If you’re wondering how much to budget for your trip to Southeast Asia, you’ve come to the right place. What follows is a spending summary to give fellow travelers an idea of how much it costs to travel in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia, and (sort of) Singapore. You will also find a daily budget estimate below each table.
We are frugal travelers which means we don’t spend a lot of money on things like souvenirs, fancy meals, fabulous hotels, or first-class tickets. We do, however, like to maximize the bang for our buck; this requires planning and research on our part. We are a couple, and this gives us an advantage when traveling as we can split everything 50/50. In fact, a shared double room often tends to work out cheaper than the cost of a dorm bed.
“Day Trips etc.” includes admission fees, taxis, public transit fares, beer money, laundry, sundries, and the odd souvenir.
“Transport” is the cost of transportation between cities: buses, trains, boats, etc.
The numbers which follow are on a per person basis.
We scored a one-way flight from New York (JFK) to Bangkok, Thailand via Shanghai, China with China Eastern Airlines for $582.50 per person. This cost is not included in the numbers below.
|THB (฿)||CAD ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||3425||118.20|
These numbers include an internal flight from Chiang Mai to Bangkok and the Bangkok airport departure tax (฿700).
Daily budget for Thailand: CAD$22.30 per day.
|KHR ()||US ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||454,943||114.25|
Daily budget for Cambodia: US$21.50 per day.
This does not include a visa for Cambodia which costs US$20 at Phnom Penh airport, or the flight from Bangkok which cost about $60. This brings the total for our Cambodia expenses to US$532.25.
|LAK (₭)||CAD ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||636,500||83.20|
Daily budget for Laos: CAD$17 per day.
This does not include the CAD$48 visa-on-arrival for Laos which we received at the Cambodia-Laos land border. Including the visa, this brings our total for Laos to $439.10.
|VND (₫)||CAD ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||815,500||40.10|
Daily budget for Vietnam: CAD$20.50 per day.
This does not include the CAD$45 visa that we purchased from the Vietnamese embassy in Sihanoukville, Cambodia. This brings our total to $497.20.
|PHP (₱)||CAD ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||1030||26.00|
Daily budget for the Philippines: CAD$24 per day.
This does not include a flight from Ho Chi Minh City to Puerto Princesa via Manila which cost $170. This brings our total for the Philippines to $554.20.
|MYR (RM)||CAD ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||342.00||113.60|
Daily budget for Malaysia: CAD$29 per day.
This does not include a flight from Puerto Princesa, Philippines to Kota Kinabalu for $35 or a flight from Sandakan to Kuala Lumpur for $65.50. Including these, our total for Malaysia is $798.70.
|SGD ($)||CAD ($)|
|Day Trips etc.||3.60||3.00|
Daily budget for Singapore: CAD$51 per day.
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