Escorted Vietnam Cambodia Tours

How to Plan Traveling on a Budget in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia?

Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia are three of eleven countries in Southeast Asia. And like most of them, they are outstandingly diverse. All three countries have rich history, varied culture, gorgeous nature and interesting heritage. Multi-ethnicity is another major characteristic Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam share. Each nation has something that defines it throughout the world. Cambodia has Angkor Wat, Vietnam boasts Halong Bay, while Laos features vast forests and mountains.

These nations also share mutual borders. Furthermore, affordable traveling is tied to each one of them. Of course, you could spend a fortune during a trip if you like. But the region of Southeast Asia is among a few in the world easily traveled on a budget. And the three nations are in the lead in this regard among other countries in the region. By readingthis article, you’ll learn how to plan traveling on a budget in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.

How budget traveling looks like in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam?

Finding a budget accommodation is easy in any of the three countries. Dorms at hostels shouldn't cost you over several USD ($) per night in most cases. And many of them offer engaging social activities. Travelers preferring to have their own accommodation have plentiful options, too. Budget hotels and guesthouses are ubiquitous. And if you travel in a company, renting a room at one of cheap hotels shouldn't cost you more than a bed in a hostel.

Travel in budget
Travel in budget

Traveling on a budget gets a bit more complicated when you need to move on. Sometimes, you can travel by plane for an affordable price. Yet, the vast majority of budget travelers resort to local and intercity buses or hitchhiking to get between distant places. However, make sure you aren't on a tight schedule when traveling longer distances. That's because buses tend to travel slowly for many reasons, even on some major roads. This applies to Laos and Cambodia in particular.

You will find exceptional dining in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia. Yet, the cost of a meal is less affordable in Laos than in the other two countries. The main reason is that Laos imports almost everything. So, if you can't afford concessions regarding food, avoid spending a long time in Laos to extend your budget.

Now, let's get to the point.

Planning a budget for an affordable trip to Vietnam

It's just surprising how such a great country for traveling could be so affordable in Vietnam. Whether you intend to explore locally or Vietnam as a whole, expenses are very similar. Budget travelers can rest assured that the daily budget won't exceed $40 in this beautiful country. If you are a devoted budget traveler, even half that sum could suffice. Prices for the cheapest accommodation typically range from $4 to $7 per person per night. Even some hotels offer rates similar to those of hostels. Traveling Vietnam will tempt you to change your plans on the go for sure. But for the lowest deals, try to book the accommodation in advance. If you just show up, the hosts may think that you don't have any other option and propose a high rate.

Hue Vietnam
Hue Vietnam

Affordable dining on the street could cost you anywhere between $1 and $5. Having a meal for less than $5 is possible in inexpensive restaurants, too. If you plan to explore remote areas and cook, basic provisions for a week should cost you around $15.

Traveling by bus throughout the country is the most affordable. Since the locals travel along routes interesting to tourists, fares are very reasonable. Getting from Ho Chi Minh to Hue is possible for $25 and to Hanoi for around $40. Traveling shorter distances for a few $ is a reality. Just make sure to buy the ticket at bus stations since drivers may overcharge you badly. For traveling long distances, keep an eye on low-cost airlines. Their rates start from around $20.

A budget trip in Laos

Traveling Laos is possible for $25 and easy for $40 per day. And here is how it looks: Prices for budget accommodation range between $4 and $10 per night. Yet, if you appreciate at least a bit of comfort, allocate a few extra $ for a room in a budget hotel or guesthouse. For male travelers, securing a free overnight stay is possible. They could stay at monasteries in exchange for teaching the monks English.

Albeit dining is more expensive in Laos than in Vietnam and Cambodia, you can still have a meal for a few $. Western-type food is somewhat pricier. Street food is especially popular among the locals and foreigners. What you should pay attention to is whether the stalls are clean. Buying food prepared in front of you by vendor is a standard you should practice. Transport by bus is the most affordable way of traveling long distances. In general, fares range between $10 and $17 for a journey between popular destinations. Nighttime buses are more expensive, up to $25. Yet, some buses have good beds, allowing you to save on the accommodation while sleeping well. Hitchhiking in this safe country is also an option for cutting transport costs down.

