Traveling is a lot of fun but can be expensive as well. To find out exactly how much we spent during our round the world trip we painstakingly keep track of all of our travel expenses and analyse them for you. In this post: our travel expenses in Vietnam.
During our 26 days in Vietnam we traveled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), stopping along the way in Huế, Hội An and Mui Ne (there would have been more stops if I hadn’t spent time in the hospital with dengue fever). In total this cost us $1,880.98 (€1,697.12) which is an average of $36.17 (€32.64) per person per day. Details for this average daily cost:
Average Spending Per Person Per Day
Compared to our expenses in Thailand and Malaysia the accommodation costs seem very low. This is actually not because of dramatically cheaper hostels but because 2 nights were included in the tours and 4 nights were spent on night busses and a night train. Without those nights the average daily cost for accommodation would have been $8.69 per person, still a bit cheaper than private rooms in Thailand and Malaysia.
As expected Food & Drinks were a big factor in our expenses as well:
Average Spending PPPD for Food & Drinks
We haven’t changed our habits and are still eating in “restaurants” most of the time. Local beer is actually incredibly cheap in Vietnam, so that combined with dengue fever is why alcohol expenses are at an all-time low.
When traveling from north to south (or the other way around) there’s quite some distance to cover, so you’ll have to account for some transportation costs. We tried a few different options, traveling 138km by private car, 713km by train and 962km by bus. In total we spent $50.00 on the car tour, $78.56 for the night train and $36.95 for the busses. This amounts to the following average cost per person for traveling 100km in Vietnam:
Average Cost Per Person Per 100km Traveling
Taking the bus is obviously the cheapest (but least comfortable) option. While the night train from Hanoi to Huế was quite nice, we’d probably go for a sleeper bus to save some money. The private car is very expensive but we only took it for a short ride and the stops along the way were worth it as well. One final comparison to make is the average spending by location:
Average Spending PPPD by Location
Values for Hanoi are a bit distorted due to the Halong Bay and Sapa tours. Huế was the cheapest, but I spent 5 days in a hospital there. Overall prices seem to be pretty consistent throughout the country.
One issue you’ll run into in Vietnam is getting cash. Lots of banks will only allow you to withdraw up to ₫2,000,000. This seems like a lot but is less than $100 and they often add a fee onto that as well. We recommend withdrawing cash from a Citibank ATM. It’ll give you up to ₫8,000,000 and doesn’t add any fees of its own. Unfortunately these ATMs can only be found in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, so it might be worth stocking up on cash when you’re there.