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The Best Things To See, Do And Eat In Da Lat

dalat lake

When I planned my Vietnam itinerary, I wasn’t sure if I should include Da Lat. It seemed like it’d be quite a detour, considering I was going straight up the coast, and Da Lat is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) inland, in Vietnam’s Central Highlands. Going from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat is just under 200 miles (300 kilometers) – a 7 hour bus ride. But tales of lush green mountains and cooler temperatures, plus a ‘Crazy House’, were enough to tempt me – I had to visit Dalat.things to do in Da Lat VietnamAnd I am so glad that I went! Da Lat offered a welcome break from the heat (don’t get too excited – it is still extremely hot during the day, but it cools down to jacket-friendly temperatures in the evenings).

My travel guide didn’t have too many things to say about Dalat, and it seems like most tourists visit Dalat to see the Crazy House, but I dug up quite a few things to see and do in Da Lat and want to share the best things I think you shouldn’t miss in Da Lat. There’s a little bit for everyone in here – from a motorbike tour through the mountains to a Harry Potter – themed cafe.coffee in bloom vietnam

The Best Things To See, Do And Eat In Dalat

Visit The Crazy House Da Lat

The Crazy House was the main reason to visit Dalat for me, and it did not disappoint. If you love architecture, especially surreal structures a la Gaudi, you will love the Crazy House. The Crazy House is the brainchild of architect Dang Viet Nga, who first started building the house as a personal project but eventually opened it up to the public. The centerpiece of the compound is a five-story high building resembling a banyan tree, but since the project was conceived, several other buildings have been added, including a cabin that can be rented. Similar to Gaudi, Dang Viet Nga sees the Crazy House as her life project, and is still adding new buildings to the complex – now in her 80s!

Inside each building there are rooms that can be rented, and to be honest, I regret not having spent one night in the Crazy House, which is officially called Hang Nga Guesthouse (Hang Nga is the Chinese goddess of the Moon.)Da Lat Crazy House

The compound comprises of several fantastical buildings with abstract shapes and winding stairs, stalagmites, vines, sculptures, and various themes. One building for example is underwater world themed, the courtyard feels like an Alice in Wonderland-like garden with oversized mushrooms and animals.

I spent over two hours exploring the buildings, peeking into some of the rooms, walking up stairs that brought me to the rooftop, and just getting lost in this fairytale house.Da Lat Crazy Hous

Staying at the Crazy House: There are only ten guest rooms, and all of them are designed differently. They are all animal-themed, there is the bear room, a tiger room, an ant room, a kangaroo room and a termite room, to name a few.

You can book the room of your choice, and if you make your reservation through Booking.com, you can see photos of each room before you book. Rooms start at US$45 including breakfast, which is a fantastic deal for staying at such a unique place. Just be aware that the Crazy House is open to the public from 8.30am to 7pm and you will be sharing the guesthouse with busloads of tourists during those hours.

Visit the Crazy House: 03 Huynh Thuc Khang, open from 8.30am – 7pm. Admission is VND60,000 (US$2.57). Allow a couple of hours to visit the Crazy House – there are plenty of little details to discover.

Tip: If you don’t want to fight for space with tour groups, I recommend arriving as soon as the Crazy House opens, or to visit in the late afternoon, after the last tour groups have left.Da Lat Crazy House 1

Dress up as Harry Potter at Coffee Harry Potter Da Lat

While researching things to do in Dalat, I came across this Harry Potter themed restaurant. Even though I am not a huge Harry Potter fan, I did read all the books and watched the movies, so I decided to go and check it out. If you’re a Potterhead, you’ll love this place. The restaurant is set up like a dining room with long tables, making you feel like you’re in Hogwarts Dining Hall. There is a Sorting Hat, and a bunch of photo ops (for example, which house you’re in) and various school uniforms. You can even rent a school uniform (for VND20,000 / US$0.85 – less than 1 Dollar!) to take some geeky photos. There is a quidditch field, a small “Ollivander’s Wand Shop” and other cool stuff straight out of the Potter universe (I don’t want to give away too much). Of course you can also order Potter-themed drinks and food, such as butter beer, a love potion and house-themed drinks.

It’s quite far from the town center, so I’d recommend taking a Grab or a taxi. The drive is less than 10 minutes, but walking there will take you just under an hour.

