Ah Vietnam! Land of crazy (but somehow organized) chaos, friendly people, amazing food and beautiful scenery. We had heard from other travellers that it was a budget friendly destination but little did we know that this would be the most affordable vacation that we would ever take.
Our goal was to keep the trip under $750 CAD excluding the flight (and we did – woo!). We haven’t included the cost of our flights in this budget as flight prices can vary greatly based on time and location of departure.
So how much should you budget for 10 days in foodie heaven? We kept track of our expenses using the Trail Wallet app in order to show you exactly where our money went and to show you what you can expect to pay for various goods and services.
Please note that all prices shown are per person, with costs for everything (with the exception of souvenirs) being split between 2 people.
Although there are many ways to get around Vietnam’s cities (walking, biking, motorbike, car, etc.), we mostly walked. This is typically our preferred method of transportation since it’s free and we find it’s the best way to explore a new place. That said, when it came to city transfers we chose to fly. We found that spending 8+ hours on a crowded bus or train was just not worth the time and effort since we only had 10 days and found cheap flights. To give you an idea of the prices we paid:
- Hanoi Airport to Hanoi Old Town (private taxi through our hotel): $17 USD – this could be completely avoided if you arrived during the day as there are many shuttles/public buses available but since we arrived at 3AM we were stuck with this option.
- Old Town to Hanoi Airport (shuttle bus): ₫40 000 VND
- Hanoi to Da Nang (flight): $27.50 CAD
- Motorbike rental in Hoi An: ₫80 000 VND
TOTAL: $74.50 CAD
Our hotels were all amazing and really cheap! You will have no problem finding cheap accommodations in Vietnam, no matter which city you decide to visit. It will all depend on the kind of trip you are looking for and the budget you have. Vietnam really can be done on any budget.
- Hanoi Hotel in Old Town: $11 CAD/night
- Hoi An Guesthouse: $9.50 CAD/night
TOTAL: $107.23 CAD
Food & Drinks
Let us say this: the food in Vietnam is the best we’ve ever had in any country we’ve travelled to. There, we said it! A very bold statement that we may need to take back later but for now we said it with conviction.
The choices are endless in Vietnam – you could choose to go to a fancy bistro, a classic street stall or small, hole-in-the-wall restaurant. It really depends on your mood and your budget. The ‘Western’-style places (i.e. juice bars, bistros, cafes, etc.) tend to be on the more expensive side at about ₫250 000 VND for a drink (non-alcoholic) and meal. Small Vietnamese stalls and restaurants are much cheaper, with meals coming in at around ₫40 000 VND. We tried to mix in both, coming in with a budget of around ₫60 000 VND per meal.
When it comes to alcohol, cocktails tend to be more on the expensive side, while beers are quite inexpensive (sometimes even cheaper than water!). A cocktail will cost you around ₫50 000 VND, while a glass of beer (if you drink the local brands – Saigon, Larue, etc.) will be around ₫15 000 VND. We even got lucky one time and found a place serving beer for as little as ₫5 000 VND!!
TOTAL: $152.84 CAD
We splurged on a really awesome overnight cruise in Halong Bay (which also included food and accommodation) so our entertainment budget was a little on the high side. This is definitely something you could cut down on if you were on a tighter budget – just up to you to pick and choose which activities interest you the most. Here are the prices of our main activities:
- Entrance to Hoa Lo Prison in Hanoi: ₫30 000 VND
- Luxury overnight cruise on Halong Bay: $179.89 CAD
- Entrance into Hoi An’s Old Town: ₫120 000 VND
TOTAL: $209.69 CAD
This category includes our souvenirs and anything else that doesn’t fit into other categories. Again, this could be kept much lower. However, we chose to do a bit more shopping than usual since TONS of awesome brands can be found for super cheap in Vietnam (although whether or not these are knockoffs is a little iffy haha). For example:
- North Face Jacket: ₫460 000 VND
- Adidas Running Shoes: ₫520 000 VND
- Designer Purse: ₫250 000 VND
Keep in mind that all prices can be negotiated so you may even get a better price on these items than we did! We also noticed that vendors were much more likely to give us a better price in the morning since you will likely be one of their first customers of the day.
This category also includes our visa cost to enter the country ($50 USD) as well as a SIM card with data (₫150 000 VND).
TOTAL: $170.38 CAD
We had an awesome time in Vietnam, exploring chaotic streets, eating delicious Vietnamese food, motorbiking through the Hai Van Pass – all at quite a reasonable price! For our 10 days we were able to stick to our budget of $750 CAD. That’s what we call bang for your buck. However, as mentioned before, if you’re looking to stay on a lower budget you could definitely cut down on the accommodations, entertainment and souvenirs.
GRAND TOTAL: $714.65 CAD
Have you been to Vietnam?
What was your budget like?
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