Sapa-How Much Money Should You Bring on Holiday in Vietnam?

Transportation

Once arriving in Noi Bai in Hanoi you’ll need a cab to the city center. In Hanoi the trip will be slightly more—$15-$20. You should take Mai Linh as Vinasun does not operate there.

In city the easiest and most fun way to get around is by motorbike taxi or xe om. However, touts on the street often over charge, so it’s usually best to go with an Uber or Grab moto. Most trips should be a dollar or less.

Accommodation

In City budget hostels can be found for under $10 a night. These almost always include free wifi and usually free breakfast as well. The majority are surprisingly comfortable. In Hanoi they are located in the Old Quarter.

Of course, each city offers much higher end options as well; however, for a low to mid-level range budget between $10-$25 a night.

Food and Drink

Food and drink in Vietnam can be incredibly cheap if done correctly. The best way to do this is to eat and drink on the street. A bowl of pho or bun bo hue should cost between $1-$2. The same goes for com ga or chicken and rice. A beer shouldn’t set you back more than $2 and should generally be closer to $1. A real night out could be no more than $10 or $15.

A delicious bowl of Bun Bo Hue for $1 © Pxhere

A delicious bowl of Bun Bo Hue for $1

Sapa-How Much Money Should You Bring on Holiday in Vietnam

Day Trip

Near Hanoi there are a number of limestone parks that make for great day trips outside of the concrete doldrums. A full day tour of  Hoa Lu and Tom Coc  should be no more than $40.

Total

To be safe allocate $125-$200 for a comfortable two or three day stop over.

One Week

Vietnam is a long narrow country and with one full week you could realistically expect to see one major city and then head to one or two other destinations.

Rice fields of Sapa © Konstantin Krismer

Rice fields of Sapa

Transportation

Taxis and xe oms within cities will be the same, you only need to add  interprovincial buses , trains or planes. Round trip flights booked in advance should not set you back more than $150 within the country. A trip from Hanoi to Sapa will cost $20.

Accommodation

Expect to pay $10-$20 for budget to mid-level in Hanoi. If you decide to stay in a  homestay in Sapa  or Dalat $25-$50 per night could be expected.

Food and Drink

Eating and drinking should remain relatively consistent throughout your stay in Vietnam. A nicer meal mixed in will cost $10 the nicest will be over $100. It’s perfectly reasonable to budget $20 a day on food and drink.

 

Overnight Trips

 Trekking in Sapa  will cost between $60 and $150 for a 2-3 day trip. This will include transport from Hanoi, a guided hike, and 2 nights in an authentic minority homestay.

For those basing their trip out of Saigon, the best overnight experiences will be in and around the south of the country. A great way to get out of motorbike madness is to book a flight and head to the tropical paradise of  Phu Quoc Island . A round trip flight shouldn’t cost more than $100. Once on the island, hostels can be found for $15-$20.

Total

For one week, expect to spend between $300-$600.

Two Weeks

The only difference between a one and two week journey in Vietnam is the number of trips you’ll take within the country. With two weeks to spare you could comfortably travel to two or three different destinations without being stressed for time. This could be a combination of Hanoi-Sapa-Ha Giang-Halong Bay or Saigon-Phu Quouc-Mui Ne-Dalat. These individual trips will vary vastly in cost; however, including flights for any 2-4 day trip, it’s safe to budget $250. If traveling by bus, that number will be closer to $100.

 

Total

Depending on how you travel, for two weeks expect to spend between $600-$1,200.

Three Weeks

Three weeks is a terrific amount of time to spend in  Vietnam  and will allow you to see a great deal of the country. In that time frame you could conceivably ride a  motorbike  all the way from  Hanoi to Saigon and explore coastal beaches and jungled limestone mountains. This route cuts down on travel costs as the only expense there would be purchasing a motorbike, which is quite easy to do in Hanoi’s Old Quarter. You shouldn’t spend more than $300.

Motorbike through pristine jungle Sam Roth

Motorbike through pristine jungle

If the motorbike’s not for you, then you could head to five-seven different destinations within the country. A well planned trip would begin in the south and end in the north or vice-versa. This could look something like Saigon-Phu Quouc-Hoi An-Hue-Hanoi/Ha Long Bay or Hanoi-Ha Long Bay-Sapa-Ninh Binh-Hue-Dalat-Saigon. Travel costs would be cut down as flights would no longer be return. Just continue heading south or north. Depending on the mode of transportation this could be done for anywhere from $200-$500

Total

Three weeks could be done as cheaply as $800, but more realistically for $1,500.

It depends on you

Vietnam is like any other country in that the cost to travel here will vary drastically from one individual to another. What sets it apart is that it can be dirt cheap, cheaper than most places you can go. If you are on a  tight budget then Vietnam can and should work for you . If you’ve got more money to play with then you may be able to see more, travel more efficiently and sleep better.

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