Living in Vietnam on a Budget: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam --> Phnom Penh, Cambodia; week 12

This was our last week in Vietnam and it's a bit heartbreaking! We truly love this country and have made some great memories and friends in Ho Chi Minh City. Digital nomads in Vietnam will agree: this place is friendly, inexpensive, beautiful, and the food is perfection. This week we did our favorite things: ate pho, made friends at the draft beer spot, swam with our friends, went to the gym, got cheeseburgers and craft brews, and bonded with our Vietnamese mom. Vietnam, you will be missed; on Friday we were on to Cambodia!

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Our goal: $50 per day total, including transportation, accommodation, visas, and bills back home. For two people.

In every budget update I will add a prorated estimate of our bills back home (loans, phone plan, etc. which may vary slightly by month), to include in our $50/day travel budget. I am not including travel insurance -- this would add about $5.75 per day to our total.
  • Days: 7
  • Location: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Weekly spending: $384.01
  • Avg. spending per day: $54.86
  • Avg. spending per day incl. bills back home: $58.06
  • Avg. spending per day overall in Asia: $44.81   
  
I haven't had access to a pool in months... it was awesome!
 
So what are our living expenses in Vietnam this week?

  • Conversion rate: 21,000 Vietnamese Dong (VND) = US$1.00 (100,000VND is about $4.76)
  • Accommodation: $90.23
    • Our last week in Vietnam was made even lovelier by our friendly AirBnB homestay mom. We loved living in District 8, in Ho Chi Minh City, (read about it here) and got to enjoy Easter Sunday at a District 7 pool, when Mrs. Hang invited us to join her and her husband at their other rental place. We had a pool to ourselves!
 
It wasn't even in the sun! 
    • We spent a couple of nights in District 1, to be closer to last-minute shopping and our bus out of town. Our last night of the week was in Phnom Penh but I'll talk about that next week.
Tired in Vietnam? Look out for cafés and restaurants with hammocks in the  back. Not a bad spot for a nap.
  • Food and drinks: $148.80
    • We went overboard on food this week with burgers, craft beer, some old Vietnamese favorites, bus snacks, etc.
 
I'll miss you forever Vietnamese coffee

You too, street squid!
 
Perfection
  • Transportation: $43.57
    • We took a couple of Grabs (sign up using this link for a discount) to get from District 8 to District 1 (25,000vnd) and then to take a tuktuk from the bus to our new spot near the Russian Market in Phnom Penh (9100 khr, or $2.28).
    • The bus system is so easy in Vietnam -- read all about Saigon transportation here! Tickets were either 6,000 or 5,000vnd per person, meaning that for 22,000vnd per person (or about a dollar) you can take the bus for about 1.5 hours, going to and from the pool.
    • The bus to Phnom Penh was $19 per person, for a six to seven hour bus that passes the border. It had A/C, WiFi, a snack and water plus a lunch stop, and was generally not that bad!
 
Sad to leave Vietnam but...
 
 
Happy to TukTuk our way into Phnom Penh, Cambodia!
  • Entertainment/miscellaneous: $101.41
    • Cambodian visas were our biggest expense, being $36 per person with fees ($72 for two) for a thirty day tourist visa. Remember that Cambodia has a very sad history and is very poor so we happily paid this fee.
    • Before leaving Vietnam we picked up a small travel fan (170,000vnd), and Warren got a new bathing suit (250,000vnd) because his didn't fit anymore.
    • Finally, in Cambodia we bought a one-month sim card with internet for 32,000KHR (around $8.00).
Sticker in our AirBnB in Phnom Penh. Don't worry, we have drug tests coming up! 
 

Check out some other posts about our lovely time in Vietnam. We'll miss you Saigon!

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