In 2016 we went to Ukraine. In 2017 we went to Georgia and Armenia. In 2018 to Jordan and Israel. In 2019 to Zimbabwe, in 2021 to Moldova and in 2022 to Central Asia. All have in common a recent history of having been influenced (or outright conquered) by the Soviet Union. Additionally, over the years, we also went to Albania (2018), Germany (2019), Sweden (2020) and Bulgaria (2021) without making a fundraiser for it – but those places were also chosen for their totalitarian recent past.
So in keeping with this tradition of gathering knowledge and wisdom and then delivering it to you as stories, we submit to y’all the proposal for a South East Asia Tour dubbed as either ”The Khmer Empire Tour of 2023” in order to avoid algorithmic suppression on social media or, more honestly, the ”Killing Fields Tour 2023” since what we’ll really study is the brutal totalitarian past of Cambodia and Laos.
The video above goes a bit into the itinerary and the minimum things to expect from this tour.
This article is focused on the financial details. Not all expenses are thoroughly detailed – only those funded through the fundraiser.
So, without further ado…
For consistency, all expenses are converted in USD at the median exchange rate for the period between February 1 and February 15, 2023. This is also because all donations are converted to USD as it’s the working currency for almost all operations of this Network.
In places where there is price variation (e.g. flights and trains within Cambodia and Laos) – the maximal option is listed. The rest of the list represents the median/most likely costs.
1. Cluj Napoca – Viena (round trip)
Housing in Vienna: $70 [2 nights]
Food in Vienna: $50
2. Vienna – Phnom Penh
Flight: $1000 (round trip, all fares included)
3. Visa costs
$30 per entry. $90 in total, since one will have to enter Cambodia twice.
4. Housing and transport in Asia
~$20/night on average, no more than 30 nights, no less than 26 nights [to be decided depending on flight availability if the first goal is reached in time]
As such, budget for housing: $600
Phnom Penh – Vientiane – $350 (return flight)
Phnom Penh – Siem Reap train – $40 (return ticket)
Vientiane – Luang Prabang train – $60 (return ticket)
5. Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Video fees: $50
Transport within the city: $40
6. Siem Reap, Cambodia
Video fees: $50
7. Vientiane, Laos
Video fees: $20
Transport within the city: $30
8. Luang Prabang, Laos
Transport around the city: $40
Health insurance: $45
Equipment insurance: $30
On-the-fly consumables (batteries, memory cards, etc): $80
Exchange rate fees: $100 (maximum)
Unexpected expenses: $450 (minimum)
This number represents the optimal in order for the tour to take place. The total cost may be higher, but not by much. The upper threshold will be placed at $4000.
Any excess will be redirected towards fulfilling the wishlist or towards funding another project in 2024.
Minimums and deadlines
The tour is due to take place sometime between in the month November and December and it will last no more than 35 days [including the 4 days needed to get from Cluj Napoca to Phnom Penh and back]. This means that plane tickets should be purchased no later than July 1, 2022.
As such, if the fundraiser doesn’t reach to at least $1500 by May 25, 2022, the tour is cancelled and all collected funds redirected to other projects.
If the fundraiser doesn’t reach at least $2000 by June 25, 2022, the tour is cancelled and all collected funds redirected to other projects. Of course, if it will be $1890 on June 25, it will be fine. But too much leeway downwards will lead to cancellation – because by June 25, The expensive flights must be paid for already.
Anything beyond $4000, as well as any remaining shekel after the tour, will be redirected towards other projects or to fulfilling the wishlist.
The state of the fundraiser will be updated regularly on the main page of the website and semi-regularly on the Youtube channels.
If this convinces you, head over to the Donate page and pitch in. Every dollar counts!