Address: Coffee Harry Potter Đà Lạt ( Cậu Bé Phù Thuỷ ), 23 Ngô Văn Sở, Phường 9, Tp. Đà Lạt, Lâm Đồng, VietnamHarry Potter Cafe Da Lat

Go on a pub crawl in Dalat

I joined a pub crawl that was organized by Kim Cuong Hostel, and it was a great way to get to know the bar scene of Dalat. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting anything too exciting, but it turned out that Dalat has quite a few cool bars. Two that stood out were Fog Bar, a crazy hip hop bar where they were selling laughing gas, and the Maze Bar, which fits in nicely with Dalat’s rather interesting structures (see Crazy House). The Maze Bar is exactly what the name suggests it is: a maze! It costs VND55,000 (US$2.37) but includes a drink ticket. But to get to your drink, you’ll have to conquer the maze first, and this maze is no joke. The bar is spread out over several floors, and every floor is decorated with fantastical details, such as sculptures twisting out of the walls. The attention to detail everywhere is remarkable, with narrow, haunting staircase (some of which lead nowhere), oversized Chinese vases, and decorations that range from strange to bizarre.

Kim Cuong Hostel: 191 Đường Bùi Thị Xuân – Head there to inquire about pub crawl availability

Find your way out of the Maze Bar

If you skipped the above paragraph because bar crawls are not your thing, I still suggest visiting the very unique Maze Bar for a drink – or to enjoy the views over the city from the rooftop. It is open day and night, and you can easily spend two hours finding your way through the maze to get to the rooftop. The Maze Bar is without a doubt one of the quirkiest bar I’ve ever visited.

The address is 57 Phan Boi Chau, and the bar is also known is 100roofs bar.Maze Bar Da Lat

Take an Easy Rider motorbike tour

Easy Rider tours are a popular way to explore Vietnam: on a motorbike! But instead of riding a heavy motorbike yourself, you’re enjoying the scenery from the passenger seat. These tours have been popular in Vietnam since the early 90s, and since the original Easy Riders launched their tours, a myriad of copycats have started offering similar tours. Dalat is a perfect place to give them a try, because there are so many things to explore around the city, and riding through the mountains on the back of a bike, hair blowing in the wind, feels like ultimate freedom.dalat easy rider tourMy full-day Easy Rider tour started at a temple in Dalat, and then we continued to several attractions, including a flower plantation, a coffee plantation, a silkworm plantation, and a coffee plantation that specializes in Weasel Coffee. I didn’t know about Weasel Coffee before I arrived at the weasel coffee farm, but it is similar to Indonesian Kopi Luwak: the weasel eats and digests the coffee beans. After being defecated, the beans are processed into coffee which is known to be the most expensive coffee in the world.

We also stopped at the famous Laughing Buddha (Linh An Pagoda) and Elephant Waterfalls (That Voi), two major attractions near Dalat, and we had food along the way.things to do in Da LatThis was an excellent way to get to see more of Vietnam’s Southwest Highlands and even though the tours are on the pricier side (around US$30, plus a few dollars for coffee and snacks along the way), I’d say they’re worth every penny. I would’ve not been able to map out this tour for myself, and I found that the most memorable stops were the ones that I did not expect, like the flower greenhouse, and the overlooks along the road.

You can find Easy Rider tours online or have your hostel arrange one for you (that’s what I did). Since the Easy Rider tours are private tours, they can also be modified according to your interests – if you want to see more waterfalls for example (there are several stunning waterfalls near Dalat) and aren’t into coffee farms, just tell your driver before you start the tour.things to do in Da LatFellow travel blogger Maire wrote a detailed article about her Easy Rider tour in Dalat which captures the experience perfectly.

Tip: You can also take a 2 or 3-day Easy Rider tour, all the way to Mui Ne or Nha Trang or even Saigon. And you can also book Easy Rider tours that allow you to ride a motorbike yourself, following a guide.

