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
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: http://thewirelessgeneration.com/. 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.
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).
Vegetarians avert your eyes!
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.
‘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.
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.
Oddly, some of the more perilous staircases were not monitored:
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.
This included extending our Thai visa ($67 each, ouch) and a few toiletries, mosquito repellant etc.