A Travel Price Comparison for Vietnam Sapa vs. Can Tho for Attractions, Food, Families, and Couples

Should you visit Sapa or Can Tho?

Which is cheaper to visit? Which is more expensive for vacation?

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 Sapa and Can Tho can help you decide which place is right for you.

Sapa

Sapa is a fascinating, picturesque, and cultural town. With fun activities and sights, this is a small town worth visiting. Many visitors also come because of it's amazing beauty. Visitors also love the shopping, nightlife, and food.

Can Tho

Can Tho is a vibrant, friendly, and cultural city. Since it's a large city, you'll find plenty of things to do. Other reasons to visit include museums, nightlife, and food.

Sapa and Can Tho: Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Active nightlife
  • Good for hiking
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers
  • Impressive beauty
Things to Consider
  • Less museums and historical sights
Pros
  • Popular museums and historical sights
  • Active nightlife
  • Family-friendly
  • Good for couples and romance
  • Good for backpackers and budget travelers


Is there more to do in Sapa or Can Tho?

Tourists will generally find more to do in Can Tho than Sapa. It is bigger and it has more sights, attractions, and activities for travelers. Can Tho is very popular for its museums, shopping, and big city activities, while Sapa attracts visitors for its hiking, small town charm, and impressive beauty. Sapa is famous for its stunning village and mountain trekking, beautiful rice paddies, and colorful weekly markets. Can Tho is famous for its colorful floating markets, fresh produce, friendly people, and intricate waterways. It is also well known for Cai Rang Floating Market.

How is Sapa different from Can Tho?

Which is Better for a Holiday?

Let's take a look at the differences and similarities between Can Tho and Sapa. Then, you can decide for yourself which place is better for your next trip.

Are the Museums and Historical Sights Better in Sapa or Can Tho?

Sapa
Can Tho

Can Tho is great for its historical sights. However, Sapa is not a good destination for its sights and museums.

Many visitors head to Can Tho specifically to visit some of its top-rated museums and other sights. The main attraction nearby is Cai Rang Floating Market, but visitors also enjoy seeing Binh Thuy Ancient House, the Can Tho Rice Noodle Factory, Ong pagoda, and Nam Nha Pagoda.

Sapa offers a handful of options for museums and historical sights. While the many nearby villages are filled with markets and culture and have the feel of living museums, there are few actual museums in the area.


Is the Food Better in Sapa or Can Tho? Which Destination has the Best Restaurants?

Sapa
Can Tho

Foodies will find both Sapa and Can Tho both to be very good destinations.

The food selection at local restaurants is excellent in Sapa. The area's food highlights the local agricultural scene with lots of meat, fish, and vegetables. If you want to check out traditional Hmong cuisine, Thang Co is one of the most common dishes. It's a soup that has a strong smell and is prepared with local herbs and meats.

Eating is part of the travel experience when you visit Can Tho. It's the largest city in the Mekong Delta, and there are many restaurants with rooftop views and lively atmospheres. The food is local and fresh. Grilled meats, noodle soup, and local produce are all popular. Many visitors come to Cantho specifically to experience the nearby floating markets. You really must sample the many dishes available at the markets, which are unique to the area and offer a whole new approach to street food.

Is Sapa or Can Tho Better for Nightlife?

Sapa
Can Tho

The vibe at night is nice in both Sapa and Can Tho.

If you're looking for night time activities Sapa has a few options to choose from. While you don't visit the area for its nightlife, there's a big backpacker scene here so you'll likely find a crowd looking for a good time. The town has a night market and there are plenty of bars that cater to the tourists.

There's a variety of activities in the evening in Can Tho. The city is very beautiful at night with many colorful lights. There are a number of bars and places for tourists to hang out and socialize.

Is Sapa or Can Tho Better for Hiking?

Sapa
Can Tho

Sapa is a must-visit destination for hiking. However, Can Tho is not a hiking destination.

Many people visit Sapa specifically for its hiking. Trekking is, by far, one of the best ways to experience the area's beauty. You'll pass by scenic rice paddies, walk along mist covered mountains, and stumble into fascinating villages. Many people hire a local guide to guide them. This helps the local economy and offers insider information.

