty grub.

Nong Khai $27.73 (3 day average) :: Khon Kaen $26.20 (3 d.a.) :: Korat $27.17 (3 d.a.) :: Bangkok $34.37 (3 d.a.)

thaimoney

……………………………………………………………………………………………………details

:: Budget Breakdown Supplement ::

Since this is just a supplement to the original Budget Wise Thailand, I will spare you all the details and just explain the differences we noticed in this region of the country. First of all, guesthouses were about the same price in this region and we paid anywhere from 400-600 Baht for a double A/C room. We did get free WiFi in our guesthouses in Nong Khai and Khon Kaen, but we had to pay for it in Korat (1 Baht/minute) and Bangkok (50 Baht/day). The cost of meals and drinks were pretty much the same as well, but we didn’t see as many good food-hole or food market options as we did on the West side of the country – or maybe we just got lazy. We only really did tourist-like activities in Nong Khai because we couldn’t pass up visiting the Salakeawkoo Sculpture Park. This was well worth the visit and only cost us 20 Baht per entry ticket. We rented some bikes from our Guesthouse, Ruan Thai, for 30 Baht for the day and just rode out there. Make sure to visit the Mutmee Guesthouse (a cool place also) to pick up a map to the park which also includes a diagram of the circle of life inside the park. We traveled to each city by bus and the costs were as follows: Nong Khai to Khon Kaen for 110 Baht/ticket, then to Korat for 125 Baht/ticket, and finally to Bangkok for 198 Baht/ticket.

For more detail on budget traveling in Northern Thailand, check out the original Budget Wise Thailand post. We hope this helps. Enjoy your travels.





Good Morning America

22 03 2009

Bangkok, Thailand

You know that you’re back on Khaosan Road when you are walking down the street at 1am and you see a mom with her little kid in a stroller, standing amongst the prostitutes and drunken teenagers. Read the rest of this entry »





Hoteling through Northeast Thailand

13 03 2009

Khon Kaen & Khorat, Thailand

We pulled into Khon Kaen, melting under the heat, and excited about the prospect of getting into a room with an air conditioner and a cold shower. We went to the Roma Hotel and asked for an A/C room. They said it would be 500 baht, I said , how about 400 baht, and they smiled, said ok and handed me the key. The smile should have been my clue. Who smiles when you talk them down? So we drag our sweaty bodies and heavy bags up four flights of stairs and enter a room that looks like this…. Read the rest of this entry »





Wat Wonderland Nong Khai

11 03 2009

Nong Khai, Thailand

This is one of those cities that you’ll never hear about, even within Thailand, but is a surprising treasure. The only reason that most people stop in Nong Khai is that they are either en-route to or leaving Vientiane, Laos. Anyone who stops in Nong Khai for more than a day, though, should be pleasantly surprised by the mega Wats, relaxing riverside promenade, and healthy variety of restaurant options. Read the rest of this entry »





Budget Wise :: Laos

8 03 2009

Our visit in Laos was relatively limited due to the frustratingly long and bumpy bus rides that are necessary to getting around as a budget traveler in this beautiful country. We ended up visiting only four cities and missed out some very exciting and picturesque parts of Laos because we just couldn’t bring ourselves to sit through a rough ten hour bus  ride every few days. An extra visa or enough money to upgrade to flying would have allowed us a much more comprehensive visit, but hey, now we have something to look forward to going back for. Though we didn’t get to see it all, we did get a pretty good idea of what it costs to travel in Laos on a budget. Read the rest of this entry »





Back to Where We Came From

4 03 2009

Vang Vieng & Vientiane, Laos

It’s strange to go back to a city where you’ve already been. After traveling for almost a year, familiarity is a strange and exhilarating feeling. Being able to walk around town without a map is like being let off the leash. “Where do you want to go for dinner?” engenders no research, no planning. So while leaving Luang Prabang and going back for a few nights in Vang Vieng and Vientiane was nothing new in location. It did provide all new feelings. Unconsciously we started to see things that we never noticed before. When you go out into a new city a try to find things, you are always looking for something and because of that, you never look at anything. For instance, Laos is a very religious country. Buddhism is in everything they do. Because of this, saffron wrapped men are everywhere. Read the rest of this entry »





Culture Shock :: Laos

27 02 2009

Laos is the most laid back, easy going culture that we’ve been to yet. The people are typically very friendly and the pace of life, even in the capital city, Vientiane, is almost sluggish. This has been a great country in which to wind down after the chaos of Vietnam. The culture here, although not very shocking or in you face, is probably the most different from our Western way of life. The difference is difficult to explain. It’s actually easier to explain relative to Laos’ neighbors. Thailand is shocking, but rather western because of their own efforts to modernize. Cambodia has a country wide case of amnesia (for good reason) and it appeared to us that their main goal is to act as western as they can. In Vietnam they have so much western influence from being colonized by the French that some parts of it almost seemed European. Laos had the French influence as well, but didn’t get the money that came with it. They retained much of their Buddhist culture and peaceful way of life. Though the country wasn’t as shocking as it was a pleasant surprise, there are a few things we thought were worth mentioning. Read the rest of this entry »








Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.