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If you are preparing your trip to Southeast Asia for example by Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia do not miss this section. We will help you to organize it in order to make Southeast Asia the journey of your life. 

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Are you planning a trip to Indonesia? We have what you are looking for. Explore with us and discover the secrets of some of its more than 17,000 islands.


- Southeast asia trip -

icono ruta sudeste asiatico

If you are preparing your trip to Southeast Asia for example by Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia do not miss this section. We will help you to organize it in order to make Southeast Asia the journey of your life. 

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Are you traveling to Singapore? Do not miss a detail of this section. Here you will find plenty of useful information to prepare your trip to the smallest country in Southeast Asia.

Southeast Asia in 20 days: A backpacker’s budget

Traveling to Southeast Asia is cheaper than it seems, especially if you travel to Asia where accommodation & meals are significantly cheaper than in Europe. Would you believe it if I told you that we spend less than 1,400 € per person traveling 20 days across Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia? This price include all the flights (all 5 secondary flights), excursions, meals, and accommodation. Absolutely everything.

But before you get too excited, I’ll tell you that we were traveling to Southeast Asia as backpackers. We are those who don’t mind where we’d spend the night or how many people we’d be sharing a room with. If you like adventures and low-cost travels, this post is for you.


First, we will talk about our particular case and how much we spent in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia within 20 days. We will also break down how much we spent on reservations before the trip and how much we spent during our trip in Southeast Asia.

Then, we will make a section where we generically account for how much it cost to travel to Southeast Asia, independent from your trip itinerary and the days that you travel. In this section, we will discuss the topics on flights, accommodation, meals, excursions, travel insurance, etc. in general terms.

Finally, I will leave you a very useful tool to help calculate your travel budget to Southeast Asia in less than a minute.

Our 20-days Southeast Asia travel budget



As I mentioned in the article on how to prepare a trip to Southeast Asia, we decided not to take a round trip flight between Spain and Southeast Asia. The two main entrances to Southeast Asia are Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, and we since wanted to see both cities, we decided to take two separate flights. This may increase the budget a little, but not enough to make it unworthy.

The price of our plane tickets were: one-way (Madrid – Singapore) for 260 € and return (Kuala Lumpur – Madrid) for 261 €. We bought the tickets three and a half months before the trip.

Airfares are usually cheaper if purchased between 3 to 4 months before the trip. This expense is the first thing to consider when preparing your travel budget for Southeast Asia.


After choosing different destinations that we wanted to visit in Southeast Asia, we researched for the best combination of flights, considering times and prices. We compared different companies, and in the end, AirAsia was always the most economical.

Within the 20 days we spent in Southeast Asia, we visited Singapore, Penang, Sumatra, Yogyakarta, Bali and Kuala Lumpur.

These were the prices of domestic flights:

Singapore – Penang – 37.09€

Penang – Sumatra – 28.09€

Sumatra – Yogyakarta – 85.42€

Yogyakarta – Bali – 32.35€

Bali – Kuala Lumpur – 52.22€


Since it was our first time in Southeast Asia, we didn’t want to travel without pre-booking our accommodations. If you are backpacking, want to stay for cheap, and have enough time during your trip, looking for accommodation as you arrive at destinations is the best option. That way, you will find better prices and be able to see your room before deciding.

In our case, we didn’t leave one night to improvisation. We booked the accommodations through these platforms.

We booked:

However, we only had to pay 8.5 € / pers. total in advance. The rest was paid during the trip.


The best option to travel to Southeast Asia is undoubtedly with MONDO which has far greater coverage than other travel insurance for a similar cost. We also have a discount for our readers.

If you hire insurance through our link, we get a small commission. But we are not recommending it just for that. If you find another insurance that is cheaper with similar coverage , please let us know. I assure you that as of today, we haven’t found any travel insurance as cheap and with so much coverage.

The price of insurance for 20 days is 80 €. With the discount we provide, the total price of insurance would be 76 €.


The last thing we paid in advance was the ferry that goes to Gili Trawangan from Bali with Marina Srikandi (40 € round trip).

For this particular journey, I recommend that you book in advance because the prices were more expensive if you book when you get there, not to mention, there was quite a difference between companies.


Once we got there, we used my smart Evo account card to handle money during the trip, as we were able to withdraw from any ATM for free even with currency exchange. Apart from what we had already paid in advance, we spent 1060 € in total (530 € each) in Southeast Asia on the following:


Food, fruit smoothies and beers. We paid anywhere from 0.90 € to 15 € with any given menus. We spent the day trying new things, usually avoiding the most touristic sites to live the essence of the local scene. I think that I ate more on this trip than in any other place. There wasn’t a single day that I did not drink exotic fruit shakes and eat banana pancakes, among other gastronomic delights.

