One Week In Laos Budget and Costs
Travelling can be expensive so its good to keep track of expenses and make a budget. I made a Laos budget and cost breakdown which I am now sharing with you.
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 spend longer in Laos and perhaps traveled more south to Pakse and Don Det this amount likely would have balanced out.
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. It costs us $6.90 / ₭57500 each for a double rooms with 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 expenditure: $75.70 / ₭626750
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 at $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 expenditure: $26.60 / ₭222000
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.
I stayed at Phanhthasone Guesthouse in a twin room with a private bathroom and aircon at $9 / ₭75000 per night each.
Daily expenditure: $25.80 / ₭215000
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 stay at Phanhthasone Guesthouse in a twin room with a private bathroom and aircon at $9 / ₭75000 per night each. It also has free drinking water.
Daily expenditure: $37.80 / ₭315000.
Luang Prabang to Vang Vieng, Laos
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. It costs us $3.85 / ₭32000 each per night.
Daily expenditure: $12.35 / ₭103000
Vang Vieng, Laos
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.
In Vang Vieng we stay at Pan’s Place in a private bungalow with a fan and shared bathroom. It costs $3.85 / ₭32000 each per night.
Daily expenditure: $31.75 / ₭264500
Vang Vieng to Vientiane, Laos
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 we 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 expenditure: $20.90
Leave Vientiane, Laos
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.
Break Down of Laos Costs
|Laos Costs||Lation Kip||US Dollars|
|Tuk tuk border to pier||46250||$5.60|
|Tuk tuk pier to Laung Prabang||20000||$2.40|
|Tuk tuk & entry Kuang Si||50000||$6.00|
|Minivan Laung Prabang to Vang Vieng||105000||$12.60|
|Tuk tuk leave for tubing||10000||$1.20|
|Blue Lagoon 3 tuk tuk||60000||$7.20|
|Blue Lagoon 3 entry||10000||$1.20|
|Mini bus to Vientiane||40000||$4.80|
|Tuk tuk to airport (shared)||20000||$2.40|
|Costs per day||244090||$29.36|
Laos Budget vs Actual Costs
|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.
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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