Backpacking South-East Asia
R 40 000
This was our first overseas backpacking trip. And the beauty of South East Asia for us, besides the low cost, is the fact that we could totally wing this trip. We had return flights to Thailand and 1 night's accommodation and a general plan of where we want to go.
The only place that required Visa's was Vietnam, but you can get it at the border on arrival. We had to fill in a form that we sent to a visa agency stating your date of arrival with 10 other people. Take a passport photo with and Bob's your uncle.
We stayed at a place in Old Town in Hanoi. We thought we could just rock up and find a place to sleep, but everywhere was fully booked! Luckily, the friendly people at one of the hostels called around and found a place for us. So I suggest, at least book accommodation for the first night, especially in high season.
An overnight sleeping bus ride from Hanoi to Hoi An took pretty much 24 hours instead of 12 due to several mishaps along the way: First, a window shattered that had to be taped up, then a tyre burst. All in the middle of the night. Even though the bus was fully booked, the bus driver still made extra stops to pick up people. There were people sleeping on the floors and you had to use your skills in parkour to get to the bathroom.
We both got stomach bugs from some dodgy food we ate somewhere, not fun on a packed overnight bus ride with one bathroom.
And needless to say, we couldn't really enjoy Hoi An as much as we wanted to because we couldn't eat without running to the bathroom within 5 mins or walk around with cramping stomachs.
It is the most artsy, creative little town though, so make sure you go!
The street food is awesome in Thailand like the Pad Thai and roasted chicken in Kao San road in Bangkok. This was basically our staple food, cause it was just so damn tasty. And you have to try the sticky rice and mango for something sweet.
We did stay in 3* hotels most of the time, booked through booking.com and Agoda. They were obviously more expensive than hostels and backpackers, but still super affordable. So I guess we could've saved a lot more money on accommodation.
In Khoi San Road we just looked for a place without a booking. But it can become difficult if it is busy.
We book all our flights through travelstart.co.za from South Africa.
Johannesburg to Bangkok
Bangkok to Hanoi, Vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City