Sitting at the gates in Denpansar's airport (Indonesia), I was ready to write a budget blog post but our computer had a different idea. It locked us out, with a safety encryption feature BitLocker, even though we never set it up. What was our Windows account password? How to recover the account without a working US number? Why does HP not want to help? Why is Windows recover account feature so lengthy and complicated? Seriously! We had to wait for a MONTH before we could recover our Microsoft account and get the BitLocker key, which was needed to get this laptop fully functional again? This means, a whole month without a computer? And all this happened at the worst time of our travel. We were heading to a remote areas for weeks, where we planned to catch up on writing. So, Thailand budget spreadsheet was ready, but our computer decided to go on a strike or better to say-on a vacation.
Now we are back with a working computer(!) so we can finally look into those numbers for Thailand where we spent 29 days. Our adventure through Thailand was in a proper Thailand appropriate travel way; touristy trip in the high season, seasoned with friends, and as a result a few alcohol infused nights (ok, there were days too). We plunged into the country at a perfect time to catch their new year celebrations or better to say water-war-zone in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. We then joined our friends on a tour in Chiang Mai that took us to a temple, viewpoint, and a human zoo/museum (a place where you go to see people). There are discussions about how ethical such place is, but at least these people are not chained, and in small enclosures outside of their natural habitat!?! Hint, hint!! We then returned to Bangkok for some extra activities, such as comic con, cinema, floating market, and then on to Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. We managed to save quite a bit by doing our own independent snorkeling, instead of doing organized trips. And we would not want to have it any other way.
Due to unbearable constant heat, we opted for private AC rooms, some in hostels some in hotels and guesthouses. We did however save on a night of accommodation, by crashing in a hotel room our friends booked with their reward points. Luxury!!
Regarding transport we varied between long distance night train rides, short intercity buses, boats, private taxi, and renting a motorcycle on a few occasions (Chiang Mai & Koh Phangan). We tended to avoid long distance bus rides, as we just wanted a bit more comfort. To save some extra on Koh Tao island, we opted for hiking to the beaches, which kept us fitter, more entertained, and it does not hurt to try to save money.
We managed to save on food, as we tried to eat street food in most places, getting fresh fruit, and using 7/11 for our healthier breakfast joint. I know, shocking! 7/11 and healthy breakfast sounds so wrong together. But they had super tasty plain yoghurt with some hard-boiled eggs and a banana. It was yummy and very much needed after the piles of sugar in their pad thai's and curries.
Our estimated budget for Thailand was 22.00 GBP per person per day with a hope of trying to not veer to much from it. And surprisingly we managed to be under it, including our cost of shipping trekking gear to Europe and loss of a plane ticket between Bangkok and Chiang Rai (which we did not use). Happy, happy!
COST PER STAY
Sum per person including visa (no visa needed)
Estimated total cost: 704.00 GBP
Actual cost: 660.54 GBP
Off budget: + 43.46 GBP
COST PER DAY (per person)
Estimated per day: 22.00 GBP (no visa needed) MIXED BUDGET
Actual cost: 20.64 GBP MIDRANGE BUDGET