In early 2018, we traveled to Thailand and Cambodia and mixed in visits to Hong Kong Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland. See how we did our budget trip to Thailand and Cambodia!
Budget Trip to Thailand and Cambodia
United States to Bangkok via Taipei. 80,000 United miles + $7.00 per person.
Fly from Bangkok to Siem Reap on Thai Smile for about $78 per person. We could have done the crazy overland border crossing like on my last trip for only $18, but Darlene wanted to fly instead.
Siem Reap to Hong Kong for 7,500 British Airways Avios + $32.10 per person.
Hong Kong to Tokyo Haneda for 10,000 British Airways Avios + $27.06 per person.
Tokyo Narita back to the United states for 35,000 American Airline miles + $45.16 per person.
For the airline miles, we both got bonuses from the Chase United Airlines Visa credit card and the Citibank Aadvantage Mastercard. Darlene got the Avios via the bonus from the Chase British Airways Visa card.
Two nights in Bangkok at the Holiday Inn Express Siam for 15,000 IHG points per night. To get the points, I got a bonus from applying for the Chase IHG Mastercard.
Four nights at King Boutique hotel in Siem Reap for $131 total ($33 per night) booked via booking.com. It was a 5 minute walk to the Night Market and less than 10 minutes to the Old Market and river. I was surprised how nice the room was.
Two nights at JAS Guest House in Hong Kong for $68.83 ($34.42 per night). Hong Kong hotels are expensive, so we booked this via booking.com. You get what you pay for. It may have been the smallest hotel room I have ever been in but at least it was clean and it was in a good location.
Three nights at the Best Western Nishikasai for 36,000 Best Western points. We lucked out getting that hotel for 12,000 points per night as it is now 40,000 points per night. It had a free shuttle to Tokyo Disneyland and since Darlene is a Disney freak, that is the reason we went to Tokyo. I don’t remember where I got these points, but I had them in my account and Best Western points never expire.
We paid $36 ($30 for the visa and a $6 fee) each for Cambodian e-visas from the official Cambodian government site. www.evisa.gov.kh. It was easy and quick. We got confirmation the next day and printed out two copies to be safe.
Local Transportation (per person)
Bangkok (35 baht = $1)
Bangkok had very clean and very cheap public transportation
Airport Rail Link from BKK airport to Phaya Thai (35 baht)
Transfer to BTS sky train to National Stadium (26 baht)
Walk to hotel
BTS Sky Train to Taksin (40 baht)
Chao Phraya River Express (poor man’s river cruise) (15 baht)
Return to hotel via Metro (19 baht)
Transfer to BTS Sky Train (26 baht)
From Bangkok we did a worthwhile day trip to Ayutthaya
BTS Sky train to Sala Daeng (26 baht)/Metro to Hua Lamphong (19 baht)
3rd class ticket for an 80 minute train ride to Ayutthaya (20 baht)
Ferry to cross river into Ayutthaya (5 baht)
Return train to Bang Sue (15 baht)
Metro and Sky Train to National Stadium (45 baht)
Return to Airport via Sky train to Phaya Thai; transfer to Airport Rail Link to BKK (26 baht+35baht)
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Our hotel provided free transportation to and from the Siem Reap airport.
For touring the temples we hired a tuk-tuk driver each day. The “Big Circuit” was $17 and the “Small Circuit” and our other day of touring were $15 each. We tipped $5 each time; I don’t know if that is too little or not, but 30+% seemed fair to us.
For details regarding specifics, read our post on touring the temples of Angkor.
Hong Kong (8 Hong Kong dollar ~ $1)
We took Bus A21 from and to the Hong Kong Airport. Each way was 33 Hong Kong dollars (about $4).
From our hotel to Hong Kong Disneyland and back we took the MRT for 23 Hong Kong dollars (about $3).
We also wanted to ride the famous Star Ferry across Victoria Harbor. That cost 10 Hong Kong dollars.
Tokyo (108 yen = $1)
From Haneda airport, we took the Kasai bus to Kasai station for 1030 yen and then tranferred to the train to the Nishikasai station for 170 yen.
Our shuttle bus from the Best Western Nishikasai to Tokyo Disneyland was a free service provided by the hotel.
To get to Narita airport we took the train to the Kasai station (170 yen) and then the Keisai bus (not to be confused with Kasai) to Narita for 1550 yen. This was a challenge as there were a lot of people at the bus stop and we had to politely stake our claim to a place in line.
OK, this is where we differ from most people and where you will probably spend a lot more than us, while thinking we are crazy.
We usually stay in hotels that offer free breakfast and stuff ourselves in the morning. Later in the day, we eat at small local restaurants or get street food instead of living it up at fancy restaurants.
For example, in Siem Reap there was a street with fancy restaurants with dishes at $10 or more, but we ate at local places and spent $2 to $3 for some of the tastiest meals I have had.
In Bangkok, for dinner we walked to Chinatown and had pad thai from a street vendor for 30 baht (less than $1).
I admit that we passed on this tempting offer in Hong Kong.
We have Priority Pass from the Chase Sapphire Reserve card and eat in airport lounges during layovers.
I hesititate to write this but we only spent $102 on food for the whole trip. Yep. I said we are different. To put things in perspective, at home we spend between $200 – $250 per month on food. We just don’t spend a lot of money on food.
$62 per person cash in American dollars for a 3-day Angkor Archaeological Pass (valid for entrance from 5:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.)
When we went to Ayutthaya it was some kind of holiday and most of the temples were free. We paid a negligible 20 baht to get into one temple.
See our post on visiting the temples of Angkor.
We spent a day at Hong Kong Disneyland (619 Hong Kong Dollars) and a day each at Tokyo Disneyland and Tokyo Disney Sea (13,200 yen for a two day ticket). Total cost for both of us was $395.80.
For our anniversary in Siem Reap we got hour long massages for $5 each. It was so good (and cheap) that we went back later and got another.
|ITEM||COST (per person)|
|Airfare (including award fees)||$195|
|Visa for Cambodia||$36|
-Bangkok (352 baht)
-Siem Reap, Cambodia ($62)
-Hong Kong (122 HK Dollars)
-Tokyo (2,920 yen)
|TOTAL||$767 per person|
Note that we also spent:
160,000 United miles
70,000 American miles
35,000 British Airways Avios
30,000 IHG points
36,000 Best Western points