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

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 $71, while the average daily cost in Seoul is $100. 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 $102. A typical place to stay for one person, per day is $51.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Ho Chi Minh City $43
    Seoul $51
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Ho Chi Minh City $86
    Seoul $102

Food

The average traveler spends about $13 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 $13
    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)
    $4.70
  • Pizza
    $5.71
  • Sweet Rice
    $1.32
  • Pork Sandwich
    $0.66
  • Casual Lunch (for Two)
    $7.46
  • 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:

  • Seafood Dinner in Altitude Rooftop Bar at Sheraton Nha Trang : $15
  • Ho Chi Minh Private Half Day Street Food Tour with Local Students: $18
  • The Home Pizza Phu Quoc Cash Voucher 500.000VND : $19
  • SaiGon Street Food Tour By Scooter With Student: $22
  • Tra Que Vegetable Village and Cooking Class Experience in Hoi An: $24
  • Tam Giang Lagoon Private Half Day Tour with Seafood Dinner: $26
  • Half-Day Tam Giang Sunset Tour with Dinner on Floating Restaurant: $26
  • Walking Food Tour With Local Student: $26
  • Private Street Food Tour on Motorbikes: $28
  • Hoi An City and Food Tour with Foot Massage: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hanoi: $28
  • Private Half-Day Ho Chi Minh Food Tour with Local Students: $28

Typical Food prices in Seoul

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


  • Rice with Kimchi & Bacon
    $5.08
  • Waffle
    $0.85
  • Dippin' Dots
    $1.69
  • Chicken Fried Rice
    $4.65
  • Chicken Stick
    $1.69
  • Drinking Yoghurt & Mi Chew
    $1.61
  • Lunch Buffet
    $5.08
  • Donut
    $0.85
  • Mushroom Burger
    $4.40
  • Green Tea Ice Cream
    $2.79
  • Udon & Sushi
    $5.92
  • Fresh Burger
    $4.06
  • Soba Noodles Lunch
    $3.81
  • Bibimbap Lunch
    $4.23
  • Fried Rice
    $4.65
  • Vietnamese Dinner
    $8.04
  • Breakfast and Coffee for 2
    $8.04
  • Donut
    $2.12

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Seoul

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

  • Jeonju Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Mokpo Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Gangneung Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Andong Virtual Tour and Online Cooking Class with Kimchi Chef: $13
  • Yeot-gangjeong Making Cooking Class in Gangnam: $17
  • Incheon Sunset and Seafood Tour: $22
  • Night Market Food Tour: $48
  • Busan Jagalchi Market Tour and Korean Daily Special Dish Cooking Class: $49
  • Traditional Korean Cooking Class (Kimchi) & market tour with chef Joungy: $51
  • Korean Full-Course Meal Cooking Class at Local Home with Local Market Experience in Seoul: $52
  • Private Traditional Korean Cooking Class and Dongdaemun Market Food Tour by Janet's Cooking Studio: $52
  • Korean Cooking Class with Full-Course Meal & Local Market Tour: $56

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
    $1.54
  • Taxi From Airport
    $8.79
  • Cyclo Ride (One Hour)
    $1.76

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ho Chi Minh City

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

  • Shared City Transfer between Hanoi and Ninh Binh, Hoa Lu, Tam Coc and more by Limousine: $6.39
  • Shared City Transfers between Da Lat and Mui Ne via Shuttle Bus: $6.50
  • Shared Bus Transfers between Hoi An and Ba Na Hills: $6.50
  • Private Phu Quoc International Airport Transfers (PQC) for Phu Quoc: $7.00
  • Private Da Nang International Airport Transfers (DAD) for Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An, & Select Areas: $8.79
  • Private Noi Bai Airport Transfers (HAN) for Hanoi City or Halong Bay: $9.00
  • Private Night Transfers between Phu Quoc International Airport (PQC) and Phu Quoc: $9.25
  • Private Noi Bai Airport (HAN) Transfers for Hanoi City: $9.45
  • Private Da Nang International Airport (DAD) Transfers for Da Nang, Ba Na Hills, and More: $9.59
  • Private Airport Transfer: Ho Chi Minh City to Tan Son Nhat Int. Airport (SGN): $10
  • Private Cam Ranh International Airport (CXR) Transfers for Nha Trang, Hon Chong & Selected Areas: $11
  • Private Da Nang International Airport Night Transfers (DAD) for Da Nang, Hue, Hoi An, & Select Areas: $11

Typical Local Transportation prices in Seoul

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


  • Subway Card
    $4.23
  • Short Taxi Ride
    $5.92
  • Metro Ride
    $1.14
  • Seoul City Pass Plus
    $8.46

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
  • [COVID19] Private Incheon Airport(ICN) Transfer for Seoul & Gyeonggi-do: $121
  • 1- Day Private Seoul or Outskirts Tour (Round-trip transfer to your hotel): $120
  • Private Transfer from Seoul Hotels to Incheon Int'l Airport: $120
  • Private Airport Transfer: Seoul City to Incheon Airport (1-9 pax): $120

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

Prices for flights to both Seoul 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.





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 $18 per person, per day on entertainment and sightseeing here.

Seoul's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $25 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 $18
    Seoul $25
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
    $6.15

Tours and Activities in Ho Chi Minh City

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

  • Do Quyen Spa Private Experience in Sapa: $1.75
  • Hi Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City : $1.99
  • L'Belle Beauty Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $1.99
  • Lasenta Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $2.39
  • World Coffee Museum Ticket in Central Highland: $2.65
  • [SALE 50%] Art in Paradise 3D Museum Ticket in Da Nang: $3.09
  • The Bachelorette Full Day Private Tour with Pickup: $3.24
  • LVES Spa in Saigon - VND88.000 for 60-minute Experience: $3.89
  • Upside Down World Ticket in Da Nang: $4.05
  • Traditional Singing Performance on Huong River Ticket in Hue: $4.19
  • Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs Ticket in Hue City: $4.19
  • Ngo Spa & Massage Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $4.39

Typical Entertainment prices in Seoul

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


  • Palace Tickets
    $6.77
  • Movie Ticket
    $6.77
  • Kimchi Museum
    $2.54

Tours and Activities in Seoul

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

  • AREX Incheon Airport Express, Lotte World Pass and Running Man Thematic Experience Center Combo Package: $17
  • Busan Skywalk, Gamcheon Culture Village, and Haedong Yonggungsa Temple Day Tour: $37
  • Cheese Smile Studio Self Photoshoot Experience in Bukchon: $41
  • GOT7 Ahgase Tour in Seoul: $59
  • Han River Sevit Island Yacht Experience (Pets allowed): $16
  • Hanbok Experience (Hanboknam Gyeongbokgung Store) with Korean Hairstyling: $6.95
  • Instant Ticket! Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5Days: $96
  • Instant Ticket: Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days: $96
  • Instant Ticket: Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days: $93
  • Instant Ticket: Korea Rail Pass (KR PASS) 2/3/4/5 Days: $96
  • Nami Island, Gangchon Rail Bike, Petite France, Garden of Morning Calm, and Alpaca World Day Tour: $62
  • "Nami Island" & "Petite France" or "Garden of Morning Calm" ※ Private Tour: $97

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 $7.02.

The average person spends about $11 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 $7.02
    Seoul $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
    $0.44

Sample the Local Flavors in Seoul

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

  • Absolute Busan Pub Crawl Experience in Seomyeon and Haeundae: $11
  • Absolute Seoul Pub Crawl Experience in Hongdae and Itaewon: $19
  • 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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