Can Tho is not a hiking destination.


Is the Shopping Better in Sapa or Can Tho?

Sapa
Can Tho

Can Tho is a world-class destination for shopping. Also, Sapa is not as popular, but is still a nice town for its shopping opportunities.

People travel from around the world to go shopping in Can Tho. The city is large with malls and a central market, but most visitors come specifically for the nearby floating markets. These unique markets are best visited by boat. Goods and food are sold out of vendor boats and popular food dishes include noodle soup and local fruits. Each boat has a tall bamboo stick displaying the items that it sells.

Sapa is a popular shopping destination with plenty of stores. Many villages have a weekly market that is very fascinating to explore. In addition to local food items, there are often locally made handicrafts that make great souvenirs from your travels.

Is Sapa or Can Tho Better for Families?

Sapa
Can Tho

You'll find very good kid-friendly activities in either Sapa or Can Tho.

Sapa is a very family-friendly destination. Many people arrive via an overnight train, which is an adventure for the whole family. Once you arrive, your kids will experience a local culture that is uniquely its own. You can participate in a homestay and enjoy meals prepared by a local family. There are also many kid-friendly hikes through the surrounding mountains.

Can Tho is a very kid-friendly town. Kids and adults alike will be fascinated by the floating markets and the beautiful Mekong Delta. Most visitors use this growing city as a base for exploring the area, which has a fascinating culture and interesting sights.

Is Sapa or Can Tho Better for Couples?

Sapa
Can Tho

Both Sapa and Can Tho are very good destinations to visit as a couple.

Sapa is a great town if you're traveling as a couple. Couples who enjoy experiencing unique cultures and hiking through stunning mountain settings will love a trip to this mountain town. While the tourists have definitely discovered the area, there are still places that have a local vibe with traditional Vietnamese markets and homesteads.

Can Tho is a very popular place to visit for couples. Couples can take a romantic evening boat ride on the Mekong Delta. During the morning hours, the floating markets are one of Vietnam's most interesting destinations. You can sample local dishes and experience a completely different way of life.


Is Sapa or Can Tho Better for Backpackers and Budget Travelers?

Sapa
Can Tho

For backpackers, both Sapa and Can Tho are very good places to visit.

Sapa is very popular with the backpacker crowd. Like much of Southeast Asia, this town and the surrounding areas are solidly on the backpacker trail. You'll find cheap places to stay and tours that cater specifically to the budget and backpacker crowd.

Can Tho is a great town to visit for backpackers. This is a large city with a number of hostels and many backpackers who pass through during their trip to the floating markets and through the Mekong Delta.

Is Sapa or Can Tho Better for Public Transit? Which Is Easier to Get Around Without a Car?

Sapa
Can Tho

Sapa is very good for times when you don't have a car. However, Can Tho is not a good destination for its public transit.

While Sapa offers some public transit options, it might not be your first choice. There are public buses through the region. If you're hoping to visit nearby towns for their market days, an organized tour or private guide is a good option.

Public transit is generally limited in Can Tho. There are local buses, but many visitors come to this area as part of an organized tour because transportation can be a bit a tricky.

Is Sapa or Can Tho a more walkable city?

Sapa
Can Tho

Sapa is great for its high level of walkability. Also, Can Tho is not as popular, but is still a nice city for its ease of walking around.

Sapa is a very walkable town. Trekking is, by far, the best way to experience the area and all of the beauty and culture that it has to offer.

Can Tho is a somewhat walkable town. The city center is relatively walkable.


For even more information, also check out Is Sapa Worth Visiting? and Is Can Tho Worth Visiting?.

Should I spend more time in Can Tho or Sapa?

How long in Sapa or Can Tho?

You'll be able to find lots of things to do in Sapa or Can Tho to fill your time. Many travelers usually spend more of their time in Sapa than Can Tho because of the number of activities and things to do in the area. Usually, 2-4 days is a good amount of time for Sapa, and 1-2 days is enough time in Can Tho.

