Continuing my travel money series, I have provided the total cost of a two-week holiday in Vietnam in order to help future visitors budget accordingly. I visited in late 2016/early 2017 and travelled from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh via CatBa Island, Da Nang, Hoi An and Phu Quoc. Here I break down exactly how much I spent on accommodation, food, drink, travel and activities.
International return flight: £541 each
We flew into Hanoi from London Heathrow and back from Ho Chi Mini. Because we flew on Christmas Day, our flights were considerably cheaper than on any other date. I believe we saved around £400 each simply by flying on this day.
– Haiphong to Da Nang: £37
– Da Nang to Phu Quoc (via Ho Chi Minh): £59
– Phu Quoc to Ho Chi Minh: £24
Accommodation: £397 (per person)
Total nightly cost breakdown:
– Splendid Star Grand Hotel, Hanoi: £34 for one night
– Catba Palace Hotel, Cat Ba Island: £68 for three nights
– Mai Boutique Hotel, Da Nang: £90 for three nights
– Hoi An TNT Villa, Hoi An: £80 for two nights
– Ancarine Beach Resort, Phu Quoc: £522 for six nights
Out of these accommodation options, I would recommend the Mai Boutique Hotel, Hoi An TNT Villa and Ancarine Beach Resort. The Splendid Star Grand Hotel had lovely, helpful staff but the actual hotel wasn’t too great, and I would advise avoiding the Catba Palace Hotel.
Spending money: Around £500 (per person)
Here with some guide prices for travel, food, drink and excursions. Some prices are in Vietnamese Dong while others are in US Dollars, depending on what currency we were charged in.
– Should be around 15,000 VND (50p) per km.
– Haiphong Port to Haiphong Airport should cost you no more than 140,000 VND (around £5)
– Da Nang to Hoi An and vice versa (booked as a private transfer) cost 300-350,000 VND
Ferries and buses:
– Bus-ferry-bus from Hanoi to Cat Ba Island: 17USD (includes hotel commission). More info on this journey can be found in my dedicated Cat Ba Island blog post.
– Hydrofoil from Cat Ba Island to Haiphong Port: 180,000 VND
– Half day hiking tour on Cat Ba Island: 16 USD
– One-day tour of Ha Long Bay and La Han Bay: 26 USD
– Entrance to Hoi An Old Town: 120,000 VND
Food and drink:
– Standard beer price: 20,000-25,000 VND
– Beer in fancier establishments: 35,000-59,000 VND
– Pho: 30,000-45,000 VND
– Banh Mi in a hipster French café, Hoi An: 60,000 VND
– A meal at Ganesh, Hoi An: 400,000 VND (one starter, two curries, one rice, one naan and four beers)
– Pork skewers for two from a stall in Hoi An: 100,000 VND (pretty sure a local was charged 40,000 VND)
– Essence Café, Hanoi: 845,000 VND for three courses each and two beers each (our most expensive meal and, in hindsight, a rip-off)
– AM Vegetarian, Hoi An: 220,000 VND (two Pad Thai, one spring roll, a glass of wine and one beer)
– Mango Bay, Phu Quoc: 415,000 VND (one Pad Thai, one Thai curry and four beers)
Total cost of a two-week holiday in Vietnam: £1,558
– If buying street food, always ask for the price first. We were charged 100,000 VND despite hearing a local be charged 40,000 VND for the exact same dish.
– As with all holidays, beware of getting ripped off on your initial taxi journey from the airport. We paid 650,000 VND for a taxi from Hanoi Airport into town, which we knew was a slight rip-off but, comparing it to other prices, we later realised it should have been half that price.
– When booking excursions, find a reputable tour company with good reviews online and confirm the exact address. There are many fake tour companies that use the name of the original, legit establishment. The multiple Sinh Cafés in Hanoi are a classic example of this.
– Fly on Christmas Day! As previously mentioned, doing this saved us a whopping £400 each – not far off our spending money for the entire trip.