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Old 05-11-08, 03:35 PM   #1
Kazer
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help with cost of living for various countries

I am leaving in April of 2009 with my girlfriend for a tour lasting about a year or so starting in Glasglow and ending in Kuala Lumpur.

here is the trip outline so far
and
here is the proposed route so far
and
for fun here is my bike build

what i'm trying to get a sense for is how much the trip is going to cost in daily living expenses. we'll be camping or couchsurfing in europe and staying at cheap little hotels/guesthouses in southeast asia.

we hope to eat well and not survive on only the barest of essentials.

can anyone provide any input on what their cost of living was for any of the countries listed?

thanks so much!
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Old 05-11-08, 04:08 PM   #2
spinnaker
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Similar thread started here:

Cost of Cycling throught Europe

just a day or two ago
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Old 05-11-08, 04:25 PM   #3
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Europe is very expensive right now for Americans. In addition to a bad exchange rate, inflation (notably food prices) is up. That will likely be the case in SE Asia as well.

I'd be careful about the weather in Russia. I believe it will be close to freezing by October. If I were you, I'd go straight to SE Asia or China. Then again, I don't have much interest in seeing Russia these days.

I assume you will be flying at least a few times. Keep in mind that airlines will very likely sock you with a $80-100 fee, per bike, per flight.
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Old 05-11-08, 04:37 PM   #4
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we're only flying in and out. there are a few ferry rides (england to france, italy to croatia) and moscow to beijing is on the trans-siberian railway.
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Old 05-11-08, 04:38 PM   #5
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thanks for the link spinnaker!
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Old 05-12-08, 06:51 AM   #6
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Laos is even cheaper than Thailand, though accommodations in Vientiane and Luang Prabang are quite a bit more than in the villages. However, I think you get somewhat better value in Thailand. This past winter, I paid from $3 to $5 in villages in Laos; $15 in LP & Vientiane, but I wasn't seeking the cheapest places in those cities. I was in Malaysia over 15 years ago, so I'm not sure what prices are like these days, but it was very cheap in the early 1990s. You get amazing value for money thoughout SE Asia. You can eat quite well for $1 or $2 in the night markets. The price/quality ratio is more favorable in SE Asia than anywhere I've been, including Latin America.
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Old 05-12-08, 07:31 AM   #7
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Here's one way to look at relative price differences. The following figures are from the Finnish IRS daily allowances table (maximum tax-free daily allowance employer can pay to an employee who is working temporarily abroad). The money is supposed to buy breakfast and 2 warm meals per day, but accommodation, local transport etc are not included. Breakfast is of course often included in accommodation, so that leaves a bit extra for the working man to spend on dinner wines, for example.

The absolute numbers are on the high side in my experience - you can find breakfast + 2 meals for less than 66e in France. But it gives you an idea of relative restaurant food price levels between various countries on your route:

Scotland, England: 71e (London & Edinburgh 77e)
France: 66e
Switzerland: 62e
Italy: 64e
Croatia: 59e
Slovenia: 53e
Austria: 60e
Czech Rep: 55e
Poland: 58e

Russia: 42e (Moscow 72e, St. Petersburg 56e)
Mongolia: 43e
China: 61e (HK 69e, Macau 63e)

Vietnam: 40e
Laos: 36e
Kambodza: 57e
Thailand: 59e
Malaysia: 47e

HTH,

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Old 05-12-08, 08:01 AM   #8
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Does "e" mean Euros? Those Finnish IRS numbers are ludicrous at least insofar as SE Asian countries are concerned. The idea that prepared meals in France, for example, cost only slightly more than in Thailand is absurd. Maybe if you're eating in the hotel restaurant in the most expensive hotel in Bangkok, prices might start to resemble European cafes. You can eat well for a week in Thailand or Laos, for what 1 inexpensive dinner costs in France. That was certainly true in Malaysia as well.

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Old 05-12-08, 11:42 AM   #9
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Juha--

thank you, that looks like it could be a great resource (though the SE asia numbers are a bit weird)

can you link me to where you found those numbers?

Last edited by Kazer; 05-12-08 at 11:48 AM.
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Old 05-13-08, 01:06 AM   #10
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e means Euros. And I agree the figures look weird, also for China (outside of the obviously expensive big cities). The idea is to "reasonably compensate for food and increases in other living costs when travelling". A typical business traveller probably will not go out of their way to find the cheap and cheerful corner stand a bike tourist frequents. There may be additional considerations involved when they compile the table. Take it with a grain of salt.

Due to the way the Finnish IRS has set up their web page, I cannot link directly to the table. And it's all in Finnish. With that in mind, you can find it in http://www.vero.fi as follows:

- there's a search field on top of page, titled "Haku". Type "päiväraha" in there (without "s), click "Hae"
- from the results select "Päivärahat 2008"

Many of the country names will probably look weird to you. PM me if you need help in translation.

--J
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