December budget roundup!

We stayed put in December. We spent all but five days on a beach on Koh Phangan. Not moving around meant we didn’t spend as much money. We might have spent our savings at happy hour.


Here’s a summary of December’s costs:

Total spending: $3643




Accomodations: $1327

Or about half of what we pay monthly for mortgage, insurance, property taxes etc at home.. If I could work remotely and make what I make at home, life would be ridiculous. There are legions of people doing it. Check out the Wireless Generation: I must admit that it is tempting.

In Siem Reap we stayed in a small local run hotel with a pool and free breakfast for about $38/night. We could have spent far less than that for a decent room.

One night was spent on an overnight train from Bangkok to Surat Thani, on our way to the beach.

The rest our month was spent at the Seaflower Bungalow. We stayed in two different rooms (actually 4, but only two of these were in December). The fancy room, with a sea view and free breakfast for $70night (2 nights only) and sweet #16 where we stayed for most of our days at $42/night. In January, we stayed in two more rooms, fan cooled and a little more rustic. If we’d known, I’d have booked our stay in these cheaper fan bungalows for the entire time. They cost less than $25 a night and were perfectly suitable for the three of us. We’ve booked this bungalow for when we return April. It starts getting really hot in April, so we’ll see how we fare with just a fan.


Our home on Koh Phangan

Food: $1239

We spent almost 60% more on food in December than we spent in November. There are a few reasons we ate more. There wasn’t much to do on the beach besides eat and drink. Plus, we weren’t tracking our budget daily because we had a tab at our bungalow. We ate mostly in the Seaflower restaurant. The food was good, it was easy and inexpensive. We ventured out for pizza and a few other meals, everything nearby was similarly priced.

We also celebrated Christmas and brought in the New Year on Koh Phangan. The Seaflower does a special buffet for these nights. The buffets were way out of our budget, but something we really wanted to be a part of. It was well worth it, barbecued barracuda, tasty salads and more. For New Year’s Eve they had a suckling pig on a spit (caution, photo below).

Christmas dinner!

Christmas dinner!

Vegetarians avert your eyes!



New Year's pig

New Year’s Eve pig


Included in the New Year buffet was a Chinese lantern that all the guests lit and released. When the evening finished off with fireworks, Swanson thought the celebration was completely magical. He was right.

Releasing lanterns on New Year's Eve

Releasing lanterns on New Year’s Eve


Booze: $598

‘Tis the season! With both Christmas and New Year parties plus daily happy hours for sunset our booze budget was way higher this month! Sure the mojitos are only $3, but they sure add up.

Mojito skies

Mojito skies.


Attractions: $91.20

Two adult three day passes for Angkor Wat. Kids under 12 are free. Unfortunately, kids under 12 were forbidden to climb some of the temples.

Nine year olds not permitted!

Nine year olds not permitted!

Oddly, some of the more perilous staircases were not monitored:


Perilous playground.


Transportation: $179.64

As I mentioned, we didn’t move around too much this month. Included in the above is our tuk tuk driver for three days at Angkor Wat, the train-ferry-bus joint tickets to Koh Phangan, round trip ferry ride to Koh Samui, and scooter rentals on Koh Phangan.

Miscellaneous: $207.98

This included extending our Thai visa ($67 each, ouch) and a few toiletries, mosquito repellant etc.

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