Saturday, October 25, 2008

The cost of southeast Asia

While recovering from a hangover, I've decided to list some prices for the trip so far ...

5 star hotel in Manila (corporate rate) $150/night
flight from Manila to Saigon, Vietnam $250
pair of American sneakers $80
movie ticket to see horrible American movie (Tropic Thunder) $3

1 month multiple entry visa to Vietnam $130
2 star hotel in the tourist area of Saigon $25/ night
North Face backpacks $10
full course meal with alcoholic drinks for two people in upscale restaurant $25
full day sight seeing tour on a bus $8
shoe shine for shoes that didn't really need it $1 plus $1 tip
getting directions from street children that wouldn't leave us alone $3
getting ripped off by pedicab drivers for a 5 hour city tour $80
getting ripped off by angry women at Hindu temple $6
can of Heineken in a restaurant $1

six hour bumpy bus ride from Saigon to Phnom Penh, Cambodia $13


all day tuk-tuk driver (kinda like a motorcyle with a covered cart attached) $17
dinner for two at upscale restaurant $14 to $25
angkor beer in a can bought in a bar $1.50
pictures of begging, smiling self-described orphans at genocide site $0
bottle of water of suspicious origins 25 cents
massage by the side of a dusty road in the outskirts of Phnom Penh $1
Patek Philippe watch which may or may not work $20
tshirts 4 for $10
casual Diesel shirt $15
Calvin Klein or D and G underwear (one size fits all!) $2 each
all day Khmer cooking class $20
tour of school turned into genocide site $6
Khmer lessons by hustler in a bar $2.50

And the great thing about Cambodia for tourists is that they don't even use their own currency. Almost everything is in American dollars! no calculators needed. In Vietnam, they use the dong which have so many zeros attached that you are an instant millionaire.

It's Sunday today. Resting day. So far, I love Phnom Penh. Great city but still very chaotic and crazy.

more later ....

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