I would recommend NOT including the Crazy House in the Easy Rider tour, but to visit it on another day, since it deserves more time than a quick look around.flower farm near dalat

Try avocado ice cream in Da Lat

dalat avocado ice cream kem bo

Apparently, avocado ice cream is a thing in Dalat, and you’ll most likely find long lines outside the two places that sell this unique ice cream in Dalat. This ice cream is more like an avocado mousse, named Kem Bo. The avocado mousse is served with a scoop of homemade coconut ice cream, and I may have been a little bit skeptical about the flavor – but just like

Vietnam’s Avocado Coffee, avocado mousse ice cream is delicious! The two ice cream shops that sell Kem Bo are right across the street from one another, on Nguyen Van Troi Street:

  • Kem bơ Thanh Thảo (76 Nguyễn Văn Trỗi)
  • Nari Avocado Cream (74c Nguyễn Văn Trỗi)

I paid VND30,000 (US$1.29) for one portion.

You can also find Kem bo in Dalat’s night market, where several vendors offer it.

Take pictures with teddy bears in Lam Vien Square

Lam Vien Square is a large square right next to Xuan Huong Lake and is notable for the two futuristic glass structures: a sunflower-shaped performance center and a flower bud that houses a café. Construction of the sprawling square, a VND681 Billion project, was started in 2009, and finished almost seven years later at the end of 2015. It is now the main place for people to gather, and events take place in Lam Vien Square regularly.dalat lam vien squareTake a stroll around the square, and you’ll come across street vendors, musicians, and several teddy bears (humans in teddy bear costumes) that are walking around the square. While they’re actually selling stuff, they are also taking photos with people, so get your teddy bear photo here.

Lam Vien Square is always packed with people: groups of young school girls, couples on a date, families on vacation… it’s a great spot for people watching. Doha Cafe, inside the big flower bud, makes for a good stop for a coffee and a snack – grab a table upstairs for the best views over the square.dalat lam vien square

See the French-colonial villas in Da Lat

During the era of French Indochina, when the French established a number of colonial territories in Southeast Asia, Southern Vietnam became part of the colony of French Indochina. Da Lat became a place of interest in the late 1900s because of its cooler highland climate. The French started with a resort in the hills, which the Europeans used to escape the pressing heat in the coastal regions. Eventually, wealthy French colonists started building more villas as well as French boulevards, some of which you can still see today. At one point in the early 20th century, 20% of the population was foreign.

The area with the best preserved French villas is along Tran Hung Dao, between Lam Vien Square and Lam Dong Museum (the museum is a great way to learn more about Da Lat’s history, and costs only VND15,000 / US$0.65). On GoogleMaps, you can find the area if you google “French Quarter”.things to do in dalat

Enjoy the Coffee Shops of Da Lat

If you love coffee, then you’ll be happy to hear that Da Lat has more coffee shops than you can possibly try in a few short days, including several “Third Wave” coffee shop where coffee is taken very seriously. And you don’t have to be a coffee lover to enjoy Da Lat’s coffee shops – they usually offer non-caffeinated drinks, too, such as smoothies or tea.

You’ll stumble across instagrammable cafes while wandering the streets of Da Lat, but here are some that I’ve particularly enjoyed:

 coffee shop

The Windmills

There are a couple of Windmills cafes in Da Lat, and each one comes in a different decor. The one on the corner of Ba Thang Hai and Nham Ky Khoi Nhgia has a gorgeous upstairs with wooden panels and a couple of comfy armchairs as well as a small outdoors balcony which is great for people watching.

Address: 7a Ba Tháng Hai

The Married Beans

This is an excellent specialty coffee roaster – definitely the best cup of traditional espresso-based coffee I had in Da Lat. The cafe has a cute interior and you can also buy coffee beans here to take home with you.

Address: 6 Nguyễn Văn Trỗi

Maybe Blue Coffee

Maybe Blue Coffee stands out for its beautifully decorated space with high ceiling, bright windows and colored French window doors. The café serves food as well, and it’s only a one-minute walk from the Crazy House, so stop by after your visit there.

Address: 5 Đường Lê Hồng PhongMaybe Blue Cafe Da Lat

Brew & Breakfast

Brew & Breakfast is a vegan café and guesthouse in Dalat, and if you’re looking for a great Western breakfast – plant-based, of course – you’ll probably end up eating here more than just once during your stay in Dalat. The menu ranges from pancakes and oatmeal to breakfast burritos and hearty poke bowls.

The guesthouse is small (three double rooms and a dorm room) but will be enjoyed by non-vegans, too. Dorm beds start at US$, double rooms are US$10.

