Hanoi Vietnam one month expense report

So, last month we spent 28 days in Hanoi Vietnam, this was our cheapest month yet, here you’ll find our expense report, this is my 4th expense report so far, for my previous reports, see the following

Note: these prices are the total for 2 people, doing this trip solo would be half the prices, except for the accommodation.

Hanoi expense report

Hanoi expense report

Hanoi Trip Expenses

  • Visas £162
  • Bus (from Nanning China to Hanoi) £36
  • Accommodation + electricity £243.7
  • Food, drinks, taxi, bus, cinema £274.82

Total £716.52
Cost per person £358.26
Cost per day (per person) £12.79
Cost per day per person excluding the now non required Visa £9.90

This was insanely cheap, at no time did we feel we were on a budget, we had a brilliant apartment over looking the water, the list of costs above doesn’t explain too much, so I’ve included a screen shot of our excel spreadsheet, we update this daily, it greatly helps us plan for future days a head. The spreadsheet is excluding the accommodation cost, we keep this in a separate sheet.

Hanoi traffic

Hanoi traffic

The brilliant thing about only spending £716.52 for the month is that this is considerably less than our passive income, so in theory we could live in Hanoi forever, eat out every meal and never work a day again, I say “in theory” as we’d have trouble getting a permanent Visa.

After eating out every meal for a week, it becomes quite boring and you really crave a home cooked meal, and you actually crave simple things, this could be anything, a plain potato, a bowl of 2 minute noodles, a salad or a full on roast.

We started shopping roughly every second day, if you take a look at our spreadsheet you’ll see the days we shopped were our most expensive, followed by a much cheaper following day.

In Hanoi beers range anywhere from 7 for £1 to 1 for £1, if you drink and eat in a Bia Hoi you can manage 7 beers for £1 if you find a really cheap Bia hoi at 5,000 dong a beer, at the time the exchange rate hit £1 = 35,000 dong.

Hanoi West Lake

Hanoi West Lake

We’d go to a Bia Hoi almost every day, the beer is cold and low in alcohol, so it was very refreshing and the food is also very cheap and enjoyable. The service is brilliant, the staff watch your glass like a hawk, if it becomes empty there is already a new beer on your table.

Hanoi was always very hot and very humid, this was helped a little by having an apartment right on west lake, the wind off the lake provided a nice constant breeze. We also had the water park just a few hundred metres up the road.

I really enjoyed our time in Hanoi, the food was great, beers were cheap, fruit was plentiful and the Vietnamese great to drink with, we made friends with locals and expats, the area we lived had a lot of expats, on our final night our expat and Vietnamese friends all threw a party for us on our rooftop.

Hanoi rooftop party

Hanoi rooftop party

Mongolian Trip Expense Report

Here is the cost of our recent trip from Irkutsk Russia to Ulan Bator Mongolia. I post this a day after I posted my Russian Trip Expense Report, which was my most popular post yet, looks like people are more interested in how much something costs, rather than hearing about how good/bad something is, so here goes.Mongolia

Note: these prices are the total for 2 people, doing this trip solo would cost exactly half the price.

Mongolian Trip Expenses

  • Visas £0
  • Train £218
  • Accommodation £37
  • Food and other £60

Total £315
Per person £157.5
Cost per day (per person) £31.5

The “other” in “Food and other” applies to anything from Tooth paste, to insect repellent.

The train into Mongolia consisted of 2 nights accommodation on the train, in a follow up post I’ll include the cost of the train from Mongolia to China

Fact: Vegetables and fruit are practically unheard of in Mongolia, if you’re a vegetarian don’t think “meh, like I care, I’ll simply eat plain rice”, rice isn’t meat!, so therefore it’s unheard of.

Ligo Festival Riga Latvia

Ligo Riga Latvia

A top lit fire burning down throughout the night

So this week in Riga was the yearly Ligo festival. The festival consisted of harbour side bonfires, live music, food, rain, beer and a lot of dancing.

On Arrival it was raining quite heavily, everyone had umbrellas, the large stage had live performers and singers singing traditional Latvian songs.

Fire Ligo Latvia

Awaiting the fires to be lit

It all seemed not that overly exciting at first, however beer consumption increased as the night got on and the atmosphere became quite merry. At 23:15 two large bonfires on the street were lit further enhancing the atmosphere.

The fires were top lit, meaning they would burn downwards more slowly, roaring away for around 5 hours. The night itself officially ended at 4am, we left 2 hours earlier than this. The Live bands on the stage were still playing and the area was still just as crowded as earlier, I’m assuming it stayed this way until close.

The girls all had flowers on their head and the men had big green leaves, it’s a site to see, these can be bought from the many vendors on the street for around 10 euro, beers range from 2 to 3 euro.

The street is closed off from traffic, along the side of the street are tents selling food and beer with tables and chairs out the front, behind these tents are hundreds of portable chemical toilets.

Latvian beer and snacks

Popular Latvian beer snack, fried bread

I’d highly recommend joining this festival’s very well behaved people eating and drinking all night. If you plan on visiting Latvia be sure to go during Ligo, ensure you turn up with an empty stomach and a willingness to eat, drink and be merry.

With free entry it’s easy to come and go throughout the night, around 9pm we stepped out to a near by bar, mostly to get out of the rain. Here we ate some fried bread (a popular Latvian beer snack) , enjoyed a beer and cider each before returning for the bonfire lighting ritual.

Welcome to the top – Iceland 2006

It was late at night as I got into a taxi in Reykjavik, the world’s most northern capital city. “Where are you from?” the driver said, “Australia” I replied, “ohh welcome to the top!”. This was my first solo trip in Europe, having moved to England several months earlier.

Iceland’s economy was booming, I counted 40+ construction cranes in a city of 200,000 people, it was 2006, the financial crisis hadn’t hit yet, a beer at the time cost me $3 in Australia, here it was costing me $12.50.

What got me thinking of a trip that is now 9 years ago? reminiscing over old videos, I’m leaving the UK one week from today, I had originally planned to come for just a year…. what the taxi driver said that night will be forever etched into my memory, as that was the moment I realised just how far I was from home and how wonderful and big this planet is.

Anyway below is the video of my Iceland trip, the taxi driver isn’t in it, excuse the low light, digital cameras have come along way in 9 years.

Where accepts Bitcoin in Amsterdam

Where is Bitcoin accepted in Amsterdam?

This weekend I’ll be out of office again, I’m visiting Amsterdam, one of the more free and liberal cities that I’ve been to, a city where you’re treated like an adult, providing of course you act like an adult.

Amsterdam shrooms

January 2014

It’ll be my sixth visit to Amsterdam and my first trip where I plan to live off only what I can buy with Bitcoin. I’ve done some research and it looks as though food, drinks, accommodation and Magic Mushrooms (truffles) won’t be a problem, however the more *Amsterdam* style coffee shops don’t accept it, I can also get a cut throat shave too.

The one problem I find with Bitcoin is finding a single useful resource of places that accept it, there is coin map, but it seems to be missing most of the businesses that I’ve found listed elsewhere, what I do plan to do is a follow up post of my weekend and hopefully write down a list of Bitcoin accepting places on this blog.

Can anyone recommend a resource better than this reddit page?

As mentioned previously this will be my sixth time, however I’ll be travelling with Rushing Russian this time and it’ll be her first, so I’m keen to show her the best places I’ve found, along with a wonderful introduction to Psilocybin, this molecule truly changed my life for the better.

I’ll leave it at this for now, be sure to check back in another week, I’ll also upload photos to my Instagram account so please follow for some fun snaps.

Matt

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