Depending on the type of diet you want to have during your trip, it will change your travel budget within Southeast Asia.


As I mentioned before, although all of our accommodations were booked from Spain in advance, we only paid 8.5 € for reservations. During the trip, we had to pay 108 € in accommodation costs for 15 nights. The rest of the nights of the 20 that we were traveling in Southeast Asia, we slept in the jungle or at some airport.


In addition to flights and the ferry, we used different means of transportation. Buses, tuk-tuk, taxi and even a private driver we booked from Spain, to go to the jungle of Bukit Lawang from Medan airport (42 € one way).


Some excursions and activities were arranged directly in Southeast Asia, such as entrances to different temples in Yogyakarta (approx 15 €), snorkeling in Gili Trawangan (approx 10 €), and traditional dance exhibit in Ubud (€ 5). Others were booked from Spain, like our two-day trek through the Bukit Lawang jungle to see orangutans in the wild + return to the village for tubing (60 + 10 €), and the trek to see the sunrise at Batur volcano in Bali (16.5 €).

If you want to know how much it costs for each of the transportation and activities that we carried out during those 20 days in Southeast Asia, you will find them in the specific guides to each destination that we will leave you at the end of this article.

In total, the cost of our trip was € 1,400 per person, including what we paid in advance and what we spent during the 20 days while in Southeast Asia.

But now we are going to help you create your own Southeast Asia travel budget as each trip is different.

General budget of Southeast Asia for backpackers


Traveling to Southeast Asia (Kuala Lumpur or Singapore) from Madrid, buying your flight 3-4 months in advance should cost between 400 and 600 € depending on whether you choose a round trip or two one-way flights as we did.

The average price of domestic flights with AirAsia between one point and another is 50 €. Add 50 € for each trip you want to fly.


If you are going to take a trip on the ferry, I suggest calculating the approximate cost using this ferry comparator that works very well for Southeast Asia. This is just to have an approximate price. Then you can contact the company directly to get a cheaper price.

Also, if you want to do a long road trip and want to know the cost beforehand, I recommend you to check it using Grab. This low-cost taxi service (the Asian version of Uber) operates in almost all Southeast Asian countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines).


The best way to know how much travel insurance is going to cost you, is to set up a quote which takes less than half a minute here. It is basically dependent on the length of your trip.


If you do not mind sharing a room with other backpackers, the price per night in Southeast Asia should not exceed 10 €. Keep in mind that cities like Singapore or Kuala Lumpur are more expensive than other destinations like Bukit Lawang or Penang.


Our budget ranged between 1 to 15 € per meal. Of course, there are other more expensive options, but if you want keep it cheap, you should budget about 10 € a day in terms of food.


On excursions, you will not spend more than 15 € on average per day, but we still think that it is too much. We were very happy to realize that we have spent less than expected after we came back.

Budget Calculation Tool for Traveling to Southeast Asia

By clicking on the following icon, you will download an Excel sheet, with which you can calculate your approximate travel budget in less than 1 minute. Note! This travel budget to Southeast Asia is only valid for true backpackers. Couples organizing their honeymoon or the like will surely want to spend more on private rooms in hotels etc.

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My first time travelling Southeast Asia

My Southeast Asia trip for 20 days with my cousin was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a totally unexpected trip. The idea of being travel mates arose at the typical Christmas dinner where plans get made but nobody usually follow through at the end. Who would have guessed that a few months later we would be traveling to Asia for the first time?

The 20 days we spent touring Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia were unforgettable. So, upon  my return of this great adventure, I decided to create this blog.

In this post and the following, we will let you know everything you need if you are planning a 20-day trip to Southeast Asia.

Prambanan temple last main view. 20 days trip to southeast asia

Our first time in Southeast Asia

That includes:

In short, we will make your backpacker trip to Southeast Asia unforgettable.

Southeast asia itinerary. Sunset on the Ombak Sunset swing in Gili Trawangan

Gili Trawangan – Indonesia


All of the following countries are considered to be part of Southeast Asia: Burma, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, East Timor and Vietnam. All of them are located South of China and East of India. The number of paradisaical islands, between the Pacific and Indian Ocean, make Southeast Asia a popular destination for tourists from all over the world, especially those who love beaches and diving.

