- Lodging: $15/day. Not sure why, but guesthouses in Laos were a few dollars per night more expensive than Cambodia or Thailand. But, let's be serious, a decent hotel room for $15 is so cheap we can't complain. As before, we stayed in inexpensive but highly rated guesthouses that we booked through hotels.com or agoda.com.
- Food: $12/day. Lots of noodle soup, baguette sandwiches, fruit shakes, and more. Stay away from the restaurants that cater exclusively to foreigners - you'll save money and have a more authentic experience.
- Activities: $6/day. Since we spent several days literally sitting in hammocks along the Mekong reading our books, we definitely saved some money on activities there. Still, we paid for relatively expensive tours at the Plain of Jars ($16 each) and the caves in Vieng Xai ($7 each) where people and government leaders hid out during the US bombing campaign. Otherwise, Wat entrance fees in Luang Prabang ($1-2) are pretty cheap, as is renting bikes ($1-2), watching sunsets, etc.
- Transportation: $9/day. We found the intra-city bus system in Laos to be quite expensive. It's also slow as molasses, because the terrain is very mountains and the roads are crap. But the private busses are the only way to get around, unless you've got your own scooter or you pay even more to fly, so we just sucked it up. You can see everywhere we went on our Laos post - getting between these seven areas of the country cost us $153, or an average of $9/day.
We spent 17 incredible days in Laos, and you can read more about the lovely people we met and the sights we saw here. This post is about how much $ we spent. We're tracking these things very closely in order to make our dollars last for our full year-long honeymoon. Hopefully, you'll find these details helpful in planning your own Laotian holiday!
It turns out Laos is quite similar, in our financial experience, to Cambodia. We ended up spending $42/day there as well. While the line items worked out a bit differently, overall they were very similar, though each was more expensive than the $35/day we spent in Thailand. So, here's the breakdown for the two of us:
Ryan and Cristina's travel blog, detailing our adventures in US National Parks and overseas in New Zealand and SE Asia.
Find our photos here: