Asia Budget And Cost Of Travel Laos

How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Laos?

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How Expensive Is Laos and How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Laos?

Travelling can be expensive, so its good to keep track of costs and make a budget. I tracked my spending so I can share with you how much it can cost to travel in Laos.

When I was researching online, Laos was in the middle expense wise when compared to other South East Asian countries. Most websites seemed to recommend between $30-$50 per person per day. Though, sometimes this number was quite different with some people recommending twice the amount as others!

I actually ended up spending more than I had originally planed. The UNESCO world heritage city of Luang Prabang was definitely the thing which put me over budget. Though, if I were to stay longer in Laos and perhaps traveled more south to Pakse and Don Det this amount likely would have balanced out.


How I Book Cheap Transport In Laos: 12.Go Asia


I am traveling in Vietnam with my partner, James. This allows us to split certain costs such as private rooms, taxis, hiring a motorbike etc. Where this is true I will state that the cost is ‘shared’ or ‘split’. 

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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Laos?

Day One – Chiang Khong, Thailand to Pakbeng, Laos

Crossing the border from Chiang Khong to Huay Xi between Thailand and Laos my visa cost $30.00 / ₭246000.

As we were early to the border we hired a private tuk tuk to take us to the slow boat port in Huay Xi, knowing it would take a while to gather people to split the cost $5.60 / ₭46250.

At the pier we purchased a ticket each for the two day slow boat journey which cost $25.20 / ₭210000.

Before departing on the slow boat I grabbed a peanut butter baguette, a bag of chips and some water which cost $3.00 / ₭25000.

On the slow boat, once boredom kicked in, I purchased an overpriced cup of noodles for $1.20 / ₭10000.

We book in at  Phomephithak Guesthouse for the one night we were staying in Pakbeng. We share a double room which costs us $6.90 / ₭57500 each. It has a private bathroom and aircon. Though, it is certainly possible to find cheaper places to stay there.

For dinner we head to one of the restaurants which has an awesome view over the Mekong River. I have an egg baguette and a beer for dinner which costs me $3.80 / ₭32000.

Daily Cost In Laos: $75.70 / ₭626750

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Day Two- Pakbeng to Luang Prabang, Laos

We get up and grab breakfast and a packed lunch from the same restaurant as the previous night. For breakfast and lunch I get three baguettes and a water to keep me going on the boat costing $5.40 / ₭45000.

On the slow boat to Luang Prabang I also get another overpriced cup of noodles costing $1.20 / ₭10000.

Since the slow boat arrives on the outskirts of Luang Prabang we share a tuk tuk to take us to the centre which costs me $2.40 / ₭20000.

In Luang Prabang we stay at Phanhthasone Guesthouse in a twin room with a private bathroom and aircon. It is a bit more expensive, but the split cost per night is $9 / ₭75000 per night each.

For dinner we hit up the nightly market in the middle of town. We go a bit food crazy buying little coconut pancakes, a banana and peanut butter crepe, smoothie and a slice of lemon cake for a total of $5.60 / ₭47000.

I also buy James a bracelet for $3.00 / ₭25000.

Daily Cost In Laos: $26.60 / ₭222000

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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Luang Prabang, Laos?

Day Three- Luang Prabang

I have breakfast at one of the many baguette stands in the main street. For $3.60 / ₭30000 I purchased a lemonade and a tofu, avocado and cheese baguette.

We decided to go to Kuang Si Falls and after negotiating with a tuk tuk driver I share a ride with a bunch of other backpackers to the start. It costs $6.00 / ₭50000 for the return trip and three hours exploring Kuang Si Falls.

Back in the town center of Luang Prabang I grab a water and another tofu,` cheese and avocado baguette costing $3.00 / ₭25000.

Dinner is again at the night market where I purchased a massive container of noodles, a danish and a not so nice donut for $4.20 / ₭35000.

We share a twin room at Phanhthasone Guesthouse with a private bathroom and aircon at $9 / ₭75000 per night each. It also has free drinking water.

Daily Cost In Laos: $25.80 / ₭215000

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Day Four- Luang Prabang

I have breakfast at one of the baguette stands in the city center. This time I get a tofu, egg, cheese and avocado baguette and a water for $4.20 / ₭35000.

