Vietnam is an affordable country to travel to. Food, transportation and accommodation are pretty cheap. I spent a considerable amount of time in Hanoi to make up with my blogging backlogs from Beijing which turned out to be a not so good idea because I could have gone cheaper if I have spent those days in Sapa instead.
Anyway, here’s a summary of how much I spent in Hanoi.
|Shared Taxi from Nanning Bus to Old Quarter||25000|
|Hostel (Central Backpacker @$5/Night) 3N||15|
|Hostel (Green Hanoi @$4.5/Night) 7N||31.5|
|Food and Drinks (May 2-12)||616000|
|Thang Long Water Puppet Show||60000|
|Train to Lao Cai (Hard Seat)||120000|
Total cost is $93.50 or P4033.59 as of the time of writing (XE rate at P43.14 for $1).
Bear in mind that this cost does not include my transport from Beijing to Hanoi since I already included that in my expenses report for Beijing.
Food is typically a baguette sandwich which I usually eat once or twice a day and it cost only 15,000 Dong. I ate pho (20,000 Dong), spring rolls (pork at 10,00 dong each) and tofu with noodle bun with vegetable salad (15,000 Dong) sometimes when I get tired of the baguettes. Breakfast comes free courtesy of the hostel (check out hostels that offer free beer, tea and breakfast to save some money).
Occassional dining at KFC and Lotteria on our last day in Hanoi accounted for a big chunk of the budget. We bought water at Intimex supermarket instead of buying at stores near the hostel. We also bought a lot of cup noodles and biscuits to ensure that we don’t go hungry even if we’re working on a very tight budget.
You could even go lower if you stick with eating street foods.
We bargain the accommodation at Green Hanoi from $5 to $4.5 (per person) because we stayed for more than a week. Bear in mind though that it’s an aircon dorm room. We actually found a fan double room for only $6 (for two persons) at Manh Dunh but decided to stay in the aircon dorm because of the free breakfast and of course the A/C, it’s too hot and humid in Hanoi during the time I was there.
I didn’t go to Halong Bay since I’ve seen it already on my last trip to Hanoi nor did I book any city tours. The mausoleum and other nearby attractions are pretty much in “walking distance” from where I stayed.
We also booked our train ticket to Lao Cai directly to Hanoi Train Station. Tour agencies quoted $13 for the hardseat while it’s actual price is only $6 at the train station.
The fee for the water puppet show is pretty much fix and you cannot bargain to lower that. bear in mind that they usually ask for additional fee for cameras, luckily they didn’t bother when we were there. Maybe because it was the last show for the day.
I also didn’t buy any travel souvenirs in Hanoi which saved me a lot of money.
Budget seemed to be too tight especially for a holiday maker standpoint. Bear in mind that I’m not on vacation and currently “trying to live and travel” on different places while figuring out a way to generate an income online. Plus the fact that I’ve already been here before and I didn’t find a need to go back and pay for a Halong bay tour. I did watched though the water puppet show again.
“Travelling does not need to be expensive.”