Before Breada and I left on this trip I decided I was going to keep track of all of our expenses to help not only gauge how much we were spending per day but also to help give readers an idea of how much they should budget for their own trips. I managed to keep it going for about 10 weeks through Thailand and Cambodia, but after a certain period of heavy partying in Vietnam it just kind of fell off. I will try to get back into it soon though because I do think it’s very useful.
Keep in mind these are average costs, and for many things I tended to give the higher estimate. I do this when budgeting because it’s always better to spend less than expected rather than more. Also, for food and snacks I gave prices you would find in a convenience store ( Circle-K , Family Mart, etc. ) rather than a supermarket since supermarkets are less prevalent and never in backpacker areas and street stalls and cheap restaurants, unless otherwise listed.
Average Prices Vietnam :
* While it’s not a major difference, the prices tend to get cheaper the farther north you go.*
*In our experience, there isn’t a major difference in price between the city and a more rural area for the most part. In fact, we noticed the opposite. This is likely due to less competition and transportation costs to get product out to the far off places.*
*1 USD = 22,750 VND as of March 22th, 2018. For ease of math and reading, we rounded down to 20,000 VND so everything on this list is even CHEAPER than described!*
Accommodation In A Hostel/Homestay :
*For the most part air con and breakfast are standard in Vietnam*
Dorm Bed : 100-140k VND ($5-7)
Private Room : 200-300k VND ($10-15)
Banh Mi : 15-30k VND ($.75 – 1.50)
*If you’re walking out of a bar past 1 am expect to pay about 10k more.
Pho : 30-50k VND ($1.50 – 2.50) *Saigon the average price was ~50k VND (~$2.50) , mostly everywhere else is was 30k (~$1.50)
Fried Noodles (w/ meat ) : 40-70k VND ($2.00-3.50)
Com Tam : 30k VND ($1.50)
Com Ga (shredded chicken) : 30k VND ($1.50)
Com Ga (full piece of chicken ) : 50-60k VND ($2.50-3)
1 Skewer of Thit Nướng (BBQ Pork) – 5k ($0.25)
Western Foods :
Fast Food Meal : 70-90k VND ($3.50-4.50)
Entree In Restaurant : 100-200k VND ($5-10)
McFlurry : 30k VND ($1.50) *McDonalds is only available in Ho Chi Minh City*
Iced Tea (Cha da) : FREE!
*Most street stalls and restaurants have it. Many will give it automatically, but if not just ask!*
Vietnamese Coffee (Cafe Sua da) : 7-30k VND ($.35-$1.50)
*Just depends on where you go. Proper coffeeshops with AC will always be more,but the coffee won’t necessarily be better.*
Bottle of Water 500ml : 4-6k VND ($.20-.30)
Bottle of Water 1.5L : 7-10k VND ($.35-.50)
Bottle of Soda 390ml : 7-10k VND ($.35-.50)
Medium Sized Slushee from Circle K : 15k VND ($.75)
Glass of Fresh Beer (Bia Hoi) : 3-6k VND ($.15-.30)
Bottle of Local Beer (In a Store) : 10-15k VND ($.50-.75)
Bottle of Local Beer (In a Bar) : 20-30k VND ($1.00-1.50)
Bottle of Imported Beer ( In a Bar ) : 60-120k VND ($3.00-6.00)
*SEA beers are on the cheaper end, European beers tend to get expensive*
Mixed Drink (Gin+Tonic,Vodka+Soda,etc.) : 50-60k VND ($2.50-3)
*Should you make it to Hoi An, there’s a bar called the Backpackers Bar that’s 100k for all you can drink!*
Fresh Cut Fruit from Street Vendor : 20k VND ($1.00)
Fresh Coconut from a Street Vendor : 10-20k ($.50-1.00)
*Some sellers in Ho Chi Minh City will try to scam you and charge 50k or even 100k per coconut. ALWAYS ask the price before purchasing anything.*
Goute Crackers (4 packs) : 20-25k VND ($1.00-1.25)
*Our favorite Vietnamese snack. Perfect sweet/salty combo.*
Local Chips ( Small Bag ) : 5-6k VND ($.25-.30)
Western Chips ( Small Bag ) : 40-70k VND ($2.00-3.50)
Tall can of Pringles : 40-65k VND ($2.00-3.25)
Frozen Snack : 10-30k VND ($.50-1.50)
Haribo Gummi Bears (80g bag) : 25-35k VND ($1.25-1.75)
Uber Rides : Dirt Cheap
*Like Uber everywhere, this is totally dependent on how long your ride is and how far you’re going. To give some examples, our rides from neighborhood to neighborhood (10 minutes) in Hanoi average about 20-25k ($1.00-1.25). We also took an Uber from the outskirts of the city into downtown. 10 km and 35 minutes and it was a whopping 77k ($3.60). We like Uber. Uber won’t be available everywhere, but regular taxis are still very cheap, provided they turn on the meter. DO NOT take a taxi that refuses to turn on the meter, you will get ripped off.*
Motorbike for Traveling the Country : 3-7 million VND ($150-350)
*Nearly all of these bikes will be Chinese replicas. Expect to pay more for a legit Honda/Yamaha/etc. Also, if you’re starting in Hanoi and making your way south you can expect to get a better deal on a bike since most people start in Saigon and ride north.*
Motorbike Parking (If it’s not free) : 5k VND/hr or 10-40k VND for 24hrs ($.25/hr or $.50-2.00/ 24 hrs)
Prepaid SIM Card : 50-70k VND ($2.50-3.50)
* We use Viettel, which has had great service in even the most remote areas we have traveled*
SIM Top Up ( Valid for One Month ) : 100k VND ($5.00)
Laundry ( Wash + Fold Service ) : 20-30 VND/kg ($1.00-1.50)
Local Pack of Cigarettes : 8-12k VND ($.40-.60)
Western Brand Cigarettes : 25-35k VND ($1.25-1.75)
Local Brand Shampoo : 30-45k ($1.50-2.25)
Bar of Soap : 8-10k VND ($.40-.50)
And there you have it! I’ll keep building on this list as we go and when I think of more things. If there is anything in particular not on the list you’re curious about just drop a comment and I’ll answer it and add it to the list.
How are these numbers compared to other places in Southeast Asia you have been? Or other parts of the world? Let us know!
CommentsAdd Your Comment
Again Anthony, very impressed by your budgeting ability. I know firsthand your ability to stretch a dollar or save a dollar without depriving yourself of the finer things in life. This is a great skill to have. Keep up the good work in providing this valuable information. It is very useful & informative for others who are traveling or those who are thinking of embarking on an adventure of their own.
Love reading both yours & Breada’s blogs!
Love & miss you. Be safe.