Lonely Beach budget: Thailand week 2, Koh Chang to Bangkok, Thailand

We spent half of our week in Lonely Beach on Koh Chang Island, Thailand, then took a bus to Bangkok. So far, this city is a bit crazy but pretty cool! The beach life is on hold for a while, but city living is just getting started. It's a bit cheaper, too!

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Our goal: $50 per day total, including transportation, accommodation, visas, and bills back home. For two people.

In every budget update I will add a prorated estimate of our bills back home (loans, phone plan, etc. which may vary slightly by month), to include in our $50/day travel budget. I am not including travel insurance -- this would add about $5.75 per day to our total.
  • Days: 7
  • Location: Lonely Beach, Koh Chang island -> Bangkok, Thailand
  • Weekly spending: $278.48
  • Avg. spending per day: $39.79
  • Avg. spending per day incl. bills back home: $42.99
  • Avg. spending per day overall in Asia: $45.87
Koh Chang island
 
So what are our living expenses in Thailand this week? 
  • Conversion rate: 30.49 Thai Baht (thb)=$1.00 USD
  • Accommodation: $100.38
    • We spent four nights in Koh Chang ($13.22 per night) and three at YaYa Guesthouse in Bangkok ($15.95 per night). For the price, Yaya Guesthouse is quite nice and well-located in Silom district near lots of amenities, street food, and transportation. We got REALLY good discounts by booking through Agoda.

    • Fun side note: everywhere we go, we have to figure out how to dry clothes. Warren has gotten really clever with his paracord from Amazon, which is a MUST bring for any traveler!
Knot skills
    • Luckily we aren't driving -- Bangkok has that fun city traffic that we don't miss from Houston:

  • Food and drinks: $139.39
    • Food and water are slightly cheaper in Bangkok than they were in Koh Chang -- probably by about 10-20%. It makes a difference!
    • Still, we went out a few times and didn't skimp on beers on Friday night.
Duck soup... you slay me
  • Transportation: $32.80
    • Other than LOTS of walking, we chartered a double-decker bus from Koh Chang island to Bangkok, which picked up from our hotel and dropped us off about 20 minutes walk from our place in Bangkok. It was 500baht per person ($16.40) and included the ferry ticket. Not too bad, and we didn't try to negotiate.

Bus vibes

Spotted while awaiting a bus: the Coolest of Cool(ers).
    •  Don't forget: when you walk everywhere, you get to look around and find cool stuff.
Like statues of kids fighting Muay Thai...
 
...and Bangkok's amazing buildings.
  • Entertainment/miscellaneous: $5.91
    • THE BEACH. Yep, we still beached it up most days and managed NOT to get sunburnt... mostly. We enjoyed early mornings swimming in ultra-clear water and reading in the shade, listening to wacky birds and monkeys, spotting schools of fish and (we're pretty sure) striped sea snakes, giant termites, and amazing leaf cutter ants.
 
 Leaf cutter ants making a breeding... pod?
    • Oh, we also went kayaking for an hour or so (rented the kayak, life vests, and paddles for about 180thb or under $6). Turns out, my extreme phobia of drowning combined with a tendency towards sea-sickness make open ocean kayaking a bit unpleasant. Well, at least we know now! 
    • Finally, we wrapped up most job requirements (no spoilers) with drug tests (passed), a cancer scare (passed), physicals (also passed), dental exams (mostly fine), and blood work (cholesterol is a lie invented by Big Vegetable). Once this goes through we'll break the job news to the world!
Warren got a normal bandage, but the phlebotomist understood me well.

Lonely Beach was beautiful, and we enjoyed it a lot more once we got to know the locals more. The Thai locals don't seem to like the backpackers so it's a more hostile environment than we felt in Vietnam and Cambodia. However, with some slow ingratiating, we got smiles out of people. Bangkok has been instantly friendly, even though we have mostly just been poked and prodded at the hospital. More honest review next week!

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