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 $53. 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 $50. This is for two people sharing a typical double occupancy hotel room.


  • Accommodation Hotel or hostel for one person
    Sapa $11
    Halong Bay $25
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Sapa $22
    Halong Bay $50

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)
    $2.99
  • Quick Breakfast (for Two)
    $2.42
  • Coffee (for Two)
    $2.64
  • Western Dinner (for Two)
    $8.76
  • Pho Soup
    $0.66

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Sapa

For Sapa, 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
  • The Home Pizza Phu Quoc Cash Voucher 500.000VND : $19
  • 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
  • Hoi An City and Food Tour with Foot Massage: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hanoi: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hoi An: $29
  • Eco Cooking and Basket Boat Tour: $29
  • M.O.M Cooking Class in Saigon: $30
  • Jolie Da Nang Cooking Class: $30
  • Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc: $31

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Halong Bay

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

  • Seafood Dinner in Altitude Rooftop Bar at Sheraton Nha Trang : $15
  • The Home Pizza Phu Quoc Cash Voucher 500.000VND : $19
  • 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
  • Hoi An City and Food Tour with Foot Massage: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hanoi: $28
  • Vegetarian Cooking Class in Hoi An: $29
  • Eco Cooking and Basket Boat Tour: $29
  • Jolie Da Nang Cooking Class: $30
  • M.O.M Cooking Class in Saigon: $30
  • Saigon Cooking Class by Hoa Tuc: $31

Local Transportation

To get around in Sapa, the average visitor spends $8.29 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 $8.29
    Halong Bay $14
Typical Local Transportation prices in Sapa

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


  • Short Motorbike Ride
    $1.32

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Sapa

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

  • 3D2N Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc with Free Airport Transfer, Optional F&B Credit or Vinwonders + Vinpearl Safari Ticket : $154
  • Private Round Trip Transfers Between Da Nang City and Coconut Forest: $21
  • Private Round Trip Transfers between Hoi An and My Son Sanctuary: $30
  • The Shells Resort and Spa Phu Quoc with Breakfast and Roundtrip Airport Transfer: $70
  • 2D1N Sapa Tour from Hanoi with Dcar Bus Transfers: $71
  • 3D2N Sapa Tour from Hanoi with Dcar Bus Transfers: $102
  • An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay, Free Roundtrip Airport & Speedboat Transfer: $303
  • Authentic walking and Homestay in Sapa and transfer by Bus ( 3 days 2 nights): $135
  • Best Western Premier Sonasea Phu Quoc, with Roundtrip Airport Transfer: $66
  • Dusit Princess Moonrise Phu Quoc Hotel & Free round trip airport transfer : $66
  • Easy trek Lao Chai - Ta Van with homestay and transfer by Bus: $85
  • Evason Ana Mandara Nha Trang with Breakfast, Optional Roundtrip Airport Transfer: $90

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Halong Bay

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Halong Bay:

  • [Flash Sale] Six Senses Con Dao with Breakfast and Transfer: $528
  • 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
  • An Lam Retreats Ninh Van Bay, Free Roundtrip Airport & Speedboat Transfer: $303
  • 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
  • Family Combo Vinpearl Discovery Wonderworld Phu Quoc with Breakfast, Optional Roundtrip Airport Transfer and Vinwonder + Vinpearl Safari: $174
  • Halong Bay Cruise 2Days,1Night with included Hanoi Transfer by Bus: $164
  • 3D2N Radisson Blu Resort Phu Quoc with Free Airport Transfer, Optional F&B Credit or Vinwonders + Vinpearl Safari Ticket : $154
  • InterContinental Phu Quoc Long Beach Resort, with Roundtrip Airport Transfer and Optional Flights : $134
  • Hai Phong airport transfer to Halong Bay with private car 16 seat from Hai Phong: $133

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 $5.40 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 $5.40
    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
    $1.76
  • Ta Phin Village Tax
    $0.88
  • Walking Stick
    $0.22
  • Paddle Boat Rental on Sapa Lake (1 Hr)
    $3.52

Tours and Activities in Sapa

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

  • 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
  • LVES Spa in Saigon - VND88.000 for 60-minute Experience: $3.89
  • Upside Down World Ticket in Da Nang: $4.05
  • Alba Thanh Tan Hot Springs Ticket in Hue City: $4.19
  • Traditional Singing Performance on Huong River Ticket in Hue: $4.19
  • Ngo Spa & Massage Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $4.39
  • SUP Experience in Perfume River (Huong River - Hue): $4.39

Tours and Activities in Halong Bay

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

  • An Spa Experience in Da Nang: $13
  • Aroma Spa Foot & Body Massage Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $9.79
  • Belle Maison Parosand Spa Experience in Da Nang: $5.75
  • Coconut Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $5.05
  • Datanla New Alpine Coaster Experience in Da Lat: $6.95
  • Hai Van Pass and Lang Co Beach Private Sidecar Tour from Hoi An: $163
  • Hoi An Countryside Private Sidecar Tour (1 or 2 Hours): $50
  • Hue City Tour from Da Nang: $35
  • Laguna Luxury Private Sidecar Tour from Hoi An: $185
  • Lasenta Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh City: $2.39
  • Linda Spa Experience in Da Nang: $5.49
  • Mam Gao Spa Experience in Ho Chi Minh: $15

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 $7.21.

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 $7.21
    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
    $1.10


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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