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

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:: 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 »





Crossing Over: The Aranyaprathet-Poipet Border

13 12 2008

Poipet, Cambodia

Corruption is everywhere. It’s in governments, organizations, businesses, and average people. I know this. Almost all of us know this. This never really stops any of us from being appalled and infuriated by it, though. It also didn’t stop Gage and me from attempting to cross the border from Thailand into Cambodia. For a person who was angry for three days after the woman at the local bakery blatantly overcharged her a dollar for a bag of cookies, this was just asking for trouble. Read the rest of this entry »





Budget Wise :: Thailand

8 12 2008

thaimoney

Thailand provides many options to accommodate both the small budget traveler and the big budget vacationer’s needs. As per usual, our goal was to spend as little as we could while still enjoying as many comforts as we could afford. Our trip took us from Bangkok slowly up North until we hit Chiang Mai, where we stayed for a while, and then back down to Bangkok where we caught a bus to head toward Cambodia. It seemed to us that most vacationers we met were more interested in Southern Thailand’s beaches, but we avoided that region because it also happens to be the most expensive. So, if you’re interested in information on traveling through Northern Thailand, you’re in the right place, read on. Read the rest of this entry »





Culture Shock :: Thailand :: Part 3

5 12 2008

Some more fun observations from our travels in the land of smiles… Read the rest of this entry »