Budget Estimate for a 7-day Vietnam-Cambodia Tour

To get straight to the point, this entire post can be summarized in one figure: USD 400.

But predictably, you’d all want a breakdown of the expenses as a guide for making your own budget estimate, which necessitates a blog post.  Making this task confusing is that there were 4 different currencies involved when I traveled: Philippine pesos, U.S. dollars, Cambodian riels, and Vietnamese dongs [cue juvenile sniggering].  I’ve also committed the unforgivable sin of forgetfulness when I stopped listing down my expenses after the second day.  And so I’ll be doing a lot of recalling, guesstimating, and cross-referencing with some receipts I kept.

SOME NOTES:

1. This estimate excludes plane fares and any airport-related fees.

2.  I sometimes skipped meals when I wasn’t particularly hungry.

3.  The room I rented in Siem Reap was not air conditioned and had no free breakfast.  This accounts for the very low lodging rate.

4.  Mr. Sam’s guide fee and car rental fee varies depending on the chosen destination.  My companions and I customized our tour, so the Day 3 and Day 4 rates are different.

5.  Currency conversion rates change on a daily basis and this certainly has some effect on my computations.

6.  You can cross-reference this budget estimate with the sample itinerary I made here.

BREAKDOWN OF EXPENSES:

DAY 0
USD 14.00 – airport pick-up (c/o Bich Duyen Hotel)
USD 17.00 – lodgings (Bich Duyen Hotel)
——————–
USD 31.00 – Day 0 total

Pho, glorious Pho

DAY 1
USD 6.00 – Cu Chi Tunnels tour – half day (c/o Bich Duyen Hotel)
USD 3.84 (approx) / VDN 80,000 – Cu Chi Tunnels entrance fee
USD 0.48 (approx) / VDN 10,000 – bottled water
USD 12.01 (approx) / VDN 250,000 – river cruise from Cu Chi to Saigon
USD 5.29 (approx) / VDN 110,000 – heavy lunch (Pho 24)
USD 0.48 (approx) / VDN 10,000 – canned soda
USD 17.30 (approx) / VDN 360,000 – pasalubong shopping (Saigon Square)
USD 3.36 (approx) / VDN 70,000 – light dinner (Highlands Coffee)
USD 0.38 (approx) / VDN 8,000 – canned soda
USD 17.00 – lodgings (Bich Duyen Hotel)
——————–
USD 66.14 – Day 1 total

*Note: free breakfast from Bich Duyen Hotel

DAY 2
USD 22.00 – Saigon-Siem Reap bus fare (Mekong Express)
USD 2.00 – dinner (Happy Guest House)
USD 1.00 – canned soda
USD 5.40 – lodgings (Happy Guest House)
——————–
USD 30.40 – Day 2 total

*Note 1: free breakfast from Bich Duyen Hotel
**Note 2: free am and pm snacks from Mekong Express

DAY 3
USD 20.00 – 1-day pass Angkor Archaeological Park, Kbal Spean and Banteay Srei
USD 2.25 – breakfast (Happy Guest House)
USD 0.60 – tea w/ milk
USD 5.00 – lunch (Banteay Srei compound)
USD 15.00 – guide fee w/ car rental (Mr. Sam)*
USD 14.00 – buffet dinner with Apsara show (Koulen II Restaurant)
USD 0.50 – canned soda
USD 5.40 – lodgings (Happy Guest House)
——————–
USD 62.75 – Day 3 total

*Note 1: Guide fee w/ car rental is actually $45, divided by 3 tourists.
**Note 2: Ice-cold drinking water and wet tissue included in guide and car rental package.

Sam’s business card (click to enlarge)

DAY 4
USD 2.25 – breakfast (Happy Guest House)
USD 0.60 – tea w/ milk
USD 5.00 – 1-day pass Beng Mealea and Koh Ker
USD 37.00 – guide fee w/ car rental (Mr. Sam)*
USD 5.00 – tip for guide
USD 6.00 – dinner (Khmer Kitchen)
USD 0.50 – canned soda
USD 5.40 – Happy Guest House
——————–
USD 61.75 – Day 4 total

*Note 1: Guide fee w/ car rental is actually $110, divided by 3 tourists.
**Note 2: Lunch, ice-cold drinking water and wet tissue included in guide and car rental package.

