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.)

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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.

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Budget Wise :: South Vietnam

9 02 2009

Our Vietnam adventure took us from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) in the south to about half way up the very long country, finishing in the city of Hue. When I compare our budget to traveling in Thailand and Cambodia, Vietnam seemed surprisingly predictable. There weren’t many thing that were shockingly cheap, and at the same time there wasn’t much that was frighteningly expensive either. In the end, if you manage to avoid the major tourist traps and scams, Vietnam can be traveled on a rather tight budget – and the best part is that you’ll typically feel like you got your money’s worth.

Our 29 day daily average :: $35.58 USD (for two people: one couple) :: 1 USD = 17,000 VND (Dong) Read the rest of this entry »





Budget Wise :: Cambodia

13 01 2009

Cambodia was a bit more confusing than our other destinations when it came to traveling on a budget. A year or two ago, I’m not certain of the exact date, the Khmer people suffered a massive inflation due to rising gas prices. Unfortunately for them (and the tourists) the cost of living didn’t fall back down with the gas prices. Now what looks like, feels like, and should be a very budget friendly country is surprisingly not as friendly as it once was. This doesn’t mean that Cambodia is charging European prices, but it was actually more expensive than it’s more developed neighbor Thailand. 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 »





Ninja Sighting in Sukhothai

21 10 2008

Sukhothai, Thailand

After the train ride to Lopburi in which we came close to melting into the seats, we decided that air-conditioned bus travel sounded pretty nice after all. So we go to the bus station and purchase two tickets for a 4.5 hour bus ride to the city of Phitsanoluk, where we will change buses and continue to Sukhothai. We confirmed with the ticket agent about eight times that we were buying a ticket for an A/C bus and she assured us that it was an air bus. Well, too bad we didn’t confirm that we would actually be able to sit. Once we got onto the bus it became quickly apparent that all of the seats were taken and that those people who were standing were going to remain standing for the rest of the trip. Gage jumped off the bus and politely pointed out to the ticket agent that we paid to sit on a bus, not stand and that we would like at least a partial refund. She assured him that she would find us a seat and after some brief words with the driver, we were offered accommodation on the driver’s bed, located behind the driver’s seat. That wasn’t going to fly either, so I was given the navigator’s seat and Gage was seated on the stairs. As bad as that may be, the fact that the bus continually broke down and our 4.5 hour bus ride turned into a 6.5 hour bus ride only made it comical. Welcome to Asia.

We paid extra for front row.

We paid extra for front row.

Read the rest of this entry »