Hitchhiking in Laos
Hitchhiking in Laos

Traveling Cambodia on a budget

Besides Vietnam and Laos, Cambodia is another great destination for travelers on a tight budget. And according to statistics, it is the most budget-friendly of the three nations. In Cambodia, you should do well with the daily budget of $25. For hard-core budget hunters, limiting daily expenditures on $15 per day is a strong possibility.

For up to $10 per day, you can find decent budget accommodation in Cambodia. Hostels and guesthouses with shared facilities charge a bed from around $2. For a private room, plan at least $3.5 per night. Airbnb accommodation costs from $10 per day. Unlike in Vietnam, negotiating the price in Cambodiais often better on site.

Street food in Cambodia is as affordable as it gets. For example, basic street food shouldn't set you back over $2. Focus on stalls cramped with people. Restaurants serving local specialties are hardly pricier - up to $5. Dishes preferred by western visitors usually range from $5 to $15. If you prioritize preparing your meals, basic ingredients should cost you a few $ per day in local markets.

Cambodia street food
Cambodia street food

Buses are the most budget-friendly means of transport in Cambodia, just like in Laos and Vietnam. The price for getting between top tourist destinations (Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, for example) is several $ at most.

Getting between Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for a low price

Getting from one of the three Southeast Asian countries to another is the most affordable by bus. Traveling from Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam, to Phnom Penh, Cambodia, usually costs up to $15. For getting from Cambodia to Laos (Pakse) by bus, plan up to $25 for a one-way ticket. The price of the bus ticket from Hanoi (North Vietnam) to LuangPrabang (North Laos) will set you back around a few dozen $.

You can check our article about traveling Vietnam Laos Cambodia in backpack. However. we recommend you to take a private Vietnam Cambodia Laos tour, so that you will just sit back to enjoy the trip and we will take care of all details including transportation, accommodations, meals, tourist attractions, visas and all others.

Most Popular Vietnam and Cambodia and Laos Tour Packages

  • 9 Days Glimpse of Cambodia Laos and Vietnam Tour INT-VLC-VLC09  9 Days Glimpse of Cambodia Laos and Vietnam Tour
    9 Days Glimpse of Cambodia Laos and Vietnam Tour

    Siem Reap - Luang Prabang - Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise - Hanoi

    The 9-day Indochina tour will cover the popular destinations and attractions in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam. The tour starts ...

    View Details

  • 12 Days Vietnam Cambodia and Laos Tour with Hoi An Ancient Town INT-VLC-VLCHT12 12 Days Vietnam Cambodia and Laos Tour with Hoi An Ancient Town
    12 Days Vietnam Cambodia and Laos Tour with Hoi An Ancient Town

    Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise - Hoi An - Saigon - Siem Reap - Luang Prabang

    The 12-day tour is ideal for those who want to capture the best highlights of Indochina in a limited time budget. In this ...

    View Details

  • 18 Days Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Highlights Tour INT-VCL-VCLT18 18 Days Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Highlights Tour
    18 Days Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Highlights Tour

    Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise - Luang Prabang - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Saigon - Can Tho - Saigon - Da Nang - Hoi An - Da Nang

    From the Hanoi to Hoi An, plus Luang Prabang, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Saigon, this 18-day indochina highlights tour is well ...

    View Details

  • 22 Days Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Panorama of Indochina Tour INT-VCL-VCL22 22 Days Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Panorama of Indochina Tour
    22 Days Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos Panorama of Indochina Tour

    Hanoi - Sapa - Hanoi - Halong Bay Cruise - Hanoi - Hoi An - Hue - Saigon - Phnom Penh - Siem Reap - Luang Prabang - Vientiane

    This 22-day indochina tour is designed for those who want to experience the best of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos in just one ...

    View Details

Have a Question? Ask below or email us at

Question Summary:

Details about your question:


Please fill in your contact information, we will send you the answer by email


  • all days
  • 3-8
  • 8-13
  • 13-18
  • 18-24
  • 25-33
  • Above 33
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Myanmar
  • Laos
  • Thailand
  • China

Pin It to Pinterest