A Travel Price Comparison for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons Ho Chi Minh City vs. Halong Bay

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Halong Bay?

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 Halong Bay can help you decide which place is right for you.

Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City, formerly Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam. It previously served as the capital of the Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). The metropolitan area, including Ho Chi Minh City, Thu Dau Mot, Di An, Bien Hoa, and other surrounding towns, has a population of more than 9 million people and continues to grow.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of Vietnam, near the Chinese border. Known for its thousands of beautiful limestone karsts and stalactite-filled caves, it is one of the most visited destinations in Vietnam. If you appreciate natural scenery and want an adventure at sea, you'll love cruising among more than 1,900 islands in Ha Long Bay.

Which city is cheaper, Halong Bay 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 $70, while the average daily cost in Halong Bay is $52. 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 city. Below is a breakdown of travel costs for Ho Chi Minh City and Halong Bay in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $86 in Ho Chi Minh City For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Halong Bay is $48. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $43
    Halong Bay $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $86
    Halong Bay $48

Food

The average traveler spends about $12 per day in Ho Chi Minh City for food, but obviously this is dependent on the type of restaurant and the amount of food ordered. To save money you can grab a lighter lunch or dinner, or you can try fast food or street food.

On average, meal and food prices in Halong Bay cost around $15 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $6.00.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $12
    Halong Bay $15
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)
    $4.64
  • Pizza
    $5.64
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.30
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.65
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $7.36
  • Western Lunch (for Two)
    $13

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:

  • Ho Chi Minh Private Half Day Street Food Tour with Local Students: $18
  • SaiGon Street Food Tour By Scooter With Student: $22
  • Walking Food Tour With Local Student: $26
  • Private Street Food Tour on Motorbikes: $28
  • Private Half-Day Ho Chi Minh Food Tour with Local Students: $28
  • Saigon Food Tour by Motorbike with Local Students: $30
  • Walking market food tour by night in Ho Chi Minh city - private groups: $32
  • Small Floating Market & Mekong Delta Tour with Kayak, Boat, Bike, Cooking Class: $35
  • Private Street Food Tour by Scooter in Ho Chi Minh City: $35
  • Street food Tours: $35
  • Half-Day Ho Chi Minh City Street Food Tour By Motorbike: $36
  • Private Walking Saigon Food Tour with Ao Dai Girl by Night: $38

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Halong Bay

Also, here are some specific examples of food and dining related activities in Halong Bay.

  • 1-day private Hanoi city tour with fun and night street walking food tour: $101

Local Transportation

Ho Chi Minh City's transportation costs can vary by the type of transport chosen by visitors. Naturally, taxis and private drivers cost much more than public transportation options. On average, visitors spend $13 per person, per day on transportation in Ho Chi Minh City.

The average price of local transportation around Halong Bay is $14 per person, per day. As this average includes both taxis and public transport, keep in mind that the prices of private drivers and taxis are significantly more expensive than public transportation.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $13
    Halong Bay $14
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
    $1.52
  • Taxi From Airport
    $8.68
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.74

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

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

  • 2-Days Cu Chi Tunnels-Mekong Delta with Airport Transfer Small Group Tour: $69
  • Airport Transfer: $85
  • Airport Transfer (From Airport - Ho Chi Minh City (Private 16 Seats Car): $54
  • Airport Transfer (From Hotels in Ho Chi Minh to Airport) Private 4 Seats Car: $28
  • Airport Transfer (From Hotels in Ho Chi Minh to Airport) Private 7 Seats Car: $34
  • Airport Transfers (Airport - Ho Chi Minh,Private 16 Seats Car): $52
  • Airport Transfers From Airport to Hotels in Ho Chi Minh City 7 seat Car: $46
  • CONVENIENT AIRPORT TRANSFER by PRIVATE CAR or SCOOTERS | Kiss Tours: $28
  • Cu Chi Tunnels VIP Tour from Ho Chi Minh with Transfer by Limo including Lunch: $48
  • From Phu My Port: Ho Chi Minh City Tour and Transfers: $46
  • Ho Chi Minh Airport Transfer: Hotels to Tan Son Nhat Airport: $35
  • Ho Chi Minh City Private Airport Arrival Transfer: $19

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Halong Bay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Halong Bay:

