A Travel Price Comparison for Families, Couples, and Backpackers Luang Prabang vs. Ulaanbaatar for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Luang Prabang or Ulaanbaatar?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Luang Prabang or Ulaanbaatar, this travel cost comparison can help. The overall cost of travel is usually a consideration when deciding where to go next, and the cost comparison below can help you decide based on the average prices from other travelers along with your own travel budget.

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.

Ulaanbaatar

Ulaanbaatar is Mongolia's capital city. It has a population of slightly over two million people, or about sixty percent of the country's entire population. You are likely to arrive in Ulaanbaatar either by train, coming from China or Russia, or by plane. Many people use Ulaanbaatar as a stop off while doing the Transsiberian Railway. The city is a great place to organize a tour of the surrounding countryside. It's also good city to relax, so make sure you allow yourself a few days to recover from your tour, enjoy some of the great food options, and see some of the fascinating cultural sights around town.

Which city is cheaper, Ulaanbaatar or Luang Prabang?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Luang Prabang is $24, while the average daily cost in Ulaanbaatar is $24. 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 Luang Prabang and Ulaanbaatar in more detail.



Accommodation

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 $9.73, while a typical double-occupancy hotel room for two people will cost around $19.

If you're traveling alone, you may be able to find a budget hotel or hostel for around $11. But for two people in a standard two-person hotel room in Ulaanbaatar the cost is $22 on average.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Luang Prabang $9.73
    Ulaanbaatar $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Luang Prabang $19
    Ulaanbaatar $22

Food

Luang Prabang food costs typically run travelers around $9.25 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.

In Ulaanbaatar travelers spend around $8.68 a day on food. You can save money by choosing casual restaurants or food stalls, or you can spend plenty more by dining in nicer restaurants at every meal.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Luang Prabang $9.25
    Ulaanbaatar $8.68

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

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Ulaanbaatar

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

  • Cooking Class in a Traditional Ger Home in the Suburbs of Ulaanbaatar: $50
  • Cooking famous Mongolian dumplings with local nomads: $205

Local Transportation

To get around in Luang Prabang, the average visitor spends $3.58 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.

The cost of a taxi ride in Ulaanbaatar is significantly more than public transportation. On average, past travelers have spent $2.82 per person, per day, on local transportation in Ulaanbaatar.


  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Luang Prabang $3.58
    Ulaanbaatar $2.82
Typical Local Transportation prices in Luang Prabang

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


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $5.00

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
  • Airport transfer from Hotel in Luang Prabang to Airport: $9.30
  • Luang Prabang Airport Transfers (LPQ) for Luang Prabang: $12
  • Luang Prabang Private Airport transfer services: $14
  • Luang Prabang Private airport transfer: $28
  • Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng on Private Air Conditional Transfer: $80
  • Luang Prabang and Vientiane City Private Air conditional transfer: $153
  • Morning alms giving ceremory, market and transfer to Kuangsi falls: $45
  • Private Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) Transfer for Luang Prabang: $16
  • Private Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ) Transfers for Luang Prabang: $15
  • Private Transfer: Luang Prabang Hotels to Vang Vieng Hotels: $307
  • Private Wattay International Airport (VTE) Transfers for Vientiane by Laos Smile: $17

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ulaanbaatar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ulaanbaatar:

  • Departure Private Transfer to New Ulaanbaatar Airport UBN by Business Vehicle: $52
  • Transfer service to Terelj national park: $51
  • Airport transfer service: $43
  • Ulaanbaatar Arrival Transfer: Airport to Hotel: $33
  • Ulaanbaatar Departure Transfer: Hotel to Airport: $33
  • Private Pickup Transfer from Chinggis Khaan Airport to Hotels in Ulaanbaatar: $27
  • Private Drop off Transfer to Chinggis Khaan Airport from Downtown Ulaanbaatar: $27
  • Airport Transfer Service: $25
  • Airport Transfer: $21
  • Arrival Private Transfer Ulaanbaatar Train Station to City by Business Vehicle: $16
  • Departure Private Transfer City to Ulaanbaatar Train Stationby Business Vehicle: $16

Is it cheaper to fly into Luang Prabang or Ulaanbaatar?

Prices for flights to both Ulaanbaatar and Luang Prabang 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

In Luang Prabang, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $4.62 per person, per day.

Entertainment and activities in Ulaanbaatar typically cost an average of $4.29 per person, per day. This includes fees paid for admission tickets to museums and attractions, day tours, and other sightseeing expenses.


  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Luang Prabang $4.62
    Ulaanbaatar $4.29

Tours and Activities in Luang Prabang

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

  • Kuang Si Waterfall Shared Minibus Ticket (Round Trip) : $6.00
  • Slow Boat ticket to Pakbeng - Houay xay: $6.42
  • Shuttle Bus ticket to Kuang Si Waterfalls: $7.00
  • Tham Xang and Tham Nam Cave Experience: $17
  • Vang Vieng Adventure: $17
  • Mekong Sunset Cruise from Luang Prabang: $18
  • Tham Nam Cave Adventure: $19
  • 5 April Shooting Range Experience in Vientiane: $22
  • Morning Alms Giving Experience: $23
  • Vang Vieng Bike Tour: $23
  • Guided Meditation Experience by Orange Robe Tours: $23
  • Alms Giving Experience & Kuang Si Waterfall: $24

Tours and Activities in Ulaanbaatar

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

  • 1 Day - Tour of Hustai National Park: $262
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace: $77
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace and Traditional Concert: $97
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Aglag Buteel Monastery and Meditation Center Including Lunch: $106
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj (FREE dog sledding): $163
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch: $124
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Genghis Khan Statue Complex and Terelj National Park Including Lunch and FREE Concert ticket: $138
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Manzushir Monastery Including Lunch: $106
  • 1 Day Coach Tour of Terelj National Park Including Lunch And Free Camel Ride: $123
  • 1 Day Erdenezuu Monastery Coach Tour Including Lunch: $118
  • 1 Day Horseback Riding Tour with Historic Temple in Mongolia Including Lunch: $111
  • 1 Day Private Tour of Taste of Mongolia (With Hotel Pickup and Meals): $790

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 Luang Prabang, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $3.09.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Ulaanbaatar may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $3.72 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Luang Prabang $3.09
    Ulaanbaatar $3.72


When comparing the travel costs between Luang Prabang and Ulaanbaatar, we can see that Ulaanbaatar is more expensive. However, the two cities are actually relatively comparable in price, as the difference is somewhat minimal. Generally, this means that you could travel with generally the same travel style and level of luxury in each place. Since both cities are in Asia, it's no surprise that their costs are relatively close, as many destinations here have somewhat similar travel prices overall.

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Luang Prabang vs. Ulaanbaatar Travel Comparison

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