A Travel Price Comparison for Vietnam Ho Chi Minh City vs. Can Tho for Attractions, Food, Nightlife, and Families

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

Which city is more affordable and which is best for your travel style? If you're trying to figure out where to go next, comparing the travel costs between Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho can help you decide which place is right for you.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City is a vibrant, colorful, and busy city. With plenty of activities and things to do, it's a huge city that draws plenty of visitors. Visitors also love the museums, theater, and nightlife.

Can Tho

Can Tho is a vibrant, friendly, and cultural city. Because this is such a big city, visitors will find many sights and attractions around town. It's also popular because of the museums, nightlife, and food.

Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Numerous theater shows
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Good for students
  • Big city activities
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
Things to Consider
  • Less popular for nightlife


Is there more to do in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Travelers will usually find more to do in Ho Chi Minh City than Can Tho, as it is bigger with more sights, attractions, and activities for visitors. Ho Chi Minh City is popular for its motorbike-filled streets, bustling markets, world-class cuisine, and diverse shopping opportunities. It is also home to the War Remnants Museum. Can Tho is popular for its colorful floating markets, fresh produce, friendly people, and intricate waterways.

How is Ho Chi Minh City different from Can Tho?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for its historical sights. Also, Can Tho is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its sights and museums.

The museums and tourist attractions in Ho Chi Minh City are world-renowned. It's a day trip outside of town, but the Cu Chi Tunnels are a must-see stop for any visitor. The War Remnants Museum is also a not-to-be-missed spot. Other highlights of the city include Thiên Hau Temple, the Notre Dame Cathedral Basilica, the Saigon Opera House, and the Reunification Palace.

With a variety of museums, monuments, and historical sights, a trip to Can Tho can be an interesting and educational experience. The main attraction nearby is Cai Rang Floating Market, but visitors also enjoy seeing Binh Thuy Ancient House, the Can Tho Rice Noodle Factory, Ong pagoda, and Nam Nha Pagoda.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Theater?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is very good for its theatre productions. However, Can Tho is not a theatre destination.

If you have some extra time in Ho Chi Minh City, take in a show. Water puppetry is a traditional art form that originated in the rural areas and was brought to the city. It is a fun cultural experience that kids and adults both enjoy. You can see it at The Golden Dragon Water Puppet Theatre.

Can Tho is not a theatre destination.

Is the Food Better in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for its local flavors and cuisine. Also, Can Tho is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its local cuisine and restaurants.

Ho Chi Minh City has long been recognized as a culinary destination with great restaurants. This city, arguably, has some of the best food in Vietnam. You'll find everything from food stalls selling mouthwatering street food to luxury restaurants preparing traditional dishes with a modern twist. Banh Mi (a Vietnamese sandwich) and Pho (Vietnamese soup) are the most well known dishes around town, but also try the Bún mắm (a noodle dish) and Bún bò Huế (a beef based soup).

Dining out in Can Tho is an experience not to be missed. It's the largest city in the Mekong Delta, and there are many restaurants with rooftop views and lively atmospheres. The food is local and fresh. Grilled meats, noodle soup, and local produce are all popular. Many visitors come to Cantho specifically to experience the nearby floating markets. You really must sample the many dishes available at the markets, which are unique to the area and offer a whole new approach to street food.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Nightlife?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for nightlife and partying. Also, Can Tho is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its evening party scene.

Ho Chi Minh City is a world class party destination. The city never settles down and you'll find all night parties and dance clubs open into the early hours. Backpackers keep the energy high, but there are also luxury clubs and more relaxed places where you can have a good night out if the backpacker thing isn't your scene.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Can Tho. The city is very beautiful at night with many colorful lights. There are a number of bars and places for tourists to hang out and socialize.


Is the Shopping Better in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

If you're looking to go shopping, Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho both offer plenty of fantastic spots.

Many people travel to Ho Chi Minh City specifically to go shopping. The city is filled with a mix of modern shopping centers and local shops selling traditional items. You'll find international brands as well as uniquely Vietnamese products. The city also has some of the best boutique shopping opportunities in Southeast Asia.

