By Mary Charie / 15/08/2018

How Much Is It To Travel For Six Months in Southeast Asia

How I Travelled And Lived With 2000 USD For Six Months In Southeast Asia


Note: All prices are in US Dollars

Before we get all the judgy comments to crawl up in your head, I'm writing this for the people who asked me how I did it. This is not for travellers who want to continuously backpack for six months in Southeast Asia. First, I'm telling you, this might not be for you. Though, who knows? If you are still curious, just keep reading and shoot me a comment, message or an email if you have questions about backpacking in Southeast Asia.

During my six months in Southeast Asia, I covered Vietnam, Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar. I have to admit, I hope I had more budget so I could stay in some countries longer and explore it better. Nevertheless, I'm glad to have an overlook of Thailand and Laos. Now, I have more reasons to come back one day.

I left Denmark with $2000 in my pocket, I have no idea how long I will be out there, or how long that money will last me. Because of the lack of the budget, I made sure that I planned a little bit before I embark on my not so possible adventure. If you need a guide for packing list in Asia, check this out.

Related Post: Here's the story how I started travelling and funded this Southeast Asia Trip

Six Months in Southeast Asia with $2000

Remember that every one travel differently, it's your own journey and you should not feel bad if you miss something or you spent too much. At the end of the day, we all going to reflect on how travel affected us. Just do your own thing, stay safe, and enjoy.

TIP: Check my intensive article about Southeast Asia travel route

Timeline: Three Weeks Travelling + Three Weeks Living in Vietnam

I started in Vietnam wand travelled there for three weeks spending about $300. I was already blogging for another travel blog before I left. I travelled to Vietnam for three weeks, most of it was covered through a press trip whilst I represent another travel blog. Where accommodations, tours, and transportation are all covered. I didn't spend a lot of money since my trip was well-covered. 

RELATED POST: Vietnam Visa Guide

After I finished Vietnam, I went back to Hanoi to catch up on pending works on the blog. I stayed there for almost three weeks, I was able to do a little volunteering as an English Teacher, in exchange for food and accommodation. I'm also a certified TEFL Teacher, which I highly suggest you to obtain, it comes really handy at times.

Related Post: Here's my article about Tracing Vietnam - Must Not Miss!

Living cost in Vietnam is cheap, food, and accommodation are all affordable which makes it a great base for travellers who work and travel at the same time. If you like teaching, I suggest you give Vietnam a try, teachers are getting paid quite high and the demand is very well.

You may want to check my recommend hostels in Vietnam and these affordable motorbiking tours.

How I Travelled And Lived With 2000 USD For Six Months In Southeast Asia

Worked in the hostel in Vietnam

Timeline: Six Weeks in Vietnam + Ten Days  in Thailand

When I left Vietnam, I then headed to Thailand, though I was only able to visit Bangkok, Koh Chang, and Chiang Mai. I did a representation trip under the same travel blog I spent a total of 10 days covering those three places, I stayed mostly in hostels and ate local food. I have a Thailand visa guide if you are confuse of how it works.

Extra tip: Check​​​​ flight tickets as early as you can for great deals

 Whilst I was in Vietnam, I made a plan with one of the travellers, Morgan, who was backpacking in Vietnam, now turned into a great friend to go travel in Myanmar. Myanmar is something that never came into my mind to go. But, after hearing positive comments about it, I decided to give it a go.

RELATED POST: Cost, tips, and itinerary for backpacking in Vietnam

Timeline: Six Weeks (Vietnam) + Ten Days (Thailand) + Three Weeks in Myanmar

I flew from Bangkok to Yangon where Morgan and I started our trip. Myanmar is not very touristic yet, but it wasn't cheap compared to Vietnam and Thailand. There aren't a lot of dorm rooms, luckily, I was travelling with a friend. We were able to share a room in the guest houses to make the accommodation cost cheaper. Check out these must not miss in Myanmar.

Extra tip: Travel to Myanmar with a friend or someone to share the accommodation costs

In my three weeks of travel in Myanmar, I spent between $600-700, excluded the flight and visa fee. I also hitchhiked for a few times and slept in a monastery for a few nights, which I highly suggest. >>Read my Myanmar Hitchhiker's Guide.

Note: Philippine passport holder doesn't need a visa to Myanmar if you are staying for only 14 days. Some Southeast Asian countries don't need a visa as well.  North American, South American, and European are required to obtain a visa. >>Read Myanmar Visa Guide.

Must See in Myanmar

Morgan and I was stuck in the market trafifc in Myanmar!

Timeline: Six Weeks (Vietnam) + Ten Days (Thailand) + Three Weeks (Myanmar) + Two Days (Thailand)

From Myanmar, I crossed the border to Thailand. I took a flight from Bangkok back to Vietnam to work in a hostel and to work as an English Teacher. In the hostel, I was in charge of digital marketing, reception desk, and as an assistant manager too, in exchange for free accommodation and food. I worked for five hours a day, four days a week. I also got paid a small amount as a pocket money which was fair enough.

Extra tip: There are few hostels looking for travellers to work for them for few months

Timeline: Six Weeks (Vietnam) + Ten Days (Thailand) + Three Weeks (Myanmar) + Two Days (Thailand) + Three Months (Vietnam)

Although my teaching job wasn't full time, I got free accommodation and food covered. I decided to work out of the city, so the local student has a foreign teacher. The rate wasn't as good as the one in the big cities like Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh.  However, I was still able to save some money.

RELATED POST: Southeast Asia Itinerary

Timeline: Six Weeks + Ten Days (Thailand) + Three Weeks (Myanmar) + Two Days (Thailand) + Three Months (Vietnam) + One Week (Laos)

From Hanoi, I went to Laos and spent a full week there. I only got the chance to explore the beautiful Luang Prabang. I'm hoping to be able to visit the other parts of Laos in the future.

Related Post:  Visa Free Countries For Philippines Passport Holder

How I Travelled And Lived With 2000 USD For Six Months In Southeast Asia

Teaching in Vietnam

What Helped Me Survive For Six Months In Southeast Asia?

  • blogging
  • volunteering
  • hitchhiking and sleeping in a monastery
  • hostel work
  • paid teaching gig
  • online gig

When I settled in Vietnam to work in a hostel and teach English, I also did online jobs, like content writing and as a virtual assistant. For beginners in this field, you might have to charge lower. Once you get your profile in a good shape, you will get paid better. You can also check these best travel jobs to have an idea.

So there you go, it's not the ideal backpacking set up that I wish I could have. But I had a really good time and I met amazing travellers from everywhere in the world. Spending six months in Southeast Asia is definitely something I will never forget.

TIP: Check my resources page to see the main online platforms I use on my travels!


About the author

Mary Charie

She's the person behind this blog, she has been travelling since 2013. Torn between her itchy feet and writing, Mary found herself soaking up in the world of travel blogging. She travels on her own terms and tries to build her own world whilst pushing herself into every corner of life, breaking limit beyond her capabilities.


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