Address: 2 Tran Hung Dao

Coffee or cocktails with a view

If you take a stroll along Tran Hung Dao to see the French-colonial villas (see above), consider continuing your stroll a little further: about 10 minutes down the road, you’ll reach a small side street named Tran Quang Dieu. Head down this street and you’ll find several coffee shops with little gardens and, more importantly, lovely views over the pine tree woods surrounding Da Lat. Look up on Google Maps: Bohem Coffee (1 Hoàng Hoa Thám) and Secret Coffee & Bar (1B Hoàng Hoa Thám) Secret is actually a speakeasy bar, definitely more lively in the evenings, especially on Saturday when they have live music (from 8:30pm to 10:30pm). If you love a good cocktail, I’d recommend heading to Secret at night.coffee with a view

Da Lat: Practical Information

How to get to Da Lat

By bus: If you go from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat, there are buses every hour. The journey takes about 7 hours. There are also direct connections to Mui Ne (4 hours), Nha Trang (5 hours) and Danang (12 hours).

By air: You can fly to Dalat from Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Hanoi, Danang, and even Bangkok. These three airlines have flights to Dalat: Vietnam Airlines, Vietjet Air and Jetstar Pacific Airlines.Da Lat Vietnam1

Where to eat in Da Lat

Da Lat has a thriving restaurant scene, and these restaurants were outstanding:

    • Brew & Breakfast (2 Tran Hung Dao) – amazing vegan Western breakfast food (see above)
    • Ganesh (1F Đường Nam Kỳ Khởi Nghĩa) – superb Indian food.
    • Oz Burgers () – Get your burger fix here, they have everything from vegan burgers to meat burgers.
    • The Sky Over Dalat (

vegetarian food

Where to stay in Da Lat

  • Dalat’s Cozy Nook Hostel has won the prestigious award for the best hostel in all of Asia – a family-run hostel that offers family-style dinners and Vietnamese cooking classes. Dorm beds start at US$4, a single room is US$12.
  • Hà Khoa Hotel Đà Lạt won the Booking.com Travellers Award 2020. The hotel has modern, spacious rooms, each one with a balcony. In addition, there is a sun terrace with lovely city views. Rooms start at US$17 per night
  • Lamarque Dalat Villa is a small hotel in a beautiful elegant villa and has a stunning outdoor swimming pool and gardens. Double rooms with terrace start at US$71 per night, including breakfast.
  • The Crazy House (see above) is not only one of the most unique places to visit in Vietnam, but also one of the most unique guesthouses you can stay at. A double room in this fantastical fairy tale guesthouse starts at US$45, including breakfast.

Crazy House guest room

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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Vietnam?

vietnamese dong

The one thing people are usually the most curious about are my travel expenses… so let’s get to it: How much does it cost to travel Vietnam?

Of course there is a big difference in how much people spend – everyone has different needs and standards. I am sure that there are people who spend in only one weekend what I spend in an entire week. While I’m not a rock bottom backpacker who traveled Vietnam on $10 a day, I do consider myself a frugal traveler and don’t tend to stay in fancy hotels. Since I also prefer street food over nice restaurants, my costs for food are much lower than what people spend who prefer eating in proper restaurants all the time. I want to share my expenses to help you figure out your own Vietnam travel budget.

So, how much does it cost to travel in Vietnam? Or more specifically: how much did traveling in Vietnam cost me?vietnam hoi an

Vietnam Pre-trip Expenses

I had quite a few expenses before I went to Vietnam. First of all, if you’re planning to stay for more than 15 days, you have to get a tourist visa before entering the country. This can be obtained hassle-free online now, but allow at least four days for it to be processed. You have to print out this visa once you receive the confirmation that it was approved, or you will not be allowed to board your flight. Here’s a list of all the countries whose residents can apply for the visa online.

Cost of e-visa: US$25

There are several websites that offer to obtain the visa for you, and they will charge you a fee for it. The first website I came across when googling the e-visa only charged $17, so I assume it is a scam. Be careful which website you use when applying for the visa. Knowing that it should be $25 saved me from sending money into the void of the World Wide Web and most likely NOT get the visa.