Can Tho is a famous shopping destination with plenty of stores. The city is large with malls and a central market, but most visitors come specifically for the nearby floating markets. These unique markets are best visited by boat. Goods and food are sold out of vendor boats and popular food dishes include noodle soup and local fruits. Each boat has a tall bamboo stick displaying the items that it sells.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Families?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for its kid-friendly activities. Also, Can Tho is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its family-friendly activities.

Ho Chi Minh City is one of the most popular family destinations. Kids may feel overwhelmed at first, but they're sure to fall in love with the energy and kid-friendly activities in this city. There are traditional water puppet shows, kid-friendly restaurants, and fun parks. There's also the Suoi Tien Theme Park, smaller water parks, zoos, and art museums to explore.

Can Tho is known to be a very family-friendly place to visit. Kids and adults alike will be fascinated by the floating markets and the beautiful Mekong Delta. Most visitors use this growing city as a base for exploring the area, which has a fascinating culture and interesting sights.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Couples?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Both Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho are very good destinations to visit as a couple.

Ho Chi Minh City is a great city if you're traveling as a couple. If you're looking for a vibrant cultural scene with excellent restaurants, great parks, and countless day trips, this is the ultimate couple's getaway.

Can Tho is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples can take a romantic evening boat ride on the Mekong Delta. During the morning hours, the floating markets are one of Vietnam's most interesting destinations. You can sample local dishes and experience a completely different way of life.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is a must-visit destination for backpackers and budget travelers. Also, Can Tho is not as popular, but is still a nice city for backpackers.

With so many budget-friendly offerings, Ho Chi Minh City is extremely popular for backpackers. It's well established on the Southeast Asian backpacker's circuit and you'll find no shortage of hostels in town. You'll find a good number of backpackers in District 1 of the city, near Ben Thanh Market. Many backpackers also arrange trips to the Mekong Delta or elsewhere in Thailand while they're here.

Can Tho is a very popular city for backpackers and budget travelers. This is a large city with a number of hostels and many backpackers who pass through during their trip to the floating markets and through the Mekong Delta.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Students?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City is very good for its student-friendly activities. However, Can Tho is not popular with students.

It's common for students to visit Ho Chi Minh City. Study abroad students appreciate the city's energy and plethora of activities. It also makes a good base for trips to other parts of Southeast Asia.

Can Tho is not popular with students.

Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho both offer decent public transit to get you around.

Public transit is mostly limited in Ho Chi Minh City. There are public buses around town but motorbike taxis and regular taxis are likely your best bet for getting around.

Public transit is generally limited in Can Tho. There are local buses, but many visitors come to this area as part of an organized tour because transportation can be a bit a tricky.


Is Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho a more walkable city?

Ho Chi Minh City
Can Tho

Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho are good when it comes to walkability.

Ho Chi Minh City is a somewhat walkable city. In certain neighborhoods it's fairly walkable, but you may have to dodge a motorbike here or there.

Can Tho is somewhat walkable. The city center is relatively walkable.

For even more information, also check out Is Ho Chi Minh City Worth Visiting? and Is Can Tho Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Can Tho or Ho Chi Minh City?

How long in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Ho Chi Minh City than Can Tho because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 3-4 days is a good amount of time for Ho Chi Minh City, and 1-2 days is enough time in Can Tho.

Families should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Can Tho. Because of the many family-friendly attractions and fun things to do for kids in Ho Chi Minh City, it's a great place to visit with the whole family.

Couples should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Can Tho. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Ho Chi Minh City that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Ho Chi Minh City than Can Tho if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Ho Chi Minh City.


  • How many days in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho? Ideal Length of Stay
    Ho Chi Minh City 3-4 
    Can Tho 1-2

One day in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Because Ho Chi Minh City is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. This city offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

You'll find food and shopping around the vibrant destination of Can Tho. Because of this, one day is usually enough time for a trip here. This city offers a variety of activities to choose from.

A weekend in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Because Ho Chi Minh City is a large city, there are a variety of ways to spend your time. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. Since there is so much to do in the area, a weekend is probably not enough for all of it.

You'll find shopping and museums around the fascinating city of Can Tho. If you have a weekend, this city makes for a great vacation. The length of your ideal trip is an individual decision. Most people head to the area for the shopping. This would be the perfect place to spend a weekend, as it has just the right amount of activities.


