The cost of 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City can be difficult to predict – how much do you plan on eating, drinking, doing, seeing?
Ho Chi Minh City can be super cheap, dirt cheap, and you’ll still have a good time – that’s why backpackers love it so much here. Or, you can add a few more Vietnamese Dong to your funds and all of a sudden you’ve got some of the most affordable luxury you’ll find in the world.
Here’s what I spent in 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City when I went in February 2017. You can pick and choose what you’d spend your money on. I can only tell you from experience.
Cost of 3 days in Ho Chi Minh City
I’ve highlighted the currency I actually paid in.
Accommodation $13 per night at Mai Vy Hotel x 3 = 886,363.636 VND | £31.22 | $39
(Double room, great location, spacious, lovely owners, net curtain on the window, dodgy Wi-Fi, shower was rubbish)
Or, stay at Blue River Hotel, which I did when I went back a week later $25 per night
(Double room, great location, spacious, staff spoke excellent English, great Wi-Fi, great shower, and breakfast)
There are hostels for around $5 per night on Pham Ngao Lao road, the main backpacker area.
Accommodation total = £31.22
Cost of Ho Chi Minh City activities
– Prices in Vietnamese Dong, February 2017
Independence Palace = 40,000 VND | £1.41 | $1.76
Cu Chi tunnels trip = 550,000 VND (you can get this WAY cheaper, went in a luxury bus because friends had already booked it) | £19.37 | $24.20
Entry to New World Saturday pool party = 150,000 VND | £5.28 | $6.60
Notre Dame Cathedral = free
Saigon Post Office = free
Temples = free
Bitexo Financial Skydeck = 200,000 VND | £7.04 | $8.80
Photography tour = 1.568,181 VND | £55.24 | $69
7kg laundry = 60,000 VND | £2.11 | $2.64
Activities total = £90.45
Food and drink
Street food 5 chicken kebab skewers = 50,000 VND | £1.76 | $2.20
Delicious Ban Xeo (shrimp pancake) and soda water from ‘Delicious Homemade Food’ on Pham Ngao Lao = 95,000 VND | £3.35 | $4.18
Delicious bahn mi street food = 15,000 VND | £0.53 | $0.66
Papaya salad and soda water from Viet Cuisine = 100,000 VND | £3.52 | $4.40
Pho at Ben Thanh Market = 60,000 VND | £2.11 | $2.64
2 ciders at New World Saturday pool party = 100,000 VND | £3.52 | $4.40
Fruit plate street food = 25,000 VND | £0.88 | $1.1
Street food coffee = 15,000 VND | £0.53 | $0.66
Minty bubble tea at Satra Bakery and Cafe = 40,000 VND | £1.41 | $1.76
2 x 333 beers from mini bar = 15,000 x 2 = 30,000 VND | £1.06 | $1.32
Papaya salad and soda water from restaurant = 100,000 VND | £3.52 | $4.40
Food and drink total = £22.19
Saigon vs Ho Chi Minh City
– Prices in USD, February 2017
You know Saigon and Ho Chi Minh City are the same place right? Saigon is the old name for the city but since President Ho Chi Minh died, it’s now called that. You’ll hear the two names interchangeably. Although, most people who live there or are from there call it Saigon – it’s the Northerners who’ll refer to it as Ho Chi Minh City.
Glad we got that out the way.
Money saving tips for Saigon
– 15,000 Dong is 53p and that was the best Bahn Mi I had
– Don’t book trips before you go – when you get there head into one of the tourist information places and book your trips from there. So much cheaper.
– Just jump in a Mai Linh or Vinasun taxi at the airport to get to the city. The price will be on the meter – usually about 140,000 to District 1 depending whereabouts you are.
– Keep smaller denomination notes on you so when you’ve bargained the stall holders down at Ben Thanh Market you can give the right change.
– Choose street food for at least a few meals. Most places are 30,000 a dish. So cheap even if you don’t like it you won’t cry about it, and, as in my experience, you’ll probably love it!
– Walk, not really any reason to get any kind of transport if you’re sticking to the main tourist spots. Take a walk, get lost and see what you find.
– Eat and sleep local. The more Western a place looks or feels, the more expensive it will be. Fact.
3 DAYS IN HO CHI MINH CITY TOTAL SPEND = £143.86
And most of that was the photo tour, which ended up being private, 5 hours, and well worth it.