Cost of Travel in Laos

Emma - 11 March 2017

Over our 24 days in Laos we meticulously kept track of all our spends, so here’s the breakdown for you!

Accommodation

1,725,000 Kip / £173, averaging 72,000 Kip / £7.20 a night. With the exception of one night in a tent, every single place we stayed was a private double room with a fan and a private bathroom, most of which had hot water!

Accomodation in Laos

Food and Drink

3,010,000 Kip / £302, averaging 125,000 Kip / £12.50 a day, so £6.25 per person per day! We were horrified when we arrived in Laos, the food seemed so expensive compared to Thailand where our per person daily average had been just £4.50. We can reassure you that it does get cheaper once you move away from Luang Prabang, but it is definitely substantially more expensive than Thailand. The food was pretty good, and we both developed an unhealthy obsession with sticky rice.

NB: this total does not include any alcoholic drinks, which are listed separately.

Laap is typical of the food we ate in Laos

Transport

2,922,000 Kip / £293 total, averaging 122,000 Kip / £12.20 per day. I’m astonished that this added up to so much, accounting for more than a quarter of our average daily spend! This includes two days on the slow boat from Thailand at £26 each, occasional minibus tickets or unavoidable tuktuk and ferry journeys. The bulk of our spend was probably the 13 days of motorbike hire, plus petrol and occasional parking fees, which averaged around 70,000 Kip /£7 per bike per day, depending on region and whether the bike was automatic or manual.

Tuk tuk journey in Laos

Attractions

1,450,000 Kip / £145, averaging 60,000 Kip / £6 per day. £66 of this was all spent in one day a ‘The Living Land Rice Experience’. While it was worth it, this was by far the most expensive single attraction we did in Laos. For two people we also spent £11 on tube hire in Vang Vieng, £22 for gear rental to go rock climbing in Thakhek, £10 to see Wat Phu, and £12 for a boat ride through Konglor Cave. These were our only substantial spends for entry tickets, as most places cost less than £2 per person.

Kuang Si waterfall in Luang Prabang Laos

Alcohol

We kept alcohol expenses separate from food and drink, as we know this is something that will vary hugely depending on how you travel. We spent £29 between us, which roughly translates to 29 big bottles of Beer Lao!

Miscellaneous

109,000 Kip / £109 - Half of this was the $35 Visa On Arrival we each had to buy, and the other substantial chunk was £30 to repair a motorbike we had crashed (oops…). The rest was small occasional costs for things like ATM withdrawals, laundry, and using internet cafes.

Purchases

70,000 Kip / £7 - this is everything that we bought, which is essentially an optional extra cost. This was restocking our toiletries bag with toothpaste, moisturiser, plasters, etc, plus buying a pair of trousers.

Total

Our total cost of travel for Laos came to 10,550,000 Kip / £1,058 for 24 days, averaging 440,000 Kip / £44 daily. Our average spend was significantly higher after a couple of weeks in the north of Laos, around Luang Prabang, Vientiane, and Vang Vieng (perhaps averaging around £55) but costs plummeted once we headed further south, particularly when we spent a few days relaxing in Si Phan Don (4,000 Islands) where our daily average was around £25.

Another country checked off below our aim of £50 a day for two people! Our next stop was Vietnam!

At the time of writing 10,000 Kip equals $1.21 USD, 1.15 EUR, £1 GBP

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