Daily Travel Costs in Vietnam on a Shoestring Budget
US$20 | 450,000 Vietnamese Dong
Vietnam remains very budget friendly despite an enormous rise in visitor numbers over the past decade. Costs are pretty typical by Southeast Asian standards and you are likely to find it slightly cheaper than Thailand or Laos but a fraction pricier than Cambodia although it is likely to get more expensive over the coming years. $20 is a realistic Vietnam backpacking budget but doesn’t allow much lee-way for extra excursions and activities. If you eat in ‘local’ restaurants and street stalls all the time, you can probably get by on even less, certainly if you aren’t doing much partying.
See where Vietnam ranks on our World Budget Travel Table.
More Comfortable Vietnam Backpacker Budget
US$25 | 560,000 Vietnamese Dong
You travel pretty comfortably on US$20 in truth and doubling that doesn’t really provide an enormous upgrade. The temptation to waste your money on partying and alcohol isn’t quite as great here as in Thailand as the backpacker scene is slightly calmer and bars and clubs are less plentiful and shut earlier. Allowing for $25-30 will allow you to fork out on the odd extra excursion/activity every now and then, such as a more extensive boat trip around Halong Bay or kite-surfing lessons at Mui Ne.
Sample Prices in Vietnam
Hue to Hanoi by Train (13-14 hours) – $25-35 (air-con berth on sleeper train)
0.5 litre domestic beer in Ho Chi Minh City bar/restaurant – $1
Meal at a cheap restaurant – $2-3
Cheap dorm bed in a big city – from $3
Budget double/twin private room – from $8
Full day kayaking trip around Halong Bay – $25-30
For money-saving tips, read How to bargain in Vietnam.
Currency – Vietnamese Dong
£1 = 32,700 VND
€1 = 25,000 VND
US$1 = 22,400 VND
(Exchange rates correct as of June 2016)
US Dollars are accepted in many places and are frequently used for larger transactions such as paying for excursions or accommodation in places geared towards foreigners. Therefore it is useful to carry a stash of both currencies.
If you find yourself in the Vietnamese capital then we suggest staying at the Hanoi Traveller Hostel, in the charismatic old town, Hanoi’s backpacker hub close to Hoan Kiem Lake. Beds start at around $5/night.
Share your Travel Costs!
If you’ve been to Vietnam recently, please let everyone know your typical daily costs by commenting below 😉
This article was published in June 2016
Get our Backpackers Guide to Southeast Asia 2017-2018 for an overview of budget travel in the region.