Taiwan was one of the more expensive places I visited in Asia compared to Cambodia and Thailand, but still much cheaper than Europe of course. Food and drinks were higher in Taipei of course more than the smaller cities. In Taipei, drinks could range from $2.00 to $4.00 US whereas the same drinks or a full plate of food in smaller cities like Kaohsiung would cost $1.50 to $3.50. Our friends went on package tours at the national parks and Green Island which cost a bit more than making your own tour.
All of the costs are listed below are in US dollars.
- $56.00 for a one-way ticket from Taipei to Kaohsiung on the high speed rail. The ride took 1.5 hours.
- $22.00 for a one-way ticket from Kaohsiung to Taipei on the slow train. The ride took 6.5 hours.
- A good bicycle for a day was $3.50 in Kaohsiung
- Small boat for a 10-minute ride to a small island is $0.50 from Kaohsiung
- I stayed for free at two friends’ apartments in Taipei and Kaohsiung. In Kaohsiung and Taipei, the cheapest accommodations are $18.00 a night.
Food in Taipei and Kaohsiung
- Food costs between $1.50 to $5.00 for a meal.
- Noodle soups: $1.75 to $2.00
- Dumplings: $0.16 for a veggie or meat dumpling
- Tour in Toroko National Park and a shared hostel stay with 4 people: $60.00 per person
- Tour to Green Island and transportation: $40.00 per person
Total cost for two weeks in Taiwan: $550
Other cost summaries
Laos was the first country I visited after living nine months in Cambodia, so I was starting fresh again in a new country. I had to learn some basics of the language, how to get around, minimize being a scam victim and connect with local people.
I spent the first two weeks in Luang Prabang then went up to Huay Xai in Norhern Laos for an overpriced ziplining tour, which pushed up my overall cost. I was lucky to be introduced to local people in Luang Prabang to explore the city, dance and enjoy food together.
All of these costs are in US dollars.
Accommodation in Luang Prabang
- 7 days accommodation at a more expensive guesthouse in Luang Prabang: $15.00
- Hostels in Luang Prabang close to the river: $7.00 per night
- Two nights in Daauw Home in Huay Xai (recommended): $7.00 a night
- Bike rentals per day: $2.00
- Small boat rides across the Mekong River: $0.50.
- Overpriced rides across the Mekong River: $2.50
- Street sandwhiches and BBQ fish: $1.00 to $2.00
- Delicious restaurant food including fish and pizza baguettes: $3.00 to 7.00
- Two nights at Elephant Village camp (I don’t recommend doing this): $120.00
- Three-day ziplining tour with The Gibbon Experience (I don’t recommend this either): $300
Total cost for 2.5 weeks in Laos: $771.00
The coast of Koh Chang island in the south of Thailand. We were living in a treehouse for a few days built by our awesome Thai friend.
In January 2014, my friend and I spent a month in Thailand. We were in Bangkok for a few days, in Ko Chang island for a week, and two weeks in Chiang Mai. We stayed at friends’ places, a few guesthouses, in a tent, and on farm stays.
At the time we were in Thailand, $1.00 US =30 Thai Baht. All of these costs are in US dollars.
- Free: 7 nights accommodation with two friends who lived close to the BTS (Bangkok Train Station) station.
- $20.00 per person (split 3 ways): 3 nights at Nasa Vegas hotel. You have to pay extra for internet. But there is an internet cafe across the street and you can get unlimited internet for a day for about $5.
- $0.50 to $1.50: Each BTS train station trip in Bangkok.
- $1.50: Train from the airport to the BTS .
- $0.30: Each trip on the public busses.
KO CHANG ISLAND
- $60.00: Total price for two people at Garden Lodge for 4 nights. The price included Wi-Fi, free water from a filter and a full kitchen to use. The price includes $0.30 per cup of coffee and tea.
- $3.30 per person for one night on the beach in the tent.
- $2.50 per person per night for three nights at a treehouse on the beach. The owner was so nice and made a full BBQ for us with delicious fresh fish for free.
- $70.00 for having a scooter for 6 days in Ko Chang. My friend and I split this in half so it costed me $35 for the 6 days.
- $4.00: per person per night for three nights with VR guesthouse.
- Free: One night free with a friend.
- $3.30: shuttle ride from Chiang Mai to Mindful Farm, a vegetarian farm that integrates.
- Free: scooters for two days from a friend.
- $7.00 per day for accommodation and meals for three meals a day for three days.
Mae Hong Son mountain loop
Aside from meals and accommodation, my friend and I divided everything in two.
- $73.00 (split 2 ways): 200 cc Honda Phantom rental for four days.
- $8.00 (well worth it): Mae Hong Son Map.
- $6.00 (split 2 ways): Entry fee for waterfalls and geysers.
- $10.00 per person: Tacomepai farm homestay for accommodation and three meals a day ($3.33 per person per night for accommodation and $1.67 per day for three meals a day)
- $20.00: 91 grade gas to travel 600 km (split 2 ways)
- $5.00: One night stay in a village guesthouse including water
- $1.00 to $5.00 per meal for three days.
Total cost per person in Mae Hong Son: $96 for four days
Total cost for one month in Thailand: $463
Over the next few weeks I will start posting detailed costs of my time in Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, Taiwan, Cambodia and Thailand. What I spent for 6 weeks in Europe lasted me 10 months in Asia. I wasn’t on a specific budget necessarily and I didn’t hold back on anything I wanted to do including doing my diving license, mutli-day tours, and doing a motorcycling trip.
These places could be done for even cheaper than what I spent because I also treated my friends out regularly and bought extra ingredients to cook for them. My three weeks in Indonesia would have been $371 US if I didn’t do the diving license.
All of the prices will be in US dollars. At the time I was in Indonesia, the exchange rate was on average $1 US=11,500 rupiah.
- 9 days in Bali: free, at my friend’s villa in Jimbaran
- Ubud for two nights: $15.00 per person
- Lombok: $12.00 per person for three nights at Diyah Homestay guesthouse. We happened to arrive when there was a wedding going on and the owners were kind enough to share a few meals with us and invite us to the local ceremony
- One night accommodation in Yogyakarta at EduHostel: $6.00
- One night accommodation at a crappy hostel: $5.00
Diving license at Tulamben
- $400.00 for the license, two nights at the diving resort including all you can eat breakfast and dinners
Adventure and sights
- $25.00 to go river rafting 12 km through the jungle in Bali that includes an all-you-can-eat buffet
- $7.00 to watch a variety of traditional dance shows for 2 hours in Ubud’s Kelod centre
- Most of the temples and sights are about $2.00 for entrance fees and some of the best sights and unique jungle landscape has been in Bali. Often I find in Indonesia the surrounding jungle area is more beautiful than the temple or main sight itself.
Transportation and gas
- Got around with scooters and ferries. We used my friend’s scooter and I rented a scooter for four days for about $3.50 a day
- Four-hour overnight ferry ride from Bali to Lombok on scooter was about $11.00
- Every gas fill for the scooter was about $2.00
- You can get food for $0.25 when you go to the right places and many meals are $1.50 to $2.00 for a full plate of fried rice, noodles and other types of local food.
- In Skybar in Kuta, they have all you can eat for $5.00
Total spend for 3 weeks in Indonesia: $771.00