We visit Wat Xiengthong which has a $2.40 / ₭20000 entry fee.

For lunch we splurge a little and visit Chennai Restaurant which is an Indian restaurant set up on the banks of the Mekong River. A curry, rice, naan bread, lassi and samosa costs $6.00 / ₭50000.

Purchase minivan tickets to Vang Vieng for the next day $12.60 / ₭105000.

For dinner we head back to the night market and purchase another baguette as well as splitting a danish costing me $3.60 / ₭30000.

We share a twin room at Phanhthasone Guesthouse with a private bathroom and aircon at $9 / ₭75000 per night each. It also has free drinking water.

Daily Cost In Laos: $37.80 / ₭315000.

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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Vang Vieng, Laos?

Day Five- Vang Vieng

Breakfast of tofu, egg, chesse and avocado baguette $3.00 / ₭25000

On the minivan we stop for lunch and I purchase a cup of noodles $1.00 / ₭8000

In Vang Vieng we grab some much needed pub grub at Gary’s Irish Bar. I get a chip butty and a lemon juice for $4.50 / ₭38000.

While in Vang Vieng we stay at Pan’s Place in a private bungalow with a fan and shared bathroom. We split the cost which comes to $3.85 / ₭32000 each per night.

Daily Cost In Laos: $12.35 / ₭103000

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Day Six- Vang Vieng

We have breakfast at one of the many restaurants which line the main road in Vang Vieng and that constantly play the friends TV show all day. I order a lemon juice, scrambled eggs and a baguette which costs $2.40 / ₭20000

At the tub center we hire tubs each which cost to go tubing along the Nam Song River $6.60 / ₭55000.

As we arrived early at the tubing center, instead of waiting and sharing a tuk tuk with others James and I split the full tuk tuk fare and pay $1.20 / ₭10000 each.

For lunch we head back to Gary’s Irish Bar for a lemon juice and cheese toastie which costs $3.60 / ₭30000.

Making the most of our last and only full day in Vang Vieng we hired a tuk tuk to take us to Blue Lagoon Three which costs $7.20 / ₭60000 each.

Just outside of Vang Vieng town is a toll bridge which we split at $0.90 / ₭7500 each.

Entry into Blue Lagoon Three is $1.20 / ₭10000.

We head back to one of the restaurants on the main street and share sweet and sour tofu and a plate of pasta between us as well as a drink. This costs us $4.80 / ₭40000 each.

While in Vang Vieng we stay at Pan’s Place in a private bungalow with a fan and shared bathroom. We split the cost which comes to $3.85 / ₭32000 each per night.

Daily Cost In Laos: $31.75 / ₭264500

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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Vientiane, Laos?

Day Seven- Vientiane

For breakfast I have a scrambled egg sandwich which a lemon juice at one of the restaurants along the main street for $3.00 / ₭25000.

We catch a minivan to Vietanne which was booked through our hostel costing$4.80 / ₭40000.

For lunch the minivan stops at a roadside restaurant  where I get a cheese sandwich for $1.20 / ₭10000.

Dinner is at Nazim Restaurant which specializes in Indian cuisine. I grab a curry, rice, naan and drink for $6.00 / ₭50000.

In Vientiane I stay in a dorm room with a shared bathroom at Dream Home Hostel One which costs $4.80 / ₭40000. Breakfast is also included in this rate.

Daily Cost In Laos: $20.90 / ₭165000

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Day Eight- Vientiane

We grab breakfast at the hostel as it is included in the nightly rate

With an early morning flight a tuk tuk to the airport costs us $2.40 / ₭20000 which is shared between three people.

Daily Cost In Laos: $2.40 / ₭20000

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How Much Does It Cost To Travel In Laos?

