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Cambodia vs Vietnam: Which One Is Cheaper to Visit?

Cambodia and Vietnam are among the leading tourist destinations in Southeast Asia. Attractions of both countries are popular among travelers throughout the world. And what is nothing less important, it would surprise you how affordable they are. Regardless of how true this statement is; the definition of affordability differs from one traveler to another.

In light of this fact, we have gathered and compared some general costs in both countries. This article allows you to estimate which destination, Cambodia or Vietnam, will cost you less for a trip.

Is It Cambodia or Vietnam with Lower Travel Costs in Transportation?

Transportation cost is a necessary expense when traveling. There are slightly different aspects in the types of transportation between Cambodia and Vietnam. They both have city buses, motorcycles, taxis, and airplanes.

However, they also have unique modes of transportation like tricycle taxis in Vietnam and tuk-tuks in Cambodia. Check out the similarities and differences below.

Domestic travel
- Vietnam
City bus: Prices will vary based on distance, ranging from $0.21 to $0.39
Private car rental: $39- $79 per day
Motorcycle: Tourists in Vietnam usually rent a motorcycle for $4-8 per day
Tricycle taxi: approximately $6
Domestic flight: $35-80
- Cambodia
City bus: Regardless of distance, the fare for each ride is $0.37
Private car rental: $25-35 per day
Motorcycle: In the capital city of Phnom Penh, it costs $4-6 per day
Tuk-tuk: Traveling in the center of Siem Reap will cost $1-2
Domestic flight: For example, the lowest price from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh or to Sihanouk is $28

International travel
If we talk about traveling from European and American countries to Vietnam or Cambodia, based on the differences in distance and transit stations, overall, the cost of arriving in Vietnam is slightly lower than that of arriving in Cambodia.

For example, the cheapest airfare from San Francisco to Hanoi, Vietnam is around $500, which takes at least 19 hours. The cheapest airfare from San Francisco to Siem Reap or Phnom Penh, Cambodia is around $600, which takes around 30 hours.

If you depart from Southeast Asian countries such as Bangkok in Thailand, the minimum cost to reach Siem Reap is $50, with a duration of 50 minutes, while the cost to reach Hanoi is generally around $100, with a duration of approximately 2 hours.

In short, Vietnam's transportation facilities are much more developed than Cambodia's. From the perspective of domestic transportation, the cost in Vietnam will be higher than in Cambodia. From an international travel perspective, the cost of arriving in Cambodia is much higher than that of arriving in Vietnam. So let's draw for now. 

Is It Cambodia or Vietnam with Lower Costs of Visiting Top Tourist Attractions?

Cambodia vs Vietnam: 1-0

Both countries have many outstanding tourist attractions. Visiting those is another important thing to consider while planning the budget.

The Angkor Archaeological Park and the Royal Palace are some key attractions in Cambodia. Among attractions in Vietnam, the Halong Bay and the Mekong Delta are among the top tourist hotspots. So, what are the standings of this Cambodia vs Vietnam contest?

The Angkor Pass entitles you to visit the temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park. There are three passes available, with a validity period of 1, 3, and 7 days. The 1-day pass, which is the most affordable, costs $37. The price of the 3-day pass is $62, while the 7-day Angkor Pass will set you back $72.

For a meaningful visit to the Royal Palace and the adjacent Silver Pagoda in Phnom Penh, you should hire a guide. Both the entry and the guide should cost around $15 or $20, depending on whether you intend to use the camera. So, let's say that you need to plan between $50 and $60 at least for the essential sightseeing in Cambodia.

Cambodia Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat

The Halong Bay is a natural marvel you should visit while you are in Hanoi, Vietnam. To that end, organizing an individual trip or joining a guided tour are both possible. Either way, the price of this excursion shouldn't cost you less than $100, if that, if it's a proper one.

Cruising along the Mekong Delta near Ho Chi Minh City is among the top destinations in Vietnam. And the prices of these activities vary to a large extent. Among other variables, it depends on whether you choose cheaper boats or board sightseeing ships. And the related expenses could range anywhere from a few dozen $ to a few hundred $. Hence, touring top tourist attractions in Vietnam should cost you at least $150 one way or another.

