If you haven’t read any of the prior expense reports from our 5-month Around-The-World trip, check them out below:
- Chiang Mai
- Luang Prabang
- Chiang Rai
- Hanoi and Ha Long
We spent 13 days and 14 nights between Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, arriving on the evening of October 15th from Hanoi, Vietnam and leaving on the morning of October 29th headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. We were pleasantly surprised by Da Nang which had both natural beauty of a river, mountains, and the ocean, as well as bigger city attractions like malls, theaters, and a plethora of restaurants. Before we got to Hoi An, we had heard a lot of great things, and it had pretty big shoes to fill. Boy did it live up to the good reputation! Hoi An is definitely in our top three places we’ve visited of all time! I also turned 30 years old there while hanging out on the beach enjoying amazing sunset views (Whitney took plenty of pictures of course ;)). The beaches were some of the best, the town itself was touristy but very pretty (pictured above), and the food was amazing. Ho Chi Minh, while being a very big city which is usually a turn off to us, had some charm as well. Plenty of cheap food options, a lot to see and do, and more walkable than Hanoi (in some places).
Stay tuned for Whitney’s next post about all of our adventures on this part of the trip, but for now I’ll focus on the expenses incurred while in these three cities. Keep in mind that all of the expenses that I’ll talk about below are my expenses only, since Whitney and I have quite different spending habits. We split all shared expenses evenly, so my half of the shared expenses and then my individual expenses are how I calculate the numbers below.
Accommodations: We found cheap AirBnBs at all three of these cities. All of them were wonderful, but the best was definitely in Hoi An where our room looked like something out of a resort and was less than a block from the beach. We couldn’t have possibly asked for a better place to stay there or a better host! She even helped Whitney plan a birthday party for me including a cake, dinner, and gathering with a small group of people including alcohol. Between the three of these places, my half of the accommodation expenses came to $6.71/night, not including the discount I got on the AirBnB gift cards used to pay for the stays! I don’t think there’s any way to beat those kinds of prices for the wonderful accommodations we had.
- Total for my expenses: $94
Food and drink: We splurged a decent amount on this part of the trip. My birthday definitely had something to do with that, including an excessive amount of alcohol on that day, but also the many great restaurants in Hoi An played a role. We had a beach restaurant/bar less than a 5 minute walk from our AirBnB that had a pool, games, lounge chairs, and beach access that was a perfect place to spend a few days, which we took full advantage of. In Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh we kept costs more moderate eating at mostly cheaper restaurants or street food.
- Total for my expenses: $113
Transportation: We had two flights during this portion of the trip. One from Hanoi to Da Nang and then another from Da Nang to Ho Chi Minh. Both were relatively cheap for a combined total of $70. We rented a motor bike for 5 days in Hoi An in order to get around more easily, which we enjoyed having. We took a taxi to get from Da Nang to Hoi An and from Hoi An back to Da Nang for our flight. We also had to use Grab (Southeast Asia’s version of Uber) a few times in Da Nang and Ho Chi Minh to get to some places when we didn’t feel like walking.
- Total for my expenses: $92
Activities: The biggest activity expense in this portion of the trip was for a cooking class we took in Ho Chi Minh. We learned how to make Pho (the national dish of Vietnam), spring rolls, mango salad, and a dessert. It was more than I wanted to spend, but it was a fun experience, the food was great, and we got to see what buying food from a local market was like with our host. We went to the Vietnam War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh which was heartbreaking and a must-see for anyone planning to visit the city. We also visited some temples, marble mountain, “Lady Buddha“, and the Cu Chi Tunnels which were used by Viet Cong soldiers during the war. This portion of the trip was action packed some days and extremely relaxing others when we spent most of the day lying on the beaches.
- Total for my expenses: $65
My total expenses for 13 days and 14 nights in Da Nang, Hoi An, and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, including accommodations, transportation, entertainment, and food were approximately $364!
Running total for entire trip to this point (my expenses only): $4,328.
We headed to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia next, so stay tuned for my next update. Keep an eye on the Facebook page where we are posting much more frequently about the trip including favorite pictures!