NEHA PATNAIK / VIETNAM, TRAVEL TIPS / 5th SEPTEMBER 2019
Planning a trip to Vietnam and wondering about the travel budget? Worry no more because you have come to the right place! In this post, i am gonna write about the vietnam travel budget for one week and how much you you need to save. Keep reading for detailed analysis of all our cost categories so you know what to expect.
As usual, this blog is an expression of my love for travelling and writing. There is no sponsorship in any form and all opinions and recommendations are my own.
With that said, lets begin!
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FIVE QUESTIONS FOR EVERY TRAVELLER
Writing about the budget of a place is always tricky as it depends on a lot of factors and variables. Before going into it, here are five questions that you should ask yourself.
- WHAT TYPE OF TRAVELLER ARE YOU? Budget, mid range or luxury?
- WHAT DO YOU PREFER TO SPEND ON? Flights, accommodation, activities or food?
- WHAT ARE YOUR NON NEGOTIABLE EXPENSES? For example, dining out in a proper restaurant every night, preferring taxis over renting bikes, etc.
- WHAT TYPE OF TRIP IS THIS? A solo trip, a couples trip or a group tour?
- IS THIS A SPECIAL OCCASION TRIP? To celebrate a birthday or an anniversary?
Each of these answers will decide what your final Vietnam travel budget for one week will look like.
OUR TRAVEL STYLE AKA FLASHPACKING !
Before proceeding any further, here is a little bit about our travel style. We are mid range travelers who love to spend the most on activities. Pretty flexible on accommodation as long as it is clean and in a good location. Love eating a lot of local food at budget places wherever we go, with maybe a couple of mid range restaurant visits.
Since we cannot drive, we depend on public transportation for the most part, but in Vietnam our preferred mode of transport was by taxi especially in Hanoi. We are also practical spenders. This means that we spend when the circumstances call for it. Like taking a private car over a taxi for inter city transportation at night due to safety issues. Or taking a cab when we are tired with all the walking.
WHAT IS THE AVERAGE DAILY TRAVEL BUDGET IN VIETNAM?
Budget Travelers can make do with 50-60 USD/day for a couple. This involves sleeping in hostels/guesthouses (15-20 USD/night), using public transportation or renting bikes, eating local meals and doing a few activities.
Mid range travelers like us need around 80-100 USD/day. This will get you standard 3* hotels, taxi transport, plenty of sightseeing and a few mid range restaurant meals along with local food.
For luxury travelers, sky is the limit. You can easily end up spending 150-200 USD/day on 5* accommodation and meals.
OUR TOTAL VIETNAM TRAVEL BUDGET FOR ONE WEEK
We spent a grand total of 2231 USD/Rs 1.56 lakhs for our trip. This includes the international flights, one domestic flight from Hanoi to Danang as well as a luxury, multi day Halong bay cruise. Here are is a complete breakdown of our expenditure in Vietnam to give you an idea of the costs in the country.
The major spend was for flights and the cruise. You can choose a cheaper cruise to cut costs, but it’s not something I would recommend especially if you are planning to visit the place only once.
Here is a more detailed analysis of our individual category costs.
FLIGHTS: 840 USD
- Return Flight from Kolkata(India): 780 USD (Multi city flight from Kolkata-Hanoi and Danang-Kolkata)
- One way Flight from Hanoi to Danang: 60 USD
Note: Multi city flights may cost a bit more but ultimately turn out to be economical and time saving if you are travelling to different regions of the country. Read our smart flight booking tips for more info.
VISA: 70 USD
- 30 days Single entry Visa : 25 USD/PP (Paid on arrival)
- Visa Approval Letter: 20 USD for both.
Note: The price of this letter usually ranges from 6-10 USD per person depending on your agent and time taken for processing (whether you want standard or express delivery)
Note: All these hotels were standard 3* hotels with breakfast included. Each of them had excellent location and service. Our Hanoi hotel was walking distance from the lake and Old quarters, while the Hoi An one was walking distance from Ancient Town. So we saved a bit of transportation money. We spent more on our accommodation in Hoi An as it was the last stop in our itinerary and we wanted to end on a relaxing note. Hoi An in fact boasts of some of the best boutique accommodation in Asia at reasonable prices, so take advantage of that !
CRUISE COSTS: 650 USD
- 3 Days 2 nights Cruise in Signature Royal Cruise (5*) – 634 USD. We choose the senior suite which came with a private balcony. The price includes all meals, taxes and kayaking. Alcoholic drinks cost extra which for us was an additional 16 USD.
Note: This is going to be the biggest component of your budget and make sure you reserve money for this. I have already said time and again, that Ha long bay is not a place to get a cheap cruise and save money. The cruise you choose is gonna affect your experience A LOT. We choose a luxury multi day cruise to explore the bay and let me tell you this will definitely rank amongst our top experiences by the time we die!
We actually booked a combo offer with our hotel which included 2 nights in Hanoi, the multi day cruise, airport transfers and round trip transfers to Ha long city. The total price of this combo was 634+74 USD =708 USD. We paid 20% of the fees online while booking and the rest in cash at the hotel.
Make sure to check out our complete Halong Bay cruise guide before booking your cruise. It includes all the info you need to know plus special cruise booking tips along with our cruise review and recommendations.