Cost To Travel In Laos Lation Kip US Dollars
Visa246000 $30.00
Tuk tuk border to pier46250 $5.60
Slow boat210000 $25.20
Tuk tuk pier to Laung Prabang20000 $2.40
Bracelet25000 $3.00
Tuk tuk & entry Kuang Si50000 $6.00
Minivan Laung Prabang to Vang Vieng105000 $12.60
Temple entry20000 $2.40
Tube hire55000 $6.60
Tuk tuk leave for tubing10000 $1.20
Blue Lagoon 3 tuk tuk60000 $7.20
Blue Lagoon 3 entry10000 $1.20
Toll bridge7500 $0.90
Mini bus to Vientiane40000 $4.80
Tuk tuk to airport (shared)20000 $2.40
Accommodation386500 $46.40
Food641500 $77.00
Total Costs1952750 $234.9
Costs per day244090 $29.36

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How Much To Budget For Laos VS How Much I Spent In Laos

BudgetedActualDifference
Total Spend$208.00$234.90-$26.90
Cost per day$26.00$29.36-$3.36

The main cost which put me over budget was the accommodation in Luang Prabang. We didn’t realize how expensive getting a private room would be and we only booked a couple days out when there weren’t many options available. Usually, we would be able to find a place for half this price, though Luang Prabang is quite a beautiful and touristy town which pushes up prices.


How I Book Cheap Transport In Laos: 12.Go Asia


Tips for saving money in Laos

  • Book hostels with free breakfast.
  • Check out whether your accommodation also include free water.
  • Share transport with other people, waiting ten minutes to see if anyone else is going to the airport/bus station could save you money.
  • Take public buses, though think about the whether the couple dollars saved is worth your comfort and time. I will always prefer minivans.
  • Negotiate with tuk tuk drivers and street vendors, especially in the market places.

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30 Comments

  • Reply
    The Common Wanderer
    November 26, 2017 at 3:27 am

    We had exactly the same experience in Laos! Absolutely loved our month there, but it totally blew our budget. Lovely photos!

  • Reply
    Travellinn
    November 2, 2017 at 11:23 am

    Hoping to get to Laos soon, and it is always helpful to know what to expect. Great with the detailed summary at the end. The places look beautiful, and the bbq at the market looks tasty!

  • Reply
    Ashfina Charania
    November 1, 2017 at 8:04 pm

    Love how its described in detail. Very informagtive thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Emily Kammerlohr
    November 1, 2017 at 10:13 am

    Wow! It’s so cheap there. I can’t wait to make it to Laos. Pinning this so I know how to budget when the time comes 🙂

  • Reply
    Brittany Quaglieri
    November 1, 2017 at 6:26 am

    This is a very helpful post! Thanks for tracking your spending and putting it all together.

  • Reply
    Kate
    October 31, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Laos looks beautiful! And it’s good to see the daily expenses written here. It’s a good guide that makes it easy for travelers to have realistic expectations on the travel expenses in country.

  • Reply
    Erika
    October 31, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    I don’t read a lot of posts that break down travel costs so I found it fascinating! I have’t traveled internationally in a minute and you forget how much you spend taking five different forms of transportation everywhere. But also, whoa bread! My arthritic fingers are swelling just thinking about a carb-heavy diet but what are you supposed to do? Not eat? Also, your photographs are stunning! Great post.

  • Reply
    Jewels
    October 30, 2017 at 11:18 am

    This is such a useful post. I really appreciate the detailed budget, it makes planning a trip much easier!

  • Reply
    Susan
    October 30, 2017 at 11:04 am

    Great post! I really appreciate the detailed budget info. I spent 3 days in Luang Prabang and really enjoyed it. The night market and the food stands near the square (baguettes and smoothies) were such great low-cost options for food (and beer)!

  • Reply
    Annette Richmond
    October 30, 2017 at 8:42 am

    Thanks for sharing! I’m currently traveling through SEA and am considering visiting Lao. I especially want to go tubing. It’s one of my favorite things and it looks gorgeous! This post may have just sealed the deal! LOL.

  • Reply
    Hannah Stein
    October 30, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Laos looks GORGEOUS! I love how you included that price breakdown at the end. It’s really helpful to know how much you can expect to pay for stuff and also how much you should be paying for stuff.

  • Reply
    Christina S
    October 30, 2017 at 6:45 am

    Laos is gorgeous! Thanks for the great detailed itinerary – it has been bookmarked!