Five days in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Ho Chi Minh City is a great place to explore. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

Can Tho is a popular choice for travelers. It will give you the chance to have new experiences. Five days may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

A week in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Ho Chi Minh City. Many people enjoy the food and shopping when visiting Ho Chi Minh City. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

Can Tho is a great place to explore. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. Most people head to the area for the shopping. Most people find that one week is more than enough time to see everything.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Historical Tours in Vietnam, The Best 10-Day Tours in Vietnam, The Best One Week (7-Day) Tours in Vietnam, and The Best 2-Week Tours in Vietnam.


Which place is cheaper, Can Tho or Ho Chi Minh City?

These are the overall average travel costs for the two destinations.

The average daily cost (per person) in Ho Chi Minh City is $80, while the average daily cost in Can Tho is $56. These costs include accommodation (assuming double occupancy, so the traveler is sharing the room), food, transportation, and entertainment. While every person is different, these costs are an average of past travelers in each destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $48
    Can Tho $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $96
    Can Tho $54
Compare Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho

Looking for a hotel in Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City


Hotels in Can Tho


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Ho Chi Minh City Hotel Prices and Can Tho Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $15
    Can Tho $13
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Short Taxi Ride
    $1.38
  • Taxi From Airport
    $7.87
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.57

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

Also for Ho Chi Minh City, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private taxi transfer from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh: $358
  • Private Taxi transfer from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City: $358
  • Private Taxi transfer from Ho Chi Minh to Phnom Penh: $358
  • Private Transfer from Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport to Phnom Penh: $295
  • Private Transfer from Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport to Nha Trang: $277
  • Private Transfer: Ho Chi Minh City - Chau Doc/Rach Gia: $268
  • Private Transfer from Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport to Cam Ranh: $263
  • Private Transfer: Ho Chi Minh City Center/ Airport - Mui Ne/Phan Thiet: $258
  • Private Transfer from Cam Ranh to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $249
  • Private Transfer from Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport to Phang Rang Thap Cham: $239
  • Private Transfer from Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport to Da Lat: $239
  • Private Transfer from Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport to Ca Mau: $232

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Can Tho

Also for Can Tho, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Can Tho (VCA) Airport to Ho Chi Minh: $113
  • Private Transfer from Can Tho City to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $113
  • Private Transfer from Vinh Long to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $107
  • Private Transfer from Thanh Thoi to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $107
  • Private Transfer: Can Tho Airport to/from Can Tho City Center: $43
  • PRIVATE CAR: Can Tho AIRPORT <=> CanTho Hotels (one way transfer): $30
  • Private Transfer from Can Tho City to Can Tho (VCA) Airport: $25
  • Private Transfer from Can Tho (VCA) Airport to Can Tho City: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Prices for flights to both Can Tho and Ho Chi Minh City change regularly based on dates and travel demand. We suggest you find the best prices for your next trip on Kayak, because you can compare the cost of flights across multiple airlines for your prefered dates.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $14
    Can Tho $17
Typical Food Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Street Food Dinner (for Two)
    $4.21
  • Pizza
    $5.12
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.18
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.59
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $6.68
  • Western Lunch (for Two)
    $12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Saigon: Street Food Tour: $4.09
  • Saigon Food Tour & Culture Explore Ho Chi Minh City Walking Tour: $15
  • Saigon Unseen & Food Tour By scooter w Student | Saigon Adventure: $19
  • Saigon tour Walking Chinatown or HCM city walking food tour: $19
  • Private Walking Food Tour with Local Students : $26
  • Ho Chi Minh Street Food Tour By Motorbike/Car + Sightseeing + Fun: $26
  • Saigon: Backstreets Private Walking Food Tour & 10 Tastings: $27
  • Food Tour by Scooter with Eleven Tastings: $27
  • Super Niche Walking Street Food Tour in Ho Chi Minh City: $28
  • Private Walking Food Tour with 13 Tastings: $28
  • Saigon Private Walking Food Tour with Thirteen Tastings: $28
  • Saigon Private Eleven-Tastings Food Tour by Scooter: $28

