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

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Luang Prabang?

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 Luang Prabang 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.

Luang Prabang

Southeast Asia is a region full of mystical wonders and cultural charm, but nowhere is as charming as the city of Luang Prabang. As the former capital of Laos, Luang Prabang was reopened to tourism in 1989. With that move the city experienced an upswing in revenue and was able to restore and rebuild the beautiful colonial mansions to serve as guesthouses and hotels for the new swarm of tourists.

Which city is cheaper, Luang Prabang 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 Luang Prabang is $25. 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 Luang Prabang 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 prices for places to stay in Luang Prabang can vary by date, location, and type. Generally, the average cost for accommodation per person is $10, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $20.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $43
    Luang Prabang $10
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $86
    Luang Prabang $20


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.

Luang Prabang food costs typically run travelers around $9.81 per day. Eating every meal in a nicer restaurant will drive the cost up, and grabbing fast food or casual meals will help you save money.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $12
    Luang Prabang $9.81
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 Luang Prabang

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

  • Cooking Class: $35
  • Authentic Lao Cooking Experience in Luang Prabang: $38
  • Luang Prang Cooking Class: $40
  • Day-time Bamboo weaving & Cooking Classes join-in: $40
  • Evening Bamboo weaving & Cooking classes join-in: $42
  • Mekong River Dinner Cruise: $43
  • Skip the Line: Traditional Lao Night - Dinner, Music & Dance Show Ticket: $45
  • Half Day bamboo weaving & Cooking classes with the visit to morning market: $49
  • Home-cooked dinner & Baci ceremony with Villagers in Ban Nasang: $51
  • Lao Cooking Class in Luang Prabang: $57
  • Traditional Market Tour and Private Laotian Cooking Class with a Local: $57
  • Luang Prabang Bamboo Weaving and Cooking Class: $65


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.

To get around in Luang Prabang, the average visitor spends $3.80 per day, per person. This includes the costs of taxi rides and private drivers as well as public transportation, which tends to be much more affordable.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $13
    Luang Prabang $3.80
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:

  • Private Transfer: From Ho Chi Minh city - Siemreap (Cambodia) - MPV 7 seat: $595
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh To Siem Reap, Cambodia: $499
  • Private transfer: From Ho Chi Minh city - Phnompenh (Cambodia) - MPV 7 seat: $311
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh To Phnom penh, Cambodia: $259
  • Ho Chi Minh to Nha Trang - Private Transfer: $250
  • Private Car Transfers From Ho Chi Minh City To Dalat: $189
  • Private Transfer From Ho Chi Minh To Mui Ne (16 seater car): $168
  • Transfer Tan Son Nhat Airport to Mui Ne (Beach resort): $150
  • My Tho Transfer from Ho Chi Minh city: $149
  • One-way Private Transfer from Saigon Airport or Center to Mui Ne: $136
  • One way: Sai Gon - Mui Ne Private Transfer ( 7 Seats Car): $136
  • Private Transfer from Ho Chi Minh to Can Tho (VCA) Airport: $128

Typical Local Transportation prices in Luang Prabang

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Luang Prabang are as follows:


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $5.30

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Luang Prabang

Also for Luang Prabang, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • 3-Day Discover Luang Prabang City Tour including Airport Transfer: $395
  • Private Transfer: Luang Prabang Hotels to Vang Vieng Hotels: $307
  • Luang Prabang and Vientiane City Private Air conditional transfer: $153
  • private transfer luang prabang to vang vieng: $150
  • Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng on Private Air Conditional Transfer: $80
  • Morning alms giving ceremory, market and transfer to Kuangsi falls: $45
  • Shared transfer from Luang Prabang to Phonesavanh, Xieng Khouang: $29
  • Luang Prabang Private airport transfer: $28
  • Shared Transfer from Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng: $21
  • Private transfer to Tad Sae Waterfalls: $20
  • Luang Prabang Private Airport transfer services: $14
  • Airport transfer from Hotel in Luang Prabang to Airport: $9.30


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.

In Luang Prabang, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $4.90 per person, per day.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Ho Chi Minh City $17
    Luang Prabang $4.90
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 Intimate Saigon" by day (city half-day tour): $50
  • "The Intimate Saigon" by night (food tasting tour): $59
  • 1 Day Fishing Adventure Private Tour: $125
  • 1 Day Saigon Culinary Private Tour: $147
  • 1-day Cai Rang Floating Market With Sweet Chocolate Taste Private Tour: $187
  • 1-day Ho Chi Minh city and Cu Chi tunnels group tour: $45
  • 1-day My Tho boat trip in Mekong Delta group tour from Ho Chi Minh: $33
  • 10 days 9 nights classic Vietnam tour from South to North: $545
  • 10-day Small-Group Vietnam Highlight Tour: $1,374
  • 2 Days - HCM City Tour & Floating Market: $229
  • 2 Days Private Non-Touristic Local Homestay in Tra On: Mekong Delta: $195
  • 2 Days and 1 Night Private Mekong Delta Tour from Saigon: $202

Tours and Activities in Luang Prabang

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Luang Prabang.

  • 1 DAY Mekong Cruise to Pak Ou Caves. Kuang Si Waterfalls . Local Villages: $127
  • 1 day Mountain biking and kayaking adventure: $101
  • 1 day Mountain biking to Kuang Si Waterfall with Mekong river cruise: $117
  • 2 Days Cruise From Luang Prabang To Huayxai: $192
  • 3-Day Laos Classic Tour: $601
  • 3days tour around Luang Prabang: $490
  • 4-Day Discover Luang Prabang City Tour: $563
  • A Venerable Cruise to the Pak Ou Caves: $105
  • Afternoon Luang Prabang Sightseeing And Local Food By Vintage Tuk Tuk: $77
  • Beautiful 5 Day Sightseeing tour to Laos: $500
  • Best of Luang Prabang City Day Tour - Secrets of LPQ World Heritage: $82
  • Biking & Kayaking through Nam Khan River Valley - Luang Prabang full day tour: $73


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.

Alcoholic beverages can often be a significant portion of a traveler's budget, and the costs can vary greatly from person to person. In Luang Prabang, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $3.27.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $6.94
    Luang Prabang $3.27
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 Luang Prabang, we can see that Ho Chi Minh City is more expensive. And not only is Luang Prabang much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Luang Prabang would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Luang Prabang 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 Luang Prabang.

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Ho Chi Minh City vs. Luang Prabang Travel Comparison

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