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

Should you visit Ho Chi Minh City or Seoul?

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 Seoul 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.

Seoul

With a population of more than 11 million, Seoul is easily the largest city in South Korea. It is also the financial, political, and cultural capital of the country and has much to offer open minded travelers. It is often overlooked by travelers who instead head to Tokyo or Shanghai, but Seoul has a wide range of cultural experiences, food options, and historical sights. Seoul is a city of contrasts with ancient traditions, flashy technology, religious temples and a modern youth culture. It is also more affordable than many of the other Asian metropolis' to which it is often compared. If you're looking for an interesting and different experience that is a little off the tourist trail, Seoul can definitely offer that opportunity.

Which city is cheaper, Seoul 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 Seoul is $103. 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 Seoul 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.

Seoul's average price for two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room is $104. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $52.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $43
    Seoul $52
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $86
    Seoul $104


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.

While meal prices in Seoul can vary, the average travelers spends about $28 per day on food. Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, when dining out, an average meal in Seoul should cost around $11 per person. Breakfast prices are usually a little cheaper than lunch or dinner. The price of food in sit-down restaurants in Seoul is often higher than fast food prices or street food prices.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $12
    Seoul $28
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

Typical Food prices in Seoul

Some typical examples of dining costs in Seoul are as follows:


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.39
  • Waffle
    $0.90
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.80
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.94
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.80
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.71
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.39
  • Donut
    $0.90
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.67
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.96
  • Udon & Sushi
    $6.29
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.31
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $4.04
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.49
  • Fried Rice
    $4.94
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.53
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.53
  • Donut
    $2.25

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seoul

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

  • Night Market Food Tour: $48
  • Traditional Korean Cooking Class (Kimchi) & market tour with chef Joungy: $51
  • Korean Cooking Class with Full-Course Meal & Local Market Tour: $56
  • Small-Group Korean Cooking Class in Seoul: $56
  • Traditional Cooking Experience in Korean Style House in Seoul: $58
  • Secret of Banchan (side dish) cooking!: $61
  • Traditional Korean cooking class and market visit in Seoul: $62
  • Private 3-Hour Korean Cooking Class in Seoul: $68
  • Local Flavors of Seoul at Night: Street Food Tour: $70
  • Eat like a local! Most authentic Seoul food tour: $79
  • Historic Jongro District Authentic Food Tour in Seoul: $81
  • Gwangjang Market Food Tour including Lunch: $82


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 Seoul 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
    Seoul $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:

  • Private Airport Transfer: Ho Chi Minh City to Tan Son Nhat Int. Airport (SGN): $10
  • Ho Chi Minh Private Transfer Tan Son Nhat Airport To Hotel: $13
  • Private Departure Transfer: Ho Chi Minh City Hotels to Tan Son Nhat Airport: $13
  • Ho Chi Minh City Shared Arrival Transfer: Tan Son Nhat International Airport to Hotel: $14
  • Ho Chi Minh City Shared Departure Transfer: Hotel to Tan Son Nhat International Airport: $14
  • Private Transfer: Tan Son Nhat Airport to Ho Chi Minh City Hotels: $17
  • Saigon Private Airport Transfer: $17
  • Private Airport Transfers To Or From Ho Chi Minh City: $18
  • Ho Chi Minh City Private Airport Arrival Transfer: $19
  • Ho Chi Minh City Private Airport Departure Transfer: $19
  • Private Arrival or Departure Transfer: Ho Chi Minh Airport: $20
  • Saigon Airport to Ho Chi Minh City Center Private Transfer: $20

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for transportation costs in Seoul:


  • Subway Card
    $4.49
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $6.29
  • Metro Ride
    $1.21
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.98

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Seoul

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Seoul:

  • Seoul ⇄ Alpensia / Yongpyong Ski Resort Private Van Transfers: $469
  • Summer Activity in Korea: Water Leisure Tour at Gapyeong with Private Transfer: $360
  • Incheon Airport / Seoul ⇄ Daemyung Vivaldi Park Ski Resort Private Van Transfers: $267
  • Incheon Airport Transfer- Private Service between Airport and Seoul (1-13 pax): $200
  • Private Airport Transfer: Gimpo Airport to Seoul City (1-9 pax): $125
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Gimpo Airport (1-9 pax): $125
  • Departure Private Transfer Seoul City to Seoul Airport ICN by Business Minivan: $123
  • Departure Private Transfer Seoul City to Seoul Airport ICN by Luxury Sedan: $123
  • Private Transfer from Seoul Hotels to Incheon Int'l Airport: $120
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-9 pax): $120
  • 1- Day Private Seoul or Outskirts Tour (Round-trip transfer to your hotel): $120
  • Everland Themepark Private Round trip Transfer + Ticket from Seoul: $115


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.

Seoul's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $26 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
    Seoul $26
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

Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

Some typical examples of activities, tours, and entrance ticket prices in Seoul are as follows:


  • Palace Tickets
    $7.18
  • Movie Ticket
    $7.18
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.69

Tours and Activities in Seoul

Some specific costs of activities, tours, and entrance tickets for Seoul are as follows:

  • "Nami Island" & "Petite France" or "Garden of Morning Calm" ※ Private Tour: $97
  • "Parasite" Filming Location Afternoon Tour with Free Jjapaguri(Ram-don): $44
  • 'My Love From The Star' TV Tour Including Petite France: $120
  • (Private) 9-Days Tasty Journey Around South Korea Tour: $3,475
  • 1 Day Seorak Mt. Private Tour: $314
  • 1 day Jeonju City tour by KTX Train from Seoul: $390
  • 10 Day Essential Korea Tour(Seoul, DMZ, Busan, Gyeongju, Andong, Jeju): $4,306
  • 1Day Customizable Private Daegu tour from Seoul by KTX train: $462
  • 2 Day Essential Tour-Nami Island,Petite Fr. and Mt.Seorak(Inc. Accom. & 4 Meals): $741
  • 2 Day Private: Rakkojae Korean Cultural Heritage Tour via Andong Hahoe Village: $654
  • 2 Day Tour for Seoul City/Nami, Petite,Garden of Morning Calm(Inc. Lun. & Din.): $555
  • 2 Days Gyeongju Private Tour from Seoul and Near Seoul: $490


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.

The average person spends about $9.46 on alcoholic beverages in Seoul per day. The more you spend on alcohol, the more fun you might be having despite your higher budget.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Ho Chi Minh City $6.94
    Seoul $9.46
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

Sample the Local Flavors in Seoul

Also in Seoul, these are the prices for nightlife and alcohol related activities from various tour providers:

  • Seoul Pub Crawl and Party with Free Shots: $24
  • 3-Hour Small Group Korean Pub Crawl + Food Tasting in Hongdae: $86



When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Ho Chi Minh City and Seoul, we can see that Seoul is more expensive. And not only is Ho Chi Minh City much less expensive, but it is actually a significantly cheaper destination. So, traveling to Ho Chi Minh City would let you spend less money overall. Or, you could decide to spend more money in Ho Chi Minh City 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 Seoul would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Seoul than you might in Ho Chi Minh City.

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Ho Chi Minh City vs. Seoul Travel Comparison

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