A Travel Price Comparison for Vietnam Sapa vs. Halong Bay for Vacations, Tours, and Honeymoons

Should you visit Sapa or Halong Bay?

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 Halong Bay can help you decide which place is right for you.

Sapa

Sapa is a beautiful town in the northern mountains of Vietnam by the border with China. Many travelers pass through the area on their way from China into Hanoi. Alternatively, some travelers head north from Hanoi to spend a few days in the beautiful mountains where tribal cultures are still alive and well. There are a good number of ethnic minorities that populate the area. The eight populations in the area include H'mong, Dao, Tay, Giay, Muong, Thai, Hoa, and Xa Pho, but the vast majority in the area are H'mong. Within the town of Sapa itself, there are about 7,000 people. The rest of the population lives in the surrounding countryside and are peasant farmers.

Halong Bay

Halong Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the north of Vietnam, near the Chinese border. Known for its thousands of beautiful limestone karsts and stalactite-filled caves, it is one of the most visited destinations in Vietnam. If you appreciate natural scenery and want an adventure at sea, you'll love cruising among more than 1,900 islands in Ha Long Bay.

Which city is cheaper, Halong Bay or Sapa?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Sapa is $31, while the average daily cost in Halong Bay is $52. 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 Sapa and Halong Bay in more detail.



Accommodation

Double occupancy rooms typically run around $22 in Sapa For nicer amenities and a premiere location, you can expect to pay a bit more.

The average price for accommodation for two people in Halong Bay is $48. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sapa $11
    Halong Bay $24
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sapa $22
    Halong Bay $48

Food

The average traveler spends about $14 per day in Sapa 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.

On average, meal and food prices in Halong Bay cost around $15 per person, per day. While this price can vary widely by location, the type of restaurant, and the amount of food ordered, a typical meal often costs around $6.00.


  • Food Meals for one day
    Sapa $14
    Halong Bay $15
Typical Food prices in Sapa

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


  • Casual Dinner (for One)
    $2.96
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.40
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.61
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $8.68
  • Pho Soup
    $0.65

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Halong Bay

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

  • 1-day private Hanoi city tour with fun and night street walking food tour: $101

Local Transportation

To get around in Sapa, the average visitor spends $8.21 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 average price of local transportation around Halong Bay 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.
    Sapa $8.21
    Halong Bay $14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Sapa

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


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.31

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sapa

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

  • Authentic walking and Homestay in Sapa and transfer by Bus ( 3 days 2 nights): $135
  • Easy trek Lao Chai - Ta Van with homestay and transfer by Bus: $85
  • Limousine transfer round-trip Hanoi-Sapa: $30
  • Private Departure Transfer - Sapa to Hanoi Airport: $141
  • Sapa Private Tour With Bus Transfer ( Sleep at hotel): $217
  • Sapa Tour 2 Day / 1 Night Transfer By Luxury Limousine From Hanoi: $174
  • Visit Cat Cat village, trekking Ta Phin and transfer by Bus: $99

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Halong Bay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Halong Bay:

  • V.I.P Halong Bay Full Day With Private Boat - Max 7 Pax With Transfer From Hanoi: $485
  • 6 stars cruise 3d-2n: biking,BBQ, golf course,cave,transfer, meals,kayak,pool: $410
  • Hanoi Halong Bay One Day Private Tour With 08 Hours Cruise & Highway Transfer: $278
  • Athena Luxury Cruise: 2-Day Explore Bai Tu Long Bay With Transfer From Hanoi: $215
  • Halong Bay 2 Days 1 night with Athena Luxury Cruise ( Transfer included ): $207
  • Halong Bay Cruise 2Days,1Night with included Hanoi Transfer by Bus: $164
  • Hai Phong airport transfer to Halong Bay with private car 16 seat from Hai Phong: $133
  • Apricot Premium Cruise: 2-Day Explore Halong Bay With Transfer From Hanoi: $125
  • Hai Phong airport transfer to Halong Bay with private car 7 seat from Hai Phong: $100
  • Halong Bay transfer to Hai Phong airport with private car 7 seats from HalongBay: $100
  • Luxury Day Trip go Special Route - with Limousine Transfer Highway Roundtrip: $97
  • Halong Bay Day Trip - Sen Cruise included Limousine transfer roundtrip: $97

Is it cheaper to fly into Sapa or Halong Bay?

Prices for flights to both Halong Bay 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.





Entertainment

In Sapa, the costs for things to do, activities, admission tickets, and other sightseeing expenses are on average $5.35 per person, per day.

Halong Bay's costs for entertainment, tickets, attractions, and tours will often cost around $14 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.
    Sapa $5.35
    Halong Bay $14
Typical Entertainment prices in Sapa

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


  • CatCat Village Tax
    $1.74
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.87
  • Walking Stick
    $0.22
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.48

Tours and Activities in Sapa

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

  • Sapa Easy Trekking Tour 1 Day - Rice Paddies and Cultures: $25
  • Discover Sapa Full Day Tour: $26
  • Half-Day Sapa Trekking Tour from Hanoi: $27
  • Sapa Full-Day Tour to Local Village and High Mountain: $30
  • Most of attractive tourist sites in Cat Cat, Y linh Ho, Lao Chai, Ta Van: $30
  • Sapa tour with local tour guid: $33
  • Tour to the North : 1 Day Group Tour to Ta Phin Village: $35
  • Super Limousine Sapa Ha Noi with experienced driver and luxury car from Ha Noi: $40
  • From Waterfalls, Trekking and Tribal Villages Tour: $45
  • Full-Day Private Muong Hoa Valley Tour: $45
  • The Two waterfall and Heaven Gate - Half day tour: $47
  • Cat Cat Village Private Tour Full Day: $47

Tours and Activities in Halong Bay

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

  • (Official): Ha Long Amazing sail orient luxury one day tour: $123
  • 1-Day Explore Halong Bay With Cave, Kayaking and Swimming - Alova Premium Cruise: $62
  • 2 Days Halong Bay 3* Cruise Including Transportation from Hanoi: $127
  • 2 days - 1 night Halong Bay on a budget cruise from Hanoi: $128
  • 2 days - 1 night in Bai Tu Long Bay at 5 stars cruise - private balcony cabins: $196
  • 2 days - 1 night with V'Spirit Cruise: Hiking titop island,visit Sung Sot cave, Drum cave: $146
  • 2-Day Cat Ba Island - Multi-Adventures from Ha Long: $380
  • 2-Day Explore Bai Tu Long Bay On Cruise - Midrange Cruise: $140
  • 2-Day Explore Halong Bay On Cruise - Budget Cruise: $112
  • 2-Day Ha Long - Farming Experience with homestay: $239
  • 2-Day Ha Long Bay On Cruise - Deluxe Junk: $190
  • 2-Day Ha Long Bay On Cruise - Luxury Junk: $275

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 Sapa, the average amount that a visitor spends on alcoholic beverages per day is $7.14.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Halong Bay may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $11 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Sapa $7.14
    Halong Bay $11
Typical Alcohol prices in Sapa

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


  • Two Beers
    $1.09


When we compare the travel costs of actual travelers between Sapa and Halong Bay, we can see that Halong Bay 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 Halong Bay would naturally cost you much more money, so you would probably want to keep your budget a little tighter in Halong Bay than you might in Sapa.

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Sapa vs. Halong Bay Travel Comparison

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