It was really difficult to keep track of our expenses in Vietnam because most places only operate in cash. Here’s what we spent over our 3 weeks (24 days) in Vietnam, with a little bit of guesswork on the details. As usual, the prices include both of us (2 people).
Hilton, Hanoi (3 nights): $161.60
Ali Baba, Cat Ba (1 night): $20
Sea Pearl, Cat Ba (3 nights): $142.38
Ninh Binh Family Homestay, Ninh Binh (4 nights): $248.45
Thuong Hai Hotel, Phong Nha (2 nights): $36
Hoang Trinh Hotel, Hoi An (1 night): $26
Viets Family River Homestay, Hoi An (5 nights): $95.33
Happy Angel, Nha Trang (1 night): $38.12
Lam Vien Homestay, Da Lat (2 nights): $37.20
Ambassador Saigon Hotel, HCMC (2 nights): $67.74
Bus Hanoi to Cat Ba: $38
Bus Cat Ba to Ninh Binh: $32
Train Ninh Binh to Dong Hoi (Phong Nha): $25
Taxi cab Dong Hoi to Phong Nha: $13
Bus Phong Nha to Hoi An: $26
Bus Hoi An to Nha Trang: $23
Bus Nha Trang to Da Lat: $24
Flight Da Lat to Saigon (HCMC): $90.21
Kayak Tour, Lan Ha Bay: $44
Trekking, Cat Ba: $43
Tour in Ninh Binh: $44
Motorbike + gas + parking, Phong Nha: $5.60
Dark cave, Phong Nha: $40.50
Paradise cave, Phong Nha: $22.50
Entrance into Old Town, Hoi An: $10.80
This is too complicated to split out, but here is our estimated total based on the cash we withdrew from ATMs:
Total Per Person: $918.46
Total Per Person, Per Day: $38.27
Thoughts & Tips
Vietnam is really cheap! Even though we spent a lot more than we needed to on certain accommodations and restaurants, we still managed to spend less than $40/day, on average, per person.
Don’t buy your train or bus tickets online. Instead, buy them from your hotel or hostel for a hefty discount!
We spent way more than we had to on accommodations because, honestly, we weren’t used to staying in budget places. Stay in more basic hostels or hotels to save way more money!
Another thing we spent too much money on? Restaurants. We avoided street food because 1. we were scared of it and 2. Pete was worried about fitting in the tiny stools, but if we had to repeat this trip, we would definitely be more adventurous and eat at the cheaper food stalls more often to save money and get a more local experience.