Like most, when we decided to travel to this region of Asia, what attracted our attention most was the contrast between wilderness and modern cities. It was a very exotic destination and you will love the contrasts. Depending on the country, it was also quite cheap, making it ideal for backpackers.

Female stone statues that supply purified pools of Goa Gajah. Southeast asia route

Bali – Indonesia

The cultural differences compared to Europe are substantial, so it is a good choice for those  seeking to know other cultures and traditions. In addition, despite some isolated cases, tourism in Southeast Asia is generally safe.

And of course, if you like Asian cuisine it is a trip you can not miss. Each country has its own subtle differences and you will be eager to try all of them.


A trip to Southeast Asia in 20 days requires a lot of planning. The first thing you should know is that 20 days is not enough to travel this area completely. It is recommended to focus on only two or three countries.


Are you wondering what is the best time to travel to Southeast Asia? Sorry, dear reader, there is no specific time. It depends on the countries that are being visited. My advice is to choose the countries in Southeast Asia that you are going to visit based on the time of year you are going to travel.

You should know when the dry season of each country is and avoid the monsoon season because it could ruin your trip.

Bathing in the Bukit Lawang Jungle Camp River in Sumatra. Southeast asia trip in 20 days

Bukit Lawang – Indonesia

We used this application. Select the month which you will be traveling and check out how many days of rain are forecasted for that month in different destinations.

If you are able to travel to Southeast Asia at any time of the year and have a favorite destination, then check which month has the best forecast for that destination.


There are no direct flights to any country in Southeast Asia from Spain. Most of the flights make at least one stopover in the Middle East. The airports that have more and cheaper flight connections are:

  • Singapore airport.
  • Kuala Lumpur airport. (Capital city of Malaysia).
  • Bangkok airport (Capital city of Thailand).

We ruled out Thailand because it was not a good time to visit this country when we wanted to travel in June, leaving us with two options.

From what we saw in different travel guides, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur were highly recommended and we could not decide. We finally opted for an option that slightly raised the travel budget, but one we did not regret.

We did not buy a return flight and instead we bought two independent flights. One way to Singapore and another to return from Kuala Lumpur.


Like I said, 20 days is not enough even if your plan is only to see 3 countries of Southeast Asia. The first thing for you and your Southeast Asia travel mates to do, is to agree on the type of trip you want to do.

If the majority prefer to see a single place, pick one country (or even a single island), and take advantage of the holidays to rest and relax. Do not choose just Singapore because you can see it in two days.

Crystal clear water beach paradise island gili trawangan lombok indonesia. Southeast Asia trip

Gili Trawangan – Indonesia

If, on the contrary, you are as crazy and hyperactive as we are, and you cannot stand the idea of not seeing other amazing places that are fairly close, then you will love our travel itinerary. I must warn you though, you will need a new holiday at your return.

20 days Southeast Asia trip. Rickshaw at Blue Mansion georgetown

Penang – Malaysia


If you have chosen to live this great Asian adventure to the fullest, and you want to see everything in 20 days, we will help make it fit! Here, we tell you our trick to visit as much as possible.

1. Select the countries where the weather is nice during the month which you are traveling to Southeast Asia. For this, we will use the application we discussed above.

2. Find out what to see and to do in these countries. Write down all the results that Google provides.

3. Open Google MyMaps and create a map. Call it “Southeast Asia trip in 20 days Itinerary ” or whatever you want. The important thing is to save it.

4. Add to the map all of the sights you searched for in step 2.

5. Discard those far removed from the rest to save time and money.

6. Categorize them by colors to differentiate those you have special interests in according to your taste.

7. Once the route has been profiled, check for connections between the different locations.

During this step, I read about the Asean Pass of AirAsia. This pass is a kind of  like the Eurorail of Asia. In this post, I explain why we did not use it.

8. Decide how many days you want to spend at each of the destinations.

9. Make an Excel document to adjust places and days to visit each of them, as well as connection flights schedules.

After many versions, this was our travel itinerary:

Outline organization trip Singapore Malaysia Indonesia. Southeast asia travel in 20 days


During the trip, we were in two different time zones, apart from the great gap with Spain. I recommend you to take that into account to avoid wasting the first day or the day after the return all fatigued.

The table above, helped us know the time in each place and helped us with remembering these time changes. The black painted cells range from 12 pm to 8 am in the time zone of each place. Although we did not sleep according to those hours for any single day, it helped us to plan the trip considering the time changes.


