Day 61: Budgetarian Travel Series-Survived 5 Days/2 Cities in Myanmar with Less Than 200 USD

Because I have been asked many times how much I spent in my travels, I decided to have a Budgetarian Travel section. For those who are wondering, I normally set my budget to be at USD 200, except when I’m traveling to more expensive cities, like Singapore.

This time, I challenged myself to spend only USD 200 for our Myanmar trip. My friend and I spent 5 fantastic days touring around Bagan and Yangon. I would love to stay longer in Bagan, but my dust allergy was already acting up (note to self: don’t forget to bring antihistamine).

Myanmar’s local currency is Kyat (or MMK). My research shows that their lowest banknote denomination is K5, but what we experienced is that the locals round off the amount. But, like in Cambodia, USD is widely accepted. That’s why I’d list my expenses in Kyat and in USD:

Expenses in Kyat:

Expenses in USD:

Grand total: USD 195.03 (includes breakfast before departure) / approx Php 10,200.

Some budget tips:

– Because our Manila-Kuala Lumpur flight was on a Friday night, and our Kuala Lumpur-Yangon flight was on a Saturday morning, my friend and I decided to book a hostel before we left Yangon on Saturday night. However, we didn’t know that the Aung Mingalar bus station is near the airport area. We could have save some $$$ if we just booked a hostel in this area instead of staying in Downtown Yangon as we ended up sleeping the whole afternoon.

– Tourists only have to pay the Bagan entrance fee once. Ticket is valid for 5 days. Just don’t lose the ticket stub.

– My expenses already included souvenirs (a painting and some postcards). Pro tip: haggle

– Book your bus seat directly on their website (we booked directly with JJ Express). Based on other tourists, hotels charge a service fee if they are the ones to book it. They paid around USD 21-22 instead of USD 19.

– On our return trip from Bagan, we booked a hostel near the airport even though we had time to go around Yangon. JJ Bus Express provided a small bus to drop passengers in Downtown Yangon free of charge. This time, we could have save more if we stayed in Downtown Yangon as we could just walk around instead of taking a cab to/from the hostel.

More Bagan photos in this post.

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Day 59: Lakawon Island Daytrip + Taw Hai Floating Bar and Restaurant Budget Guide

“Saan ka dadalhin ng 10 Getgo points mo?” (Where will your 10 Cebu Pacific’s Getgo points bring you?)

My friend and I were one of the lucky ones who were able to avail of Cebu Pacific Airline’s fly for 10 Getgo points only. We were supposed to go to Islas de Gigantes via Roxas, but got rebooked to Iloilo because the Roxas flight got full. This gave us the opportunity to explore two cities instead. 

Because both of us were feeling beach-y, we decided to spend a day in Lakawon Island Resort. Most of our time was spent in Taw Hai Floating Bar and Restaurant. Who could say no to drinks and beach? Haha

If you’re traveling on a tight budget, the transportation alone from Bacolod city will eat up much of your budget.

The roundtrip boat ride to/from Lakawon Island is Php 300. There’s an additional fee of Php 250 if you’re going to Taw Hai. From the bus drop off point to the ferry, you’ll need to hail a tricycle that costs Php 120 for a special trip.

Here is our total expenses:

All in all, I would go back here and spend a night. We did not take photos of the resort as they’re still constructing some buildings, and it would not do the place some justice. I like how it’s not that crowded even though we went here during a kite surfing competition.

Credit: Photos without my watermark are taken by my friend.

Day 58: Solo Backpacking – Survive 5 Days in Macau and Hong Kong with Less Than Php 20,000 (or USD 400)

Ever wonder the cost of solo traveling in expensive cities like Hong Kong? Fret not as I’ll be posting here  my travel expenses plus some tips while being on a budget in Macau and Hong Kong.

Macau-Hong Kong Budget

My total expenses (excluding the souvenir expenses) = HKD 2809.40 or less than Php 18100 / USD 362 *Airfare/airport fees and taxes are not included as they are relative to where you’ll be coming from

Some money-saving travel tips:

  • Utilize the shuttle provided by hotels/casinos while in Macau

I stayed in Ka Meng Villa in Macau as it is walking distance from Senado Square and other spots. If my flight was not delayed for 30 minutes, I could board the Wynn Macau Shuttle from the airport and walk for about 15 minutes. The damage? 98 HKD

  • Stay in Hong Kong and have a 1-day trip to Macau instead

There’s no hostel in Macau. Compare if the cost of 1 night in a hostel in HK plus the ferry fare is cheaper than 1 night stay in Macau. Travel time is only for about 1 hour, and ferries leave every 30 minutes.

  • Befriend your neighborly convenience store

My meal and snack while in Disneyland already took half of my meal expenses for 5 days. Not good, dude.

My checklist when looking for a hostel:

  1. Proximity to bus stop/metro station
  2. Safety
  3. Neighboring buildings/communities
  4. Hotel reviews
  5. Proximity to restaurants
  6. Budget per meal for those restaurants
  7. Cheapaz option (aka alternative to restaurants)
  • Check the weather and bring appropriate clothes

Just when I thought my Asian body can handle 15 degrees Celsius, the Universe laughed at me and decided to further drop the temperature to 10 (and sometimes less than 10) degrees Celsius. Cost of defrosting my frozen fingers by drinking hot choco and coffee – HKD 95.00

  • Walk, walk, walk

Hong Kong has a good transportation system. They also have better sidewalks for walking. If you’re fit, having walking tours in Hong Kong and Macau will save you lots of moolah and keep your body fit. Two birds with one stone, right?

Preview of my trip here and here

Day 57: Sneak Peek – Solo Backpacking in Hong Kong

Here are some random shots during my solo backpacking trip in Hong Kong. I highly recommend this place for those who like to have their first solo travel abroad as everything is accessible, and directions are in English. 

By the way, you can follow me in Instagram @kat_the_wanderer for some real time (I try to, okay?) update on my travels. More HK-Macau blog posts to come! Cheers!

Day 56: Sneak Peek – Solo Backpacking in Macau

Here are some highlights from my solo Macau – Hong Kong trip. After a short travel hiatus to revive my comatose bank account, I’m finally back on traveling again. I’ll be posting more on my trip in the next few weeks.

Day 49: Survive 3 Days in Seychelles with 300 Euros and Some Budget Tips

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Traveling solo can be pretty expensive, especially if your only choice is to stay in a hotel. That’s why I dared myself to just spend 300 euros (almost 16,000 Php) when I was in Seychelles.

Here are my expenses:
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I almost managed to keep my budget. I could save more if:

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Day 30: Survive Singapore with 250 SGD

Singapore is considered as one of the most expensive cities, if not the most expensive. Budgeting a trip here can be quite a challenge for backpackers as the hotel room can go up to SGD 130.00. That’s why I challenged myself to limit my budget to SGD 250 during my 2 nights’ stay here with friends.

164720_185162434828924_2980492_n(1)Just a quick note though, my friends and I already visited Singapore at least once. So we’ve decided to spend more time in Malaysia.

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