Couples should spend more time in Sapa than Can Tho. You'll find plenty of romantic sights and fun activities in Sapa that are great for a weekend getaway or a longer couple's trip.

Backpackers and budget travelers should spend more time in Sapa than Can Tho if your budget allows for it. With a larger number of budget-friendly sights, good nightlife, and active things to do, anyone traveling on a budget would have a good time in Sapa.


  • How many days in Sapa or Can Tho? Ideal Length of Stay
    Sapa 2-4 
    Can Tho 1-2

One day in Sapa or Can Tho?

In Sapa, you'll find shopping and nightlife. Many travelers plan to spend time hiking while in the area. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. This town offers something for everyone. One day is usually not enough time for a trip here as there is plenty to do.

Visitors enjoy the food and shopping when visiting the destination of Can Tho. Take your pick from the many activities offered here. One day is usually enough time to experience most activities.

A weekend in Sapa or Can Tho?

In Sapa, you'll find nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. A weekend here is typical. Hiking can easily take up a good amount of your time here, too. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. A weekend is a great amount of time to relax and see the many things that Sapa has to offer.

Can Tho is a fun place to experience. Most people visit for the shopping. If you have a weekend, this is a great place to go. A weekend is often enough time to do most activities. The entire region has so many activities, and you'll want time to do everything.

Five days in Sapa or Can Tho?

Sapa is a great place to explore. Hikers are also drawn to this area. Five days is more than enough time to enjoy everything. Take some day trips to nearby places to fill the extra days. Anyone can find something fun to do here.

You'll find museums and nightlife around the unique destination of Can Tho. This city offers something for everyone. Five days is plenty of time to see everything, even with extra days to spare.


A week in Sapa or Can Tho?

It's hard to know how much time to spend in Sapa. Many people enjoy the shopping and nightlife when visiting Sapa. One reason most visitors come is for the hiking. Many visitors also spend a good bit of time hiking. One week may feel like too much time unless you plan to do a lot of relaxing.

The cultural city of Can Tho offers nightlife and food. The length of your trip often depends on your style of travel. One week is usually plenty of time to spend here with extra days to spare. With this much time, visitors often visit nearby destinations or take day trips.


For some great organized tour ideas, see The Best Budget Tours to Vietnam, The Best Tours for Seniors to Vietnam, The Best G Adventures Tours to Vietnam, and The Best One-Week (7-Day) Tours from Hanoi.


Which place is cheaper, Can Tho or Sapa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sapa is $35, while the average daily cost in Can Tho is $56. 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 destination. What follows is a categorical breakdown of travel costs for Sapa and Can Tho in more detail.



Accommodation
  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sapa $12
    Can Tho $27
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sapa $24
    Can Tho $54
Compare Hotels in Sapa and Can Tho

Looking for a hotel in Sapa or Can Tho? Prices vary by location, date, season, and the level of luxury. See below for options and compare which is best for your budget and travel style.

Hotels in Sapa


Hotels in Can Tho


Kayak helps you find the best prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars for destinations around the world. Compare prices for multiple destinations when planning your next trip.


Our Analysis
We've analyzed the average and typical hotel prices based on guest reviews, star ratings, and hotel amenities here: Sapa Hotel Prices and Can Tho Hotel Prices.

Local Transportation
  • Local Transportation Taxis, local buses, subway, etc.
    Sapa $9.26
    Can Tho $13
Typical Local Transportation Prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of transportation costs in Sapa are as follows:


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.18

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Can Tho

Also for Can Tho, here are a few examples of actual transportation services:

  • Private Transfer from Can Tho City to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $113
  • Private Transfer from Can Tho (VCA) Airport to Ho Chi Minh: $113
  • Private Transfer from Vinh Long to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $106
  • Private Transfer from Thanh Thoi to Tan Son Nhat (SGN) Airport: $106
  • Private Transfer: Can Tho Airport - Can Tho City Center: $40
  • PRIVATE CAR: Can Tho AIRPORT <=> CanTho Hotels (one way transfer): $30
  • Private Transfer from Can Tho City to Can Tho (VCA) Airport: $25
  • Private Transfer from Can Tho (VCA) Airport to Can Tho City: $25

Is it cheaper to fly into Sapa or Can Tho?