It is important to have a travel budget. We spent a lot less than we budgeted, taking into account flights, from Spain to Asia, as well as different domestic flights we took (5 in total), accommodation, daily subsistence, activities, etc. We spent less than € 1,400 per person. And the truth is, we did not give up anything during the trip.

Here you will find the total breakdown of the budget with all the costs of the Southeast Asia trip in 20 days.


As with all trips, for this one more reasons than others, it is especially important that you carry travel insurance. I recommend that you choose a high-quality insurance for Southeast Asia, as you will be far from Spain or your own country on a long trip. You are also traveling to countries where it is easy to suffer gastrointestinal diseases,  or even worse, mosquito-bourne diseases like Dengue or Malaria.

I recommend that you investigate and contract the best travel insurance. We always travel with MONDO who has more coverage than other travel insurance at a similar cost. We also have a discount for our readers.

descuento 5% en seguro de viaje mondo organización viaje. must thing you have to hire to travel southeast asia 20 days


The only vaccine required for traveling to Southeast Asian countries is yellow fever, and only for people who visited at-risk countries within 15 days prior to arrival.

This is not to prevent you from getting sick, but to prevent you from spreading yellow fever to Southeast Asia, where there is none.

If you want to know what these countries are, click here.

Other recommended but not mandatory vaccines are:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Typhoid fever
  • Polio
  • Japanese encephalitis
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus

We did not get any shot to travel to Southeast Asia (other than those we got as children).

Monkeys in Monkey Forest in the sacred forest of the monkeys of Ubud

Bali – Indonesia


Other diseases to consider when traveling to Southeast Asia are Dengue and Malaria. These two are more common in Asia and quite dangerous, but should not be a reason to not visit Southeast Asia as the chances of getting them are minimal.

There is a treatment to prevent Malaria. This treatment is done before, during and after the trip. Some experts recommend not to undergo this treatment since it can hide the symptoms of previously contracted Malaria and aggravate the situation. In any case, it is a personal decision whether to or not follow the treatment.

We did not follow the Malaria prevention treatment. If you make this decision, you should pay attention to any signs of fever as it could be Dengue or Malaria. Contact your travel insurance as soon as first signs of symptoms begin.

Both Dengue and Malaria are transmitted by mosquito bites, so the best way to avoid them is by using a repellent with a high concentration of DEET.

Even so, mosquitoes will still bite you. But don’t worry, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have been infected by one of these diseases.


The need for a visa to access Southeast Asia depends on the countries you are visiting.


No visa is required for tourists in Singapore if you have a Spanish passport or are from any South American country, although there are certain requirements to enter the country:

  • Have a passport that does not expire in the next 6 months.
  • A flight leaving the country for within next 90 days.
  • Certificate of vaccination of yellow fever in the cases mentioned above.

If you have any doubt or want to verify that they have not changed these requirements you can visit the official website of immigration in Singapore.


The visa in Malaysia is not necessary for Spanish travelers who do not intend to visit the country for more than 90 days.

However, you must meet the same requirements as to enter Singapore.


Travelers have to pay visa fees to enter Indonesia. The price is 10 $ for a stay of up to 7 days and 25 $ for stays of up to 30 days.

However, there is a way to enter Indonesia without a visa. If you travel to a small airport (we travel to Medan) from another small airport (we came from Penang – Malaysia) you will not have to go through immigration.

If you enter the country from a larger airport like Denpasar (Bali) or Adi Sucipto (Yogyakarta) apart from paying the visa fee, you will have to:

  • Carry a ticket out of the country within 30 days.
  • Have in possession a passport that does not expire in 6 months or less.
  • Have a credit card with a credit line of 1000 $ or more.
  • Proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have recently visited at risk countries.


Each Southeast Asian country has a different currency. We used Singapore Dollar, Malaysian Ringgit and Indonesian Rupiah.

The good thing about Asia is that even though there are many poor and economically underdeveloped areas, technology is available everywhere. Even in the most remote places, there are credit card readers and ATMs, so you do not have to worry.

If you travel to Southeast Asia for 20 days, I recommend that you carry around 200 € cash. If you have any problems, they will not refuse to charge you in euros.

My advice would be to not exchange money from Spain, and instead create an Evo smart account card which allows you to withdraw from anywhere in the world. We also suggest to not withdraw so much money. The prices here are much cheaper than Europe, so even with less in quantity, you will still feel that you have more money.

Finally, to not make a mess with so many changes of currency, let me tell you a trick that we used during the first few days in each country.

