Living like a King on a Pauper’s Budget

One of the many reasons I fell in love with South East Asia was the standard of living you can get, without spending a fortune. To stay in a 5 star hotel in Europe is costly. Room service is a luxury most people deny and poolside lunch is an extravagance, so try my hot list on how to have a trip of a lifetime without spending the earth

Let’s get started in the flights. Never are earned air miles more worthwhile, than using them on an upgrade for a long haul flight. You can spend $10,000 on a round trip 1st class ticket to Asia from the USA. Or use 135,000 miles on a Star Alliance or oneworld partner. Hong Kong is a good gateway to start. Once you have pampered yourself with a 1st class ticket. Make use of the lounge and try Cathay Pacific. This is an amazing lounge and the 1st class cabin is amazing. Have a caviar service and champagne and a full flat bed to rock you off to sleep. Arrive in Hong Kong and stay at the Sheraton Kowloon. You can get a deal for about $200 for the night. Ask at check in for a towers room. Then you have the best breakfast up on the top floor and enjoy the sun rise over Hong Kong harbor. Drinks and canapés are included and free internet, so it all adds up. Always try and upgrade for a club room. If you add up breakfast and a few cocktails you would have already spent $60 in a city like Hong Kong. Next up get the perfect fitted Shirt. A tailored shirt made to measure would cost over $200 in England. Sammy Tailor on Mody road is about $40 and 100% Egyptian cotton to boot.

Above Sammy is the Spring Deer. No more than $20 a head for the most delicious authentic Chinese cuisine like duck and vegetables. Temple street market gets you all the souvenirs you would love from Hong Kong and it is open late.

IMG_1102Once you feel like you have experienced Hong Kong, book a one way ticket on Emirates to Bangkok. The reason this is such a well prices ticket it they connect from Dubai and sell the Hong Kong Bangkok route. They use the new Airbus A380 and 1st class is about $350. What you get is amazing. Use of the Lounge in Hong Kong. A suite on board with the most amazing way to experience this luxury which would normally be priced at a mint to do long haul. Saved for the elite and the rich, you can feel like a king when travelling like this. Food is amazing with Dom Perignion Champagne . there is a bar at the back of the plane which is open for business class and 1st class passengers. Worth a picture for Facebook.

Then you arrive in the land of smiles. Bangkok is a brilliant city and one that can be very affordable. So to live in luxury try going on line and booking a room at the Peninsula. This opulent hotel chain is one of the best on the world. You can get a room for a few hundred dollars which is on the high side for Bangkok but a hotel that in London, Hong Kong or New York would cost $800 a night. So a chance in a Peninsula that would be unachievable to most in any other city. The Sheraton Royal Orchid is amazingly priced and a room can be around $75 USD, remember again to ask for club room.

picture-20Food is a dream in Bangkok. You don’t want to eat in big hotels but hit the local food stands and try the very best in the world from French to Italian. Near the night scene of Patpong is Indigo. A French Restaurant that is so authentic , you could be in Paris. Then for sights, go for a drink to Vertigo. Top floor of the Banyan Tree. Views are out of this world. Shopping is cheap and the markets are great, Chatu Chack weekend market is fantastic and the food there is wonderful.

Thai Food is so fresh and healthy and protein and fresh vegetables are as cheap as they come. So a banquet of local Phuket lobster and Tiger Shrimp will not cost you the earth. The Hotels are fabulous and a high tea at the Shangri-La will cost around $15 with amazing quality buffet. Talking of buffets, they are the best in the world. All hotels have lunch and dinner buffets but go for a Sunday Brunch buffet. They can be around the $30 price point but they often have free flowing champagne and buffets filled with sushi, fresh seafood, Fois Gras and grilled Australian beefs. They will feature Thai food and western and are the best presentations I have ever seen. The best quality in food is the Sukhothai. It’s the most expensive but has incredible produce. Drinks are not included. One of the best values is the Dusit Thani and then the Shangri-La.

When you leave Bangkok and on route to Hong Kong, book a 1st class ticket in Thai for only $370 or use 17,500 miles on United airlines. The experience is movie star material. When you pull up to the curb, you are met by porters. They take you and carry your luggage to the 1st class check in. You are shows to a seating area with a welcome drink. Checked in and escorted by buggy to the 1st class lounge. There you can go to the restaurant, have Moet Champagne and have a private suite area to catch up on emails and relax. There is even a spa. So get there early and travel like a dignitary . It is like taking a private Jet.


Daniel Green - The Model CookDaniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.

To contact Daniel or learn more visit or follow on Twitter @themodelcook.