Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Indochina: Summary of Expenses and Insights



Budget
The total financial damage of this adventure:

EXPENSES
 USD
 VND
 BHT
 PHP
MNL-SGN/HCMC via Cebu Pacific (15kg baggage)



     1,313.00
BKK-MNL via Cebu Pacific (20 kg baggage)



     2,396.69
Philippine Travel Tax



     1,620.00
Terminal Fee



        550.00
Vietnam - HCMC and Mui Ne
          95.50
   1,024,300.00


Cambodia - PP and SR
        205.25



Thailand - Bangkok


   4,181.00

Subtotal 1
        300.75
   1,024,300.00
   4,181.00
     5,879.69
VND/USD
          49.48
  (1,024,300.00)


Subtotal 2
        350.23
                   -  
   4,181.00
     5,879.69
Conversion Rate to PHP
          42.00

          1.40

Converted to PHP
  14,709.79
                   -  
  5,853.40
    5,879.69
Total in PHP (excluding pasalubongs)



  26,442.88

Some would say that our expenses are quite high. The plane fares are relatively high compared to their seat-sale prices three years ago. Airfare prices are relatively high nowadays but don't let that stop you from traveling - just budget it! Also, our trip is quite long, compared to some itineraries which run from 7-9 days for these countries. Not that cheap, but not that expensive either. Not bad eh for a couple of stamps on the passport.

Breakdown, per country:
Summary:
PHP Costs
     5,879.69
     6,089.29
     8,620.50
     5,853.40
Total
  26,442.88

Research:
Forums: Pinoyexchange and Girltalk
Chyng Reyes  - DIY solo backpacking Indochina, pretty inspiring if you want to do this adventure on your own. I read about her cool adventure back then but Indochina wasn't in the "immediate future" bucket list.
Excursionista - has a detailed itinerary and table of expenses; includes details in crossing the borders.

There are a couple of other websites but these are my personal picks. Detailed enough to get you reading and dreaming about your own Indochina adventure.

Packing:
I brought a 40L backpack and my laptop bag. I also had an eco-bag for shopping. After shopping in Bangkok, I had to buy another bag for all the goodies. 

An extra eco bag will come in very handy

Daypack/Totebag
Notes
Passport
Scan a copy of your passport/take a picture and save it in your email.
Pen
For immigration forms
Valid IDs
Calling cards
Printed itineraries
Trip itinerary, plane itinerary, hotel reservations
Camera and Accessories
Free up some space in the memory card
Cellphone and Charger

Laptop

ATM/ Credit Card
Call up bank to inform about CC and ATM usage overseas
Hat

Umbrella
Bring during tours, check in baggage in flight
Sunglasses

MP3 player

Light jacket

Raincoat

Mints

Money



The Backpack



Outfits for layering
It may be too hot during the day or it might rain
Shorts are okay except for temple days
Leggings + Shirt
Underwear

Toiletries
All kikayness. Nail clippers, Tweezers
Laundry soap

Towel

Sleepwear
Shirts and shorts. Something presentable in the breakfast table
Towel

Footwear
Slippers/Tribu sandals/pocket shoes
Journal and pen

Sewing kit

First aid kit
Band aid, Betadine, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Diatabs, etc.
Food stash
Not much
Contact list of embassies

Contact list of family members

            
Have fun! :)

Takeaway thoughts & tips:
  • It is fun to travel with your best friend! You get to have a whole bunch crazy pics together!
Mui Ne, Vietnam
  • You get some photos while you are busy doing something else, like finding out where the heck you are and where you are headed.

I have someone to take my pics while looking haggard and lost
  • There is a language barrier, but this is manageable.  Yes, it can be frustrating at times. Don't complain too much about this, you will get by. Don't make the language barrier as an excuse not to travel to a place. Don't belittle their knowledge of English. Traveling is not a "Best in English" contest.
  • Learn the "Thank you-s" in their native language. Practice it!
  • Made us realize that almost everything in the Philippines is translated into English (Pedro's Store, Juan's Bakery). There's no sense of getting "lost" here.                        
Indochina Part 2?
This trip roused our interest in doing another Indochina adventure. The planned route: MNL-Hanoi-Laos-Chiang Mai. This would probably include long bus rides, so I'd have to put some city in between. Nothing concrete yet. For now, I dream again.

Whew

7 comments:

  1. Traveling is not a "Best in English" contest. = WIN!!! Hahaha!

    Nice series, Lori. And, of course, it was an awesome trip. Thank you! :D

    ReplyDelete
  2. Yay! Thanks for mentioning my blog hehe Hope we can travel together to Laos. Indochina Part 2 coming up!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would be glad to have a talk to that 'some' that might say that your expenses are quite high. I'm currently planning a siem reap-bangkok trip with friends who are a bit picky but don't want to spend much and I'm already having a headache finding an accommodation. I originally planned a trip that is same as yours, but I might just do it alone some other time.

    Good job on the budget.

    ReplyDelete
  4. @Sarah: It was awesome indeed! Glad to have done it with thee! :D
    @Kat: Oh yeah! Hopefully!
    @Anonymous: Picky friends with a budget and someone else is doing the planning. Good luck my friend! I've been in that situation before. Focus on the experience, not on the bed, and the trip will be a blast!

    ReplyDelete
  5. thanks for the link.
    eto na ang latest expenses table to check!

    ReplyDelete
  6. spent half day reading ur indo-china trip....we'll be going to cambo and vietnm next month...ur blog helps a lot...thank u...

    god bless u....and more trips to come & take cr!

    ReplyDelete

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