TRANSPORTATION: 200 USD
- Round trip airport transfers in Hanoi: 14 USD (as part of our combo offer)
- Transfer from Hoi An to Danang airport (arranged by our hotel in Hoi An): 15 USD
- Danang Airport to Hue hotel transfer at night – 53 USD
- Hue transportation tour with transfer to Hoi An – 89 USD
- Ancient city cyclo tour – 100,000 VND for 2 hours (4.5 USD)
- Taxi from Hoi An town to the beach- 100,000 VND per trip (4.5 USD). We spent around 270,000 VND/12 USD on taxis in Hoi An.
- Metered Taxis in Hanoi – 50,000 VND/per trip (2 USD); usually from the lake to the specified points of interest. We spent around 250,000 VND/11 USD on taxis in Hanoi.
Note: For the Hue leg of our itinerary, we hired a private AC sedan with a driver who picked us up from Danang airport at night and dropped us off at our Hue hotel. The next day, he took us to the imperial palace, the pagoda and two tombs and then drove to Hoi An via Lap van lagoon, dropping us at our Hoi An hotel at 6pm.
Having this travel arrangement greatly helped us tour at our own pace and not worry about public transportation. We saved a lot of time while staying relaxed amongst all the sightseeing in the hot sun. The whole thing cost us 143 USD. To save money, you can join one of the tour groups or use local public transportation/tuk tuks.
ACTIVITIES: 81 USD
- Hanoi water puppet theatre: 100,000 VND/PP (4.5 USD per person with an additional surcharge of 20,000 VND for camera/video cams)
- Ho chi minh complex : Museum- 40,000VND/PP (2 USD); Mausoleum – 40,000VND/PP (2 USD) ; One pillar pagoda – Free; Stilt House- 40,000 VND/PP (2 USD)
- Temple of Literature: 30,000VND/PP (1.5 USD)
- Ngoc Son temple: 30,000 VND/PP (1.5 USD)
- Hue Combo Admission ticket for Imperial palace and 2 tombs (UNESCO Heritage site): 280,000VND/PP (12 USD)
- Private Electric buggy rent in Hue imperial palace: 500,000 VND for an hour (18 USD)
- Ancient Town UNESCO Heritage site(Hoi An) Admission fee: 120,000VND/PP (5 USD)
Note:You can very well explore the vast Imperial palace in Hue by walking, but we could’nt because of the hot May sun and high humidity. The whole place lacks shade. We choose to rent this buggy/golf cart to save some time and give a rest to sore feet!
Note: The ticket to ‘Ancient Town’ lets you stroll throughout the heritage town and gain entry to any 5 sites within it.
FOOD/WATER/DRINKS: 110 USD
Some of the sample food prices in Vietnam:
- Banh mi (French sandwich): 2-3 USD
- A plate of Pho: 2-3 USD
- Local Beer: 1 USD
- 1L Bottle of water: 0.5 USD
- Lunch/Dinner at local eating places (for 2): 10 USD
- Lunch/Dinner at Mid Range restaurants (for 2): 20-30 USD
- Sea food meal at a beach shack/ lap van lagoon (for 2): 15-25 USD
Note: We ate at a mix of budget and mid range places. In Hanoi, we ate a lot of local street food and barbeques. All our meals in the cruise were included in the price and they were five course gourmet meals. In Hoi An, we dined at mid range 3* restaurants and also enjoyed a big seafood meal at a beach shack in An bang beach. Another foodie high was a seafood barbeque at one of the stilt restaurants in lap van lagoon. We usually had beer and cocktails with our meals. Breakfast was included in all of our hotels.
SOUVENIRS: 100 USD
- Hand crafted wooden ship from Ancient City: 30 USD
- Lamps from Hoi An: 10 USD
- Propaganda posters from Hanoi old Quarters: 16 USD(for 4)
- Framed Lacquer Tin Tin poster: 4 USD
- Assorted goodies from Hanoi Old Quarters and Hoi An night market(including lacquer jewellery boxes, ethnic dolls, mini model of a cyclo, lacquer bowls, fridge magnets, keychains, notebooks, postcards and lots more): 40 USD
Note: We always pick up stuff for our home from the local markets wherever we have travelled. Decorating our house with these knick knacks keeps our travel memories alive. We make sure to reserve time specifically to browse the markets for souvenir hunting!
Now that you have seen this detailed budget and have a fair idea of the costs, here are some key takeaways from this post.
- Travel during the shoulder season like May or September to take advantage of lesser crowds and lower prices.
- Try to budget maximum amount for the cruise.
- You can get really decent hotels at 30 USD/night.
- Eat at local places to have authentic food and save money.
- Spend when required like travelling at night. Do not compromise on security.
I hope this post on the Vietnam travel budget for one week was very informative for you. Have you ever been to Vietnam before? Share your stories and views in the comments!
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WELCOME TO TWO FLASHPACKERS
Full time Doctors, part time travelers : We are Two Flashpackers out to explore all we can in the little time we have ! We travel independently, without resorting to tour packages as we feel this is the best way to truly explore a place. Our blog focuses on mid budget and short term travel for working couples and how to make the most of limited vacation days. All our articles, posts,itineraries and guides are written to inspire you to travel and explore places on your own while balancing your job and family commitments. Happy Travelling ♥