  • V.I.P Halong Bay Full Day With Private Boat - Max 7 Pax With Transfer From Hanoi: $485
  • 6 stars cruise 3d-2n: biking,BBQ, golf course,cave,transfer, meals,kayak,pool: $410
  • Hanoi Halong Bay One Day Private Tour With 08 Hours Cruise & Highway Transfer: $278
  • Athena Luxury Cruise: 2-Day Explore Bai Tu Long Bay With Transfer From Hanoi: $215
  • Halong Bay 2 Days 1 night with Athena Luxury Cruise ( Transfer included ): $207
  • Halong Bay Cruise 2Days,1Night with included Hanoi Transfer by Bus: $164
  • Hai Phong airport transfer to Halong Bay with private car 16 seat from Hai Phong: $133
  • Apricot Premium Cruise: 2-Day Explore Halong Bay With Transfer From Hanoi: $125
  • Hai Phong airport transfer to Halong Bay with private car 7 seat from Hai Phong: $100
  • Halong Bay transfer to Hai Phong airport with private car 7 seats from HalongBay: $100
  • Luxury Day Trip go Special Route - with Limousine Transfer Highway Roundtrip: $97
  • Halong Bay Day Trip - Sen Cruise included Limousine transfer roundtrip: $97

Entertainment

Sightseeing, admission tickets, things to do, and other entertainment expenses in Ho Chi Minh City can vary widely by price. On average, visitors spend around $17 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Halong Bay's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 per person, per day. This cost can vary widely by the type of activity, however, as this includes admission tickets, day tours, museums, and other things to do.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $17
    Halong Bay $14
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
    $6.07

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

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

  • The Bachelorette Full Day Private Tour with Pickup: $3.24
  • Bitexco Financial Tower: Saigon Skydeck General Admission Ticket: $9.00
  • Small-Group Half-Day Cu Chi Tunnels Tour from Ho Chi Minh City: $9.24
  • The Insider's Saigon - Private and Custom Motorbike Tour: $12
  • Exploring Cu Chi Tunnel with Pioneer Travel Tour Guide: $12
  • Water Puppet Show Ticket in Ho Chi Minh City with Hotel Delivery: $15
  • Skip the Line: Golden Dragon Water Puppet Tickets: $17
  • Skip the Line: Golden Dragon Water Puppet Tickets: $17
  • Golden Dragon Water Puppet Entrance Tickets: $17
  • Private Ho Chi Minh Sightseeing by Motorbike with Local Students: $19
  • Private City Tour Half Day By Scooter: $19
  • Cu Chi Ben Duoc Tunnel Tour: $20

Tours and Activities in Halong Bay

Here are a few actual costs in Halong Bay for available activities, ticket prices, and tours:

  • (Official): Ha Long Amazing sail orient luxury one day tour: $123
  • 1-Day Explore Halong Bay With Cave, Kayaking and Swimming - Alova Premium Cruise: $62
  • 2 Days Halong Bay 3* Cruise Including Transportation from Hanoi: $127
  • 2 days - 1 night Halong Bay on a budget cruise from Hanoi: $128
  • 2 days - 1 night in Bai Tu Long Bay at 5 stars cruise - private balcony cabins: $196
  • 2 days - 1 night with V'Spirit Cruise: Hiking titop island,visit Sung Sot cave, Drum cave: $146
  • 2-Day Cat Ba Island - Multi-Adventures from Ha Long: $380
  • 2-Day Explore Bai Tu Long Bay On Cruise - Midrange Cruise: $140
  • 2-Day Explore Halong Bay On Cruise - Budget Cruise: $112
  • 2-Day Ha Long - Farming Experience with homestay: $239
  • 2-Day Ha Long Bay On Cruise - Deluxe Junk: $190
  • 2-Day Ha Long Bay On Cruise - Luxury Junk: $275

Alcohol

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Ho Chi Minh City, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $6.94.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Halong Bay may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $6.94
    Halong Bay $11
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
    $0.43


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ho Chi Minh City and Halong Bay, we can see that Ho Chi Minh City is more expensive. And not only is Halong Bay much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Halong Bay would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Halong Bay 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 Halong Bay.

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Ho Chi Minh City vs. Halong Bay Travel Comparison

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