I followed these instructions on how to get the Vietnam e-visa and got my visa approved only hours before my flight, so if you don’t want to sweat over getting your visa in time, don’t wait until the last minute like I did. (The reason I waited so long is that I’d applied for a visa appointment with the Vietnamese consulate in New York to get a 3-month visa, since I knew I’d be staying longer than 30 days and wanted to save me the hassle of having to get a visa extension or going on a ‘visa run’. But that’s a topic for a whole other post.)

This is the official link to apply for your Vietnam e-visa online.

If you’re staying for less than 15 days, there’s still a small processing fee involved, which varies from country to country. Note that you have to have two passport photos on you to get the 15-day visa on arrival, or you will be charged an extra fee.vietnam mekong delta

Travel insurance for Vietnam

The other pre-trip expense you should factor into your Vietnam travel budget is travel insurance. Since I knew I’d be renting a scooter and that bag snatching was a regular in occurrence in Saigon, I wanted to play it safe. Prices for insurance policies vary depending on your nationality, the duration of your trip and if you are planning to do any activity that require additional coverage. WorldNomads has two options, the Standard and the Explorer.vietnam easy rider tour

Items I bought before my trip to Vietnam

As for items I didn’t want to have to buy in Vietnam:

  • Sunscreen (usually more expensive in tourist destinations than back home)
  • Body lotion / face lotion (because it can be tricky to find items that are not ‘skin whitening’ in Asia. Even deodorant usually has whitener in it)
  • Mosquito Spray
  • Contact Lens Solution
  • Travel Adapter (only needed if you’re from the UK or Australia. North American and Continental European plugs fit in Vietnam, as long as you don’t have three pins. I had a simple two-pin plug which worked fine, but for my next trip to Vietnam I’d buy an adapter that has USB chargers integrated)

vietnam bicycle

How Much is Accommodation in Vietnam

You can pay for as little as $2 a night in a dorm room in Vietnam – the going rate for dorms seemed to be around US$4 – US$5. I also saw some pricier dorms around $10, but judging from the photos on the online booking websites I use, they never looked nicer than the cheaper ones. The most expensive dorm I came across was at a hostel in Phu Quoc that charged $15 for a 4-bed dorm with AC.

I usually stayed in private rooms, which ranged from basic guest houses and hostels to homestays and small hotels. The most expensive hotel room I stayed in was $36, and that’s because I wanted to treat myself to a rooftop pool in Danang. The cheapest room I booked in Vietnam was $9: a homestay in the Mekong Delta. I usually averaged around VND330,000 (~US$14) for a private double room at single occupancy. Double rooms for two people are around the same price, or maybe a dollar more. When you’re wondering: How much does it cost to travel Vietnam? Remember that how much you’re spending on accommodation makes a huge difference! If you’re someone who likes a bit more luxury, you will spend much more in Vietnam than I did.

I used Booking.com exclusively to book my accommodation, because I find the site more transparent than Agoda (which is the more popular booking website in Asia). Booking.com shows me right away the total price for the entire stay including fees and taxes (Agoda shows price per night without taxes/fees), and Booking.com also lists hostels (dorm beds and private rooms), homestays, apartments, and even cruises (in Halong Bay).how much does it cost to travel in VietnamDaily Accommodation Budget: This can vary drastically depending on your travel style. Dorm rooms all the way? Expect to spend around US$5 a night. You prefer your own hotel room, and enjoy global hotel brands? Those can easily cost you US$100 a night and more. Plan your Vietnam travel budget according to your travel style.

How Much Is Food in Vietnam?

If you love street food, you’ll never pay more than US$1 or $2 for a meal. A bowl of Vietnamese noodle soup can usually be found for VND25,000 (US$1.08), a banh mi sandwich is between VND20,000 and 25,000 (US0.86 – US$1.08), but can be slightly more expensive in tourist areas.

If you prefer a proper sit-down restaurant, expect to pay between VND60,000 and 120,000 (US$2.60 – $5.20). Western food is a bit pricier – a high-quality pizza for example set me back at VND222,000 (US$9.55).

My most expensive dinner in Vietnam was VND265,000 (US$11.40).

Snacks: Whenever I picked up some snacks in a grocery store or convenience store, I never paid more than US$1 for nuts, a bag of chips, a chocolate bar, etc.