Khmer Kitchen’s Chicken Amok (also available in beef and pork)

DAY 5
USD 22.00 – Siem Reap-Saigon bus fare (Mekong Express)
USD 5.05 (approx) / VDN 105,000 – dinner (some Pho noodle house)
USD 0.38 (approx)/ VDN 8,000 – canned soda
USD 17.00 – lodgings (Bich Duyen Hotel)
——————–
USD 44.43 – Day 5 total

*Note: free am and pm snacks from Mekong Express

The back of Mr. Binh’s T-shirt

DAY 6
USD 7.00 – Saigon-Mui Ne bus fare (Sinh Tourist)
USD 0.72 (approx) / VDN 15,000 – snacks
USD 0.86 (approx) / VDN 18,000 – bottled drink
USD 10.00 – guide and transport fee – half day (Mr. Binh’s Sahara Tour)
USD 7.21 (approx) / VDN 150,000 – dinner (some restaurant)
USD 0.48 (approx) / VDN 10,000 – canned soda
USD 25.00 – lodgings (Ever Green Guesthouse)
——————–
USD 51.27 – Day 6 total

*Note: free breakfast from Bich Duyen Hotel

DAY 7
USD 7.00 – Mui Ne-Saigon bus fare (Sinh Tourist)
USD 3.84 (approx) / VDN 80,000 – lunch (Pho 2000)
USD 1.20 (approx) / VDN 25,000 – snack (Pho 24)
USD 36.04 (approx) / VDN 750,000 – pasalubong shopping (Saigon Square)
USD 1.92 (approx) / VDN 40,000 – taxi fare**
——————–
USD 50.00 – Day 7 total

*Note: free breakfast from (Ever Green Guesthouse)
**Note: taxi fare is actually VDN 120,000 divided by 3 tourists.

Breakfast at Ever Green Guesthouse (bacon, eggs, fruit, veggies, tea, yogurt, and toast with butter and jam)

DAY 7+1
USD 0.86 (approx) / VDN 18,000 – canned soda
USD 1.97 (approx) / VDN 41,000 – snacks
——————–
USD 2.83 – Day 7+1 total

USD 400.57 (PHP 17,232.52) – GRAND TOTAL

FINAL NOTES:

Again, this is just an estimate and these are dated as of December 2011.  I would highly encourage you to research online to verify if the prices are still current.  I’d also advise you to add around USD 50 if you’re going to pattern your budget after mine for 2 reasons:

1.  To avoid the inconvenience of running out of cash.  By my last night in Vietnam, I was already almost out of cash and I just had the good fortune of meeting 2 Canadian tourists who were also going to the airport, so I was able to split the cab fare with them; and

2.  To rent better rooms.  This particularly pertains to what I mentioned about the room I rented in Siem Reap.  If you require air conditioning, (especially if you visit in the summer months) then be prepared to pay more.

3.  For incidental/emergency expenses.  Pretty much self explanatory, but it bears noting that since Vietnam and Cambodia are also tropical countries and you’d be doing a lot of walking around, you’d frequently get thirsty and hungry even outside of meal times.

= = = = = = = = = =
This entry is part of the Vietnam-Cambodia series dated November 27 – December 3, 2011:

1. Preview: Contrasting Motorcycle Scenes in Vietnam
2. Preview: Temple-hunting in Cambodia
3. Suggested 7-day Itinerary for Vietnam and Cambodia
4. Budget Estimate for a 7-day Vietnam-Cambodia Tour
5. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 1 – Arrival in Saigon, Cu Chi Tunnels, City Tour
6. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 2 & 3 – A 13-hour bus ride, Angkor Wat at Dawn
7. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 3 – All-day Temple-hopping in Siem Reap
8. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 4 – Beng Mealea and Koh Ker
9. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 5 & 6 – Two bus rides to Mui Ne
10. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 6 – Mui Ne’s Natural Attractions
11. Vietnam-Cambodia, Day 7 – Last-minute tour of Saigon
12. Vietnam-Cambodia Travel Tips
13. The 24-hour Mui Ne Travel Guide

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5 thoughts on “Budget Estimate for a 7-day Vietnam-Cambodia Tour

  1. Pingback: Budget Estimate for a 7-day Vietnam-Cambodia Tour | Liquid Druid's … | Tour Cambodia

    • Well, I’d highly recommend Mui Ne, which is a 5-hour bus ride away from Saigon. I’ve started blogging about Mui Ne. The next entry will be more detailed so keep checking for updates. ;)

  2. Hi! My friend and I are flying to Cambodia on Sunday and I’m interested to know about the guide fee Sam the driver is charging. I visited his website and his rates are a bit lower than what you paid for. So I’m wondering, is the car rental charge on top of his tourguide fee? How much is his guide fee? On Day 4, were you charged US$110 because you went to Koh Ker? Thanks for the info!

    • Hello ayezcandy11,

      It’s possible that Sam has not updated his site in a while, so it’s better to get in touch with him through Facebook private messaging for direct inquiries. Our 2 day tours were highly customized (we gave him a list of the temples we wanted to go to) and so that might have increased his fees from the standard rate.

      Koh Ker is VERY far from Siem Reap so the $110 is justified. I won’t advise going to Koh Ker if you have just 1 day to tour Siem Reap, because it will leave you very little time for anything else. The Koh Ker-Beng Mealea combo is best done on a separate day, apart from touring Siem Reap proper.

      Thanks for visiting!

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