Typical Food Prices in Can Tho

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Can Tho:


  • Restaurant Dinner (for Two)
    $5.12
  • Coconut
    $0.28
  • Mango
    $1.06
  • Hot Pot Dinner (for Two)
    $6.85
  • Two Vietnamese Iced Coffees
    $0.63
  • Casual Lunch (for One)
    $2.75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Can Tho

For Can Tho, here are some samples of tours and activities related to meals and dining experiences:

  • Boat tour on Mekong river see the sunset, small canal, Vegan dinner, street food: $29
  • Explore Can Tho City tour combine Local Food tour - in afternoon: $35
  • Can Tho food tour designed by local chef: $38
  • Street food tour back of the bike in Can Tho: $39
  • Eco Cooking Class and Market Tour: $47
  • Full-Day Experience in Mekong Cycling and Authentic Home Cooking: $60
  • Can Tho Cooking Class - Motorbike trip in the countryside: $69
  • 2 Days Tour in Can Tho with Boat Trip and Cooking Class : $139
  • Saigon: Cai Rang Floating Market & Cooking Class 1 Day Tour: $184

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $20
    Can Tho $16
Typical Entertainment Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

For Ho Chi Minh City, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Massage
    $5.51

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Ho Chi Minh City.

  • Cu Chi Tunnels half day tours: $39
  • From Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne 3 Days Tour | 4 Star Beach Resort : $170
  • Historical Walking Tour of Saigon: $29
  • Mekong Delta Discovery Day Tour - My Tho - Ben Tre: $46
  • Mekong Vespa Tour 5 hours: $92
  • Mui Ne,Fairy Spring, Sand dunes, Fishing Village, Private Tour: $290
  • Non-Touristy Mekong Delta with Biking in Ben Tre Private Tour: $40
  • Private Mekong Delta 1 Day Tour: $65
  • Private Tour Water Puppet Show And Cruise Tour On Saigon River : $65
  • Saigon Vegetarian Tour by Motorbike and Scooter: $39
  • Small Group Tour to Cu Chi Tunnels and cruise Mekong Delta in a day: $48
  • 'Cost-Saving' Cu Chi Tunnels & Mekong Delta 1-Day Tour: $65

Typical Entertainment Prices in Can Tho

For Can Tho, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Sunset Boat Ride
    $1.97
  • Half Day Floating Market Tour
    $8.26

Tours and Activities in Can Tho

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Can Tho.

  • 'Cai Rang' Floating Market 2-Day Tour With Biking & Boating: $155
  • 3-DAY CA MAU CAPE TOUR IN MEKONG DELTA FROM SAI GON: $166
  • A unique tour of the floating market includes a cacao plantation.: $48
  • An Giang Full Day tour visit Tra Su bird sanctuary From Can Tho: $155
  • Barramundi Adventure Fishing Tours: $1,081
  • Bicycle Tour Through Peaceful Villages: $40
  • Boat tour visit 3 pagodas, Ancient house, see sunset on mekong river: $59
  • CASA Authentic Bicycle Tour: $89
  • CASA Authentic Mekong Motorbike Tour: $89
  • Cai Rang Floating Market One Day Private Tour from Ho Chi Minh City: $145
  • Cai Rang Floating Market Tour -Amazing Can Tho : $63
  • Can Tho Sunset Tour : $35

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $7.86
    Can Tho $6.50
Typical Alcohol Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for alcohol and nightlife costs in Ho Chi Minh City:


  • Beer
    $0.39

Typical Alcohol Prices in Can Tho

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Can Tho from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $3.15


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, we can see that Ho Chi Minh City is more expensive. And not only is Can Tho much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Can Tho would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Can Tho and be able to afford a more luxurious travel style by staying in nicer hotels, eating at more expensive restaurants, taking tours, and experiencing more activities. The same level of travel in Ho Chi Minh City would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Ho Chi Minh City than you might in Can Tho.

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Ho Chi Minh City Expensive? and Is Can Tho Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Ho Chi Minh City or Can Tho?

Ho Chi Minh City has a larger population, and is about 10 times larger than the population of Can Tho. When comparing the sizes of Ho Chi Minh City and Can Tho, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.