Six Months In Southeast Asia - How I Travelled & Lived With 2000 USD
By Mary Charie / 21/09/2016

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

In Myanmar, I was staying in a monastery for a few days

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 the 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 USD 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 PostHere’s the story how I started travelling and funded this Southeast Asia Trip


Six Months in Southeast Asia with $2000, ready?!

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Timeline: Three Weeks Travelling + Three Weeks Living

I was already blogging 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.

RELATED POST: Vietnam Visa Guide

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

Ha Long Bay Tour

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.

Timeline: Six Weeks + Ten Days

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 Two Monkeys Travel Group as well. I spent a total of 10 days covering those three places, I stayed mostly in hostels and ate local food.

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, 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.

Timeline: Six Weeks + Ten Days + Three Weeks

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.

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 USD, 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 South-east 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.

Timeline: Six Weeks + Ten Days + Three Weeks + Two Days

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.

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

Christmas Eve 2015 – Hanoi, Vietnam

Timeline: Six Weeks + Ten Days + Three Weeks + Two Days + Three Months

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

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

My students in Vietnam

Timeline: Six Weeks + Ten Days + Three Weeks + Two Days + Three Months + One Week

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

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.

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!



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About the author

Mary Charie

She's the person behind this blog. 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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