  • Reply
    Annemarie
    October 30, 2017 at 5:13 am

    What is a peanut butter baguette? Is it just peanut butter spread or baked into the baguette? Thanks for this detailed itinerary and eating suggestions.

  • Reply
    Happily Tanned
    October 30, 2017 at 4:27 am

    Wow…..Such a detailed itinerary and cost breakup…I am saving this post for my Laos trip

  • Reply
    Biang Bustos-Velazquez
    October 30, 2017 at 4:27 am

    I love how you broke everything down like this! Thank you!

  • Reply
    Adri en Route
    October 30, 2017 at 1:49 am

    I’m putting Laos on my list of places to visit after reading your post! I had no idea it was so affordable, especially accommodation! And the food at the night markets sounds amazing! Thanks for including such detailed information about your expenses, so helpful!

  • Reply
    Anna (WouldBeTraveller)
    October 29, 2017 at 11:47 pm

    Your photos are always so beautiful! Laos looks like just the most wonderful country. I’d love to go one day, and it’s great to know you can do it for such little money! Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

  • Reply
    Elaine J Masters
    October 29, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I had no idea how affordable traveling in Laos can be. Thanks for all the details. I hope they welcome Boomers too!

  • Reply
    Raksha Rao
    October 29, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I want to plan a trip to Laos. This is so detailed and helpful. Thanks 🙂

  • Reply
    miieloise
    October 29, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    One of our friends did a trip around SE Asia earlier this year and said Laos was their favourite country. I’ve badly wanted to visit it since. Your photos are so dreamy. It looks like an amazing trip. I can’t believe you did all this for $30 per day, including food and accommodation! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Sarah Sees The World
    October 29, 2017 at 1:08 pm

    I’m currently thinking about Laos as part of my next overseas adventure so I just geeked out on your cost breakdowns! I always get too distracted by eating/ drinking/ doing the things to note down what they cost or where my travel budget is at. Waiting to see whether others are going to the airport is such a great tip as well.

  • Reply
    maninder k
    October 29, 2017 at 9:01 am

    Loved the falls at Luang Prabang!

  • Reply
    Amber Alexander
    October 29, 2017 at 4:58 am

    This is really useful, thank you! I’m hoping to take a backpack trip through Southeast Asia within a year or two and this will come in handy.

  • Reply
    Rambles and Runaways
    October 29, 2017 at 4:12 am

    Love your layout and beautiful pictures! Pinned!

  • Reply
    thecurioussparrow
    October 29, 2017 at 1:35 am

    It sounds like such an interesting trip, and thanks for the detailed breakdown of costs 🙂

  • Reply
    Kristen Tcherneshoff
    October 28, 2017 at 11:58 pm

    You always post gorgeous photos!

    I think overall you guys did a fairly good job with the budget — especially since some of your meals sound awesome and you snagged them for quite cheap 😀 I’m always far too embarrassed to post my trip costs; I’m a total glutton!

  • Reply
    mysimplesojourn
    October 28, 2017 at 11:46 pm

    Super useful post.

    Sometimes we miss out some out certain expenses but by end of trip those add lot i to overall expenses. I am saving it for future reference.

  • Reply
    Sheree Strange
    October 28, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Stunning photos as always, Tasha 🙂 It’s amazing the insight you can gain into a country and travelling when you start looking at these kinds of day-to-day expense breakdowns. I’m seriously considering a longer-term trip somewhere in SEA at the moment, so this is really helpful 🙂 I’m wondering how I’d get on food-wise, though – I’m celiac, so the baguettes would be a no-no… I’m guessing that will either drive up the food costs, or I’ll get alarmingly skinny skipping meals?? 🙂 Thank you for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Kristin Kohler
    October 28, 2017 at 8:46 pm

    I find posts like this so helpful! I think automatically people just assume countries in Southeast Asia are inexpensive, but they don’t actually do the math. When we visited Cambodia and went to the Angkor temples, the cost was practically triple for foreigners as compared to locals! Things like that put a serious dent in the budget.

  • Reply
    Rowena Li
    October 28, 2017 at 7:55 pm

    Considering going around Christmas and New Year’s! I know you were traveling with a partner, but did you see many solo female travelers? I’m not as worried, trying to get my parents to not freak out!

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