Vietnam Halong Bay
Halong Bay

Is Accommodation Cheaper in Cambodia or Vietnam?

Cambodia vs Vietnam: 2-0

Lodging costs are usually among the highest expenses in the traveler’s budget. Fortunately, this may not be entirely true for destinations such as Cambodia and Vietnam.

If you travel on a budget, finding accommodation that wouldn't cost you over $5 per night is possible in Cambodia. If visiting neighboring Vietnam is on your priority list, prepare up to $10 per night for budget lodging.

Mid-range travelers pay around $10 per night for a bed in Cambodia. In general, mid-range accommodation in Vietnam costs approx. $20 per night.

Finally, tourists preferring luxury could count on lodging expenses starting from $30 in Cambodia. As for Vietnam, you should prepare to spend around $60 for upscale accommodation, in general.

cheap-hotel-facilities-in-phnom-penh-cambodia
Cheap hotel facilities in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Is Food Cheaper in Cambodia or Vietnam?

Vietnam against Cambodia: 1-2

At last, some good news for fans of Vietnam.

According to certain statistics, budget travelers spend less on Vietnamese food than Cambodian food. The cost of dining in Cambodia is around $5 per day. In Vietnam, however, it is possible to keep these expenses under $4.

The situation is similar with the travelers spending more on food. If you happen to be a mid-range tourist, you could do with the $11 budget for food per day in Cambodia. In Vietnam, spending $10 per day on food is commonplace.

Even if you don't mind spending a lot for a meal, $20 or $30 per day should be sufficient for Cambodia. You can say pretty much for Vietnam, as well. 

eating-vietnamese-food-by-the-side-of-the-street
Eating Vietnamese food by the side of the street

How Much Unplanned Expenses Cost Tourists in Cambodia and Vietnam?

Cambodia vs Vietnam: 3-1

We can say that both countries are very safe for tourists. Even the fact that many residents of Cambodia live in poverty doesn’t change that. You can travel far and wide accompanied by the locals without having the slightest discomfort. So, if you practice basic safety measures, inconveniences should escape you.

Yet, wherever tourists appear, scammers show themselves, too. Scams are the most frequent type of crime that travelers face in Vietnam and Cambodia.

Fortunately, the chances of a significant loss on your part are extremely low, even if you become a victim of a cheater. In Cambodia, such "costs" aren't likely to exceed $2 or $3. In Vietnam, unplanned expenses imposed by scammers typically range up to $5.

Regarding fines, in Cambodia, if you ride a motorcycle without a helmet or even in the opposite direction, you will be fined between $10 and $25! In Vietnam, you may face a fine of up to $80 under this situation.

By the way, be prepared to give appropriate tips in two countries. The amount you tip will depend on where you are and what types of services you’re buying. In general, both in Vietnam and Cambodia, if you eat in a restaurant, tip around 10% of the bill. If you get good service, you can tip higher up to 15-20%.

Travel both to Cambodia and Vietnam

You’re recommended to pay a visit to both countries in a cost-effective itinerary. This 14-day best of Vietnam Cambodia tour will lead you to a fulfilled discovery about their history and culture.

With the budget-conscious approach, keeping daily expenses under $30 in Cambodia shouldn't be a challenge here. For traveling to Vietnam, plan a somewhat higher daily budget - up to $40.

You’ll spend 9 days in Vietnam and 5 days in Cambodia. In Vietnam, you can expect to hang around the capital city of Hanoi, Hoi An ancient town, and Hue capital citadel. Except for that, Halong Bay Cruise and Saigon Cu Chi Tunnels are some of the most adventurous tours in Vietnam.

Then head to the mysterious country of Cambodia. You’ll visit the UNESCO heritage site of Angkor Wat in Siem Reap and the bustling capital city of Phnom Penh. Lingering through the streets in this country, experience the authentic charms of Cambodian people.

Conclusion

With everything elaborated so far, we can conclude the following: Cambodia is a significantly cheaper destination than Vietnam. And you’re suggested to take a trip to both countries in a time for an efficient travel in Southeast Asia, which will not cost you much. Never too late to contact us for more advice about your future trip!

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