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

Should you visit Siem Reap or Ulaanbaatar?

If you're trying to decide where to visit between Siem Reap 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.

Siem Reap

Located in northern Cambodia, Siem Reap is the closest town to Cambodia's famous Angkor Wat. It is a comfortable and laid back town and most visitors use it as a base to explore the country's most visited destination. Although Siem Reap was once a quaint village, it has continued to grow and change to meet the needs of the many tourists who visit every year. Siem Reap has become a very touristy town with easy access to restaurants, hotels, and shops. It also has a large expatriate community and the western influences are unavoidable. Although prices remain quite low, they are higher than you might find elsewhere in Cambodia.

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 Siem Reap?

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

The average daily cost (per person) in Siem Reap is $64, 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 Siem Reap and Ulaanbaatar in more detail.



Accommodation

A hotel room in Siem Reap is about $82 This assumes double occupancy and modest accommodations.

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
    Siem Reap $41
    Ulaanbaatar $11
  • Accommodation Typical double-occupancy room
    Siem Reap $82
    Ulaanbaatar $22

Food

In Siem Reap travelers spend around $12 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.

In Ulaanbaatar travelers spend around $8.65 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
    Siem Reap $12
    Ulaanbaatar $8.65
Typical Food prices in Siem Reap

Below are a few samples from actual travelers for food and meal costs in Siem Reap:


  • Breakfast for Two
    $5.52

Food Tours and Cooking Classes in Siem Reap

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

  • Koulen Restaurant Apsara Cultural Show and Dinner: $12
  • Apsara Dance Show with Buffet Dinner: $12
  • Buffet Dinner with Traditional Khmer Show in Amazon Angkor Restaurant: $14
  • Apsara Dinner Show at Amazon Angkor (Free Hotel Pick Up): $14
  • Kanika Sunset or Dinner Cruise in Phnom Penh: $15
  • Khmer Gourmet Cooking Class: $19
  • Khmer Gourmet Vegetarian Cooking Class: $19
  • Paper Tiger Cooking Class in Siem Reap: $21
  • Khmer Cooking Class at a Local's Home: $21
  • Half-Day Cambodian Cooking Class from Siem Reap: $24
  • Apsara Dance Performance - Including Buffet Dinner & Hotel Pickup: $25
  • Apsara Dance Performance - Including Buffet Dinner & Hotel Pickup: $25

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

While taxis and private drivers typically cost much more than public transportation, people usually spend around $6.95 per day to get around in Siem Reap.

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.
    Siem Reap $6.95
    Ulaanbaatar $2.82
Typical Local Transportation prices in Siem Reap

Here are some examples of typical transportation prices from actual travelers in Siem Reap:


  • Tuk Tuk Ride
    $13
  • Bike Rentals
    $1.91

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Siem Reap

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Siem Reap:

  • 2 Way Siem Reap Airport Transfers: $10
  • Airport Transfer (REP airport and Siem Reap town): $5.54
  • Airport Transfer In & Out: $20
  • Arrival Airport Transfer by Tuk Tuk: $11
  • Border Transfer (Siem Reap to Laos): $113
  • Border Transfer (Siem Reap to Thailand): $60
  • Car Transfer from Siem Reap to Sihanouk Ville or Sihanouk Ville to Siem Reap: $96
  • Departure Airport Transfer by Tuk Tuk: $8.00
  • Departure transfer to Siem Reap Airport with VIP Lounge Access: $53
  • Horse Ride countryside trail rides with tuk tuk transfer: $76
  • Intercity Transfer (Siem Reap to Phnom Penh): $100
  • Intercity Transfer (Siem Reap to Sihanoukville): $225

Hired Cars and Shuttles in Ulaanbaatar

Some specific examples of transportation prices in Ulaanbaatar:

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

Is it cheaper to fly into Siem Reap or Ulaanbaatar?

Prices for flights to both Ulaanbaatar and Siem Reap 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

Activities, things to do, and other forms of entertainment usually cost around $24 per person, per day in Siem Reap. This cost includes the price of admission tickets to attractions and museums as well as daily tours.

Entertainment and activities in Ulaanbaatar typically cost an average of $4.28 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.
    Siem Reap $24
    Ulaanbaatar $4.28
Typical Entertainment prices in Siem Reap

Here are a few typical costs in Siem Reap for activities, ticket prices, and tours that come from previous visitors:


  • Angkor Tour Guide
    $8.14

Tours and Activities in Siem Reap

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

  • Phsar Leu Thom Thmey Market Tour: $3.00
  • Siem Reap Angkor Wat Private Sunrise Tour: $8.80
  • Exploring Angkor Grand Circle(Private Tours): $9.00
  • Siem Reap Night Markets Foodie Tour: $9.00
  • ArtBox Trick Art Museum Admission Ticket: $9.40
  • Classic Angkor Wat Full Day with Sunset Tour: $9.70
  • Skip the Line: World's Best 3D Trick Art Museum ARTBOX in Siem Reap Ticket: $9.90
  • Angkor Temple Complex Sunset Tour over Bakheng Hill from Siem Reap: $10
  • [Online Tour Guide] Explore Angkor Wat Tour: $10
  • Angkor Sunrise Group Tour by MiniBus: $10
  • Angkor Wat Day Tour (Small Group): $11
  • Shared Minivan Ticket Siem Reap to Phnom Penh: $11

Tours and Activities in Ulaanbaatar

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

  • Mongolian Food Experience: $20
  • Full-Day Private City Tour Ulaanbaatar by Taxi: $25
  • Full Day Tour of Ulaanbaatar With Museum, Black-market Cashmere Factory Store: $62
  • Khoomei Throat Singing Lesson including FREE Concert ticket: $62
  • Half-Day Modern Art Tour in Ulaanbaatar: $67
  • Ulaanbaatar City Tour: $70
  • Day Coach Tour of Aglag Buteel Monastery and Meditation Center Including Lunch: $72
  • Terelj National Park and Chingis Khan Statue a day tour: $75
  • Full-Day Ulaanbaatar Sightseeing and Shopping Tour: $76
  • Half Day Mongolia Nomadic Discovery Tour of Chinggis Khan Statue: $76
  • 1 Day City Sightseeing with Bogd Khan Winter Palace: $77
  • Genghis Khan Day Tour with Bonus Gorkhi-Terelj National Park One Day tour: $77

Alcohol

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Siem Reap may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $8.73 per day on alcoholic beverages.

While the amount that someone spends on alcohol while visiting Ulaanbaatar may vary from person to person, on average a person spends $3.71 per day on alcoholic beverages.


  • Alcohol Drinks for one day
    Siem Reap $8.73
    Ulaanbaatar $3.71


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

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Siem Reap vs. Ulaanbaatar Travel Comparison

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