Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Lao on $22/person/day.

I am a data nerd so it won't surprise you to know that I'm pretty excited to do a summary of costs-by-country-by-category at the end of this trip.

That's still a ways away but I do know one thing - so far Lao is the only country where the "meals" category surpassed the "lodging" category. To be fair, Kim was visiting so we probably splurged more than we normally would have, but we ate our fair share of "add hot water" ramen and street food too. While the portions in Lao were bigger than the typical $1 pho portion in Vietnam, the overall meal costs were sometimes surprising.  Just something to be aware of!

Anyway, here's the breakdown with some details...

Initial budget: based on Vietnam we estimated no more than $30/person/day
Actual cost: 25 days at $1104 ($44/day, $22/person/day)

with rented apartments come colored pens - fancy!

  • Lodging: $298 - 25 nights at guest houses, 1-/2-star hotels, or bungalows averaging $6/person/night
  • Transportation: $158 - buses/songthaews and boats between major cities; tuk-tuks within cities (worse than taxis cost-wise!)
  • Groceries: $51 - again, we never cooked our own meals other than ramen so this is mostly for gallons and gallons of bottled water and snacks during transport
  • Meals: $338 - a few hotels had free breakfasts but otherwise we ate out almost every meal so this comes to roughly $6.75/person/day (still very inexpensive by US standards, but after $4.25/person/day in Vietnam this took some adjusting to)
  • Tours: $114 - our kayak trip in Vang Vieng ($25/person); Luang Prabang trips to Kuang Si Falls and Pak Ou Caves ($10/person/trip); admissions to museums/wats in Vientiane and Luang Prabang
  • Alcohol: $47 - what?  Kim was visiting!!
  • "Misc": $20 - $3 in laundry; $9 for our "entertainment" splurges (a book, tiny bottles of red wine at the Whisky Village in Luang Prabang which count as entertainment since they were not consumed immediately, bike rides in Vang Vieng and Nong Khiaw); donations at the COPE Center in Vientiane
  • Border: $76 - $37 each for our 30-day visas, plus $2 in "overtime" (weekend) fees when we crossed into Lao

Other fun Lao facts...

Fellow travelers, what was your experience with costs in Lao? How did you save money - and what did you splurge on?

And now to the land of smiles, Thailand, and where $1 is about 31 baht and they have coins. Coins! How weird...

1 comment:

  1. the other day i spent $10 on a one-pound bag of popcorn kernels to support the (Cub Scout) troops / =