Make a table with amounts that go from 0.50 € to 100 € (1 €, 10 €, 50 €, etc.). Then, in the following columns, indicate the correspondence in the currencies of the countries in Southeast Asia that you will visit. That way, you have a quick way to know if something is cheap or expensive.


Where you will really save money in Southeast Asia is with accommodation. For a very low price, you can even stay in villas with a SPA. This is why Southeast Asia is not only popular for backpackers but also for couples, with many of them spending their honeymoon in Asia.

In my case, I was traveling with my cousin, and we preferred to stay in hostels for backpackers so we could meet more people. The platforms we used to find the accommodation were:

In the specific guides of each place, we will indicate our hotels.


We decided to visit Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia because we did our 20-days Southeast Asia trip in June.

To be honest, 20 days were not enough and we left with a lot of things we have yet to see. Nevertheless, we made the most out of every single day of our trip. We slept for few hours and came back with broken bodies and absolute need for more vacation. This feeling can only mean that you have just returned from the journey of your life.

The places visited in those 20 days were the following:


Singapore is the smallest country in Southeast Asia. The city of Singapore lavishes wealth everywhere. In just 50 years it managed to become the 9th strongest economic power in the world.

Southeast Asia trip. Singapore Marina Bay sky line skyscrapers. itinerary


If you want to know what to do in Singapore in two days and how to eat for free at a Hindu temple, do not miss this guide.


George Town, the most important city on the small island of Penang, made us fell in love  even before we visited it. There were street art, the best gastronomy of Malaysia, jungle and paradisaical beaches.

This combination could not be out of our Southeast Asia itinerary.

Pentai Kerachut from its pier (Penang National Park) Malaysia

Penang – Malaysia

If you want to know what to do in George Town and surroundings, do not miss the guide we have prepared. I recommend that you visit this destination for at least 3 days and not miss the Penang National Park.


If you travel to Southeast Asia, you can not miss seeing orangutans in freedom. Although there are others elsewhere, the best place to see orangutans is in Indonesia, in the jungle of Bukit Lawang located on the island of Sumatra. Getting to the jungle is hard as the nearest airport, Medan, is 4 hours away, but definitely worth it.

Male Orangutan released in the jungle of Bukit Lawang. Southeast asia trip

Bukit Lawang Jungle – Indonesia

We tell you about the two-day trekking we did in the Bukit Lawang jungle to see orangutans at this post.


Visiting the largest Buddhist temple in the world (Borobudur Temple) and one of the largest Hindu temples in the world (Prambanan Temple) in one day is only possible in Yogyakarta.

Southeast Asia Trip. Buddhist temple borobudur nirvana java

Borobudur Temple – Indonesia

This city on the island of Java, Indonesia, will make you quiver with excitement. A mystical experience not to be missed on your trip to Southeast Asia.

If you want to know everything about Prambanan temple and Borobudur temple do not miss this post.


While organizing our Asian trip I was reading the popular book “Eat, pray, love”. Ever since, I began planning the travel itinerary, and could not help but think of the rice paddies I visualized while indulging in this book.

Southeast Asia Trip. Rice fields, terraces, rice fields to the west of Ubud Bali island

Bali – Indonesia

There is no doubt that if we were to go to Indonesia, we would have to go to Bali. That is why this was the first place we chose as a must our route. And of course, we couldn’t miss Ubud, the cultural capital of the island.

Here is the specific guide of Bali in seven days and the guide of Ubud and surroundings.


This destination was squeezed onto our route at the last moment.

The idea of spending days diving in paradisiacal beaches while enjoying the best nightlife of all Southeast Asia captivated us.

They say that there are no sunsets like those of the Gili Islands and I will not be the one to say otherwise. If you want to check it out, visit our guide of Gili Trawangan.

Do yoga at sunset on the island paradise gili trawangan. My frist time in Southeast asia

Gili Islands – Indonesia


Kuala Lumpur was our last destination in Southeast Asia. The capital city of Malaysia will surpass your expectations, as there are a lot of things you have to see. It is quite similar to Singapore in terms of the rapid economic growth that has occurred. We assure you that the Petronas Towers will not leave you feeling indifferent.

Southeast Asia Trip. Petronas Towers by day in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur – Malaysia

We have prepared this post to tell you what to do in Kuala Lumpur in two days.

Here you can see the outline of our trip to Southeast Asia once more.



As we have said, there are infinite possibilities. How will be your Southeast Asia trip?

tell us about your itinerary at the comments

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