Daily Food Budget: US$10

vietnam noodles

How Much Are Drinks in Vietnam?

I love that Vietnam has such a thriving coffee culture, and splurged on some fancy coffee drinks such as iced coconut coffee, which would cost anything between VND39,000 (US$1.68) and VND75,000 (US$3.23) for a pricier place. Exotic creations like a yogurt coffee cost around (VND30,000 / US$1.29), and Vietnam’s famous Egg Coffee is around (VND35,000 / US$1.51).

A coffee in a hipster coffee shop starts at around VND40,000 (US$1.72), a cappuccino is around VND50,000 (US$2.15). The cheapest coffee I had was VND10,000 (US$0.43).vietnam hoi an espresso stationA large bottle of water is around 10,000 (US$0.43) (You cannot drink the tap water in Vietnam, so daily drinking water is something you’ve got to factor into your Vietnam travel budget).

There are fresh fruit smoothies everywhere, and they range from VND20,000 (US$0.86) – VND80,000 (US$3.44). On average, I spent VND40,000 (US$1.72) on a smoothie.

Beer ranges from VND10,000 (US$0.43) to VND30,000 (US$1.29). There are quite a few micro-breweries and craft beer bars in Vietnam now – expect to pay more for craft beer. I paid VND60,000 (US$2.58) for a micro brew in Ho Chi Minh City.

Wine: a glass of wine in a wine bar is around VND130,000 (US$5.59). The cheapest wine I found was VND55,000 (US$2.37).

Cocktails are a bit more expensive: I spent VND208,000 (US$8.94) on rooftop drinks in Saigon, and in the fancier cocktail bars like Snuffbox cocktails average VND210,000 (US$9). The cheapest cocktail I had was VND132,000 (US$5.68).

Daily Drinks Budget: Depends on if you drink alcohol every day or if you have, like me, an expensive coffee habit, but I think US$5 – US$10 is realistic.vietnam craft beers

How much is Entertainment in Vietnam

Here are some examples for admission to attractions, museums and other entertainment:

  • Art Museum Ho Chi Minh City: VND30,000 (US$1.29)
  • War Museum Ho Chi Minh City: VND40,000 (US1.72)
  • Massage: VND150,000 (US$6.45)
  • Crazy House in Dalat: VND50,000 (US$2.15)
  • Skylight observation deck in Da Nang (includes one drink): VND 160,000 (US6.88)
  • Historic buildings in Hoi An’s Ancient Town was VND120,000 (US$5.16)
  • a ticket for the Marble Mountains was VND40,000 (US$1.72)
  • Admission to the ancient ruins of My Son was VND150,000 (US$6.45)
  • Bicycle rental VND20,000 (US$0.86)
  • Waterfall admission: VND20,000 (US$0.86)

Daily entertainment budget: This depends on how many attractions you want to visit, but as you can see, museums are very cheap in Vietnam, and I never paid more than US$7 for an attraction. I recommend adding US$10 per day for entertainment to your Vietnam travel budget.vietnam historic home hoi an

How Much are Excursions in Vietnam

I joined several excursions during my time in Vietnam, here are some examples:

I took a tour from Hoi An to the UNESCO site My Son, which was VND120,000 (US$5.16).

A private walking tour in Hanoi, booked through WithLocals.com, was around US$50.

A tour to the sand dunes in Mui Ne was VND150,000 (US$6.45), plus another VND150,000 (US$6.45) for a jeep tour in the sand dunes.

I toured the area around Dalat for a full day with an ‘Easy Rider’ which is basically a tour on the back of someone’s motorbike and paid VND800,000 (US$34.40).

A snorkeling boat trip in Phu Quoc cost VND345,000 (US$14.84).vietnam phu quoc beachI also did a couple of Airbnb Experiences: A food tour by scooter in Saigon, which cost US$24, and a half-day boat tour in the Mekong Delta (US$25, plus a tip and breakfast for the boat driver around US$8).

Daily Excursions Budget: I don’t think that you’ll do an excursion every single day on your trip, but when trying to figure out how much it cost to travel in Vietnam, excursions should definitely be factored in. Think about which things you really want to do while in Vietnam – for me the main things were UNESCO sites, food tours, the Halong Bay cruise and the boat tour on the Mekong. As you can see in the examples above, most of the excursions I went on were under US$15, but if you enjoy private tours over group tours, you’ll have to budget accordingly.