Prices for flights to both Can Tho and Sapa 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.





Food
  • Food Meals for one day
    Sapa $16
    Can Tho $17
Typical Food Prices in Sapa

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Sapa:


  • Casual Dinner (for One)
    $2.67
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.16
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.36
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $7.83
  • Pho Soup
    $0.59

Typical Food Prices in Can Tho

Here are some examples of typical meal expenses from previous travelers to Can Tho:


  • Restaurant Dinner (for Two)
    $5.11
  • Coconut
    $0.27
  • Mango
    $1.06
  • Hot Pot Dinner (for Two)
    $6.84
  • Two Vietnamese Iced Coffees
    $0.63
  • Casual Lunch (for One)
    $2.75

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Can Tho

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

  • Boat tour on Mekong river see the sunset, small canal, Vegan dinner, street food: $29
  • Biking and Cooking Class in Can Tho Rural: $32
  • Explore Can Tho City tour combine Local Food tour - in afternoon: $35
  • Biking and cooking class in the rural tour at Can Tho: $36
  • Can Tho food tour designed by local chef: $38
  • Street food tour back of the bike in Can Tho: $39
  • Eco Cooking Class and Market Tour: $47
  • Walking street food tour designed by local chef: $47
  • Full-Day Experience in Mekong Cycling and Authentic Home Cooking: $60
  • 2 Days Tour in Can Tho with Boat Trip and Cooking Class : $139
  • Saigon: Cai Rang Floating Market & Cooking Class 1 Day Tour: $184

Entertainment
  • Entertainment Entrance tickets, shows, etc.
    Sapa $6.03
    Can Tho $16
Typical Entertainment Prices in Sapa

For Sapa, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • CatCat Village Tax
    $1.57
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.79
  • Walking Stick
    $0.20
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.14

Typical Entertainment Prices in Can Tho

For Can Tho, here are some examples of average entertainment and activity prices from previous travelers:


  • Sunset Boat Ride
    $1.96
  • Half Day Floating Market Tour
    $8.25

Tours and Activities in Can Tho

Also, here are some specific examples of entertainment, tickets, and activities for Can Tho.

  • 'Cai Rang' Floating Market 2-Day Tour With Biking & Boating: $155
  • 3-DAY CA MAU CAPE TOUR IN MEKONG DELTA FROM SAI GON: $166
  • A unique tour of the floating market includes a cacao plantation.: $48
  • An Giang Full Day tour visit Tra Su bird sanctuary From Can Tho: $155
  • Bicycle Tour Through Peaceful Villages: $35
  • Boat tour visit 3 pagodas, Ancient house, see sunset on mekong river: $59
  • CASA Authentic Bicycle Tour: $89
  • CASA Authentic Mekong Motorbike Tour: $89
  • Cai Rang Floating Market One Day Private Tour from Ho Chi Minh City: $135
  • Cai Rang Floating Market Tour: $33
  • Cai Rang Floating Market Tour -Amazing Can Tho : $63
  • Cai Rang Floating Market Tour with Biking Included: $52

Alcohol
  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sapa $8.05
    Can Tho $6.49
Typical Alcohol Prices in Sapa

Some typical examples of the costs for nightlife and alcohol in Sapa are as follows:


  • Two Beers
    $0.98

Typical Alcohol Prices in Can Tho

Here are a few samples of the prices for alcohol and nightlife in Can Tho from other travelers:


  • Beer
    $3.14


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

If you're trying to decide if either of these two destinations are within your price range, also see Is Sapa Expensive? and Is Can Tho Expensive?.


Which is Bigger, Sapa or Can Tho?

Can Tho has a larger population, and is about 87% larger than the population of Sapa. When comparing the sizes of Sapa and Can Tho, keep in mind that a larger population does not always imply the destination has more attractions or better activities. So, always research the type of place that you want to visit along with the activities and attractions that interest you.