How Much is Transportation in Vietnam

Flights

Domestic flights in Vietnam are cheap – the most I paid for a flight was around US$50. I used Skyscanner and GoogleFlights to look for cheap flights and booked around 2 – 3 weeks before each flight. Some airfare examples:

  • Ho Chi Minh City – Phu Quoc: US$43
  • Hanoi – Ho Chi Minh City: US$52
  • Da Nang – Hanoi: US$46

vietnam vietjetBuses in Vietnam

A 2-hour bus ride was usually VND70,000 (US$3), a 4-hour bus is around VND140,000 (US$6).

Trains in Vietnam

I took trains several times and found train rides in Vietnam to be an enjoyable experience. I paid between VND145,000 (US$6.24) and VND177,000 (US$7.60) for the train. I booked all my train rides in advance online via the website Baolau.com.

Taxis in Vietnam

The most expensive taxi rides were in Phu Quoc and Saigon: VND230,000 (US$9.89) from the airport to my guesthouse in Phu Quoc / VND180,000 (US$7.74) from my hotel in Phu Quoc to the ferry. In Saigon I paid VND250,000 (US$10.75) to get from my hotel to the airport.

A taxi in Ben Tre was VND85,000 (US$3.66), in Da Nang I paid VND100,000 (US$4.30) for a 15-min ride.

Moto taxis in Vietnam

Moto-taxis, where you sit on the back of the driver’s scooter (the most common taxis in Vietnam) ranged from VND40,000 (US$1.72) to VND60,000 (US$2.58). The most I paid was VND70,000 (US$3) for a moto taxi.vietnam moto taxiFerries in Vietnam

The ferry from Phu Quoc to the mainland was VND330,000 (USS$14.19)

Scooter rental in Vietnam

I paid VND120,000 (US$5.12) per day for my scooter rental on Phu Quoc. Filling up gas was VND35,000 (US$1.51).

Bicycle rental in Vietnam

I rented a bicycle in Hoi An for VND20,000 (US$0.86) per day.

Daily Transportation Budget: The slower you travel, the less you spend on transportation. It also depends on if you’re planning to take domestic flights or if you plan to stick to buses and trains.vietnam scooter

Other Expenses in Vietnam: SIM Card & Laundry

SIM card: I got a SIM card right at the airport in Ho Chi Minh City and paid VND230,000 (US$9.89) for it. If you want to do a bit more research, I recommend this guide to the best SIM cards for tourists in Vietnam. I topped up my SIM card about four weeks into my trip and spent VND100,000 (US$4.30) for the top-up.

Laundry: I usually paid VND50,000 (US$2.15) to get my laundry done.

Other expenses to take into consideration when trying to figure out how much it cost to travel in Vietnam are things like souvenirs (many people get suits or dresses tailor-made in Hoi An), postcards, haircuts and toiletries.vietnam shop

How much does it cost to travel in Vietnam?

I spent between US$30 and $40 per day while I was traveling around Vietnam – and I stayed in private accommodation, went on excursions and treated myself to fancy coffees and cocktails along the way, which is why my daily budget was usually on the higher end (US$40). Had I stayed in dorm rooms and stuck to beer and cheap and Vietnamese coffee, I’d be able to stick to a US$30 per day travel budget.

My total Vietnam travel budget for one month: US$1,214.52

So when you set your Vietnam travel budget, think about your travel style. I am a frugal traveler – I don’t need fancy hotels, and I wanted to travel Vietnam on a budget. But if you are traveling for a shorter time and want to spoil yourself, your budget will certainly be higher than what I spent during my seven weeks in Vietnam. It also depends on how many places you’re planning to visit – I visited a dozen different places, which means there were a lot of transportation costs involved. If you visit less places, you’ll spend less on transportation, unless you fly in between each city you visit. If you’re pressed for time, do your research and decide before your trip which top destinations in Vietnam you really want to visit.how much does it cost to travel in Vietnam

I hope after reading this article you have a rough idea how much it costs to travel Vietnam – if you have any other questions about traveling Vietnam, leave a comment below!

I tracked my travel expenses, as always, using the TrailWallet app.

how much does it cost to travel in vietnam

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