December 26, 2022
While we tend to travel “cheap” compared to many tourists, we could have traveled cheaper in Thailand and Vietnam. First of all, we rented a 500cc motorcycle in both countries, which is a HUGE motorcycle for these places. We even had locals approach us several times and comment on what a big motorcycle we were riding. As I’ve mentioned before, there is no need for such a big (relative term) bike in SE Asia; you don’t need the power, you don’t need the speed, and based on our observations of people carrying everything from an entire family to multiple refrigerators on one scooter, you really don’t need more than a scooter. You can rent a 150cc scooter in these countries for anywhere from about $6 to $10 a day, versus our $32 to $40 a day for the Honda 500. The only advantage of the 500 for us was comfort, as we aren’t small people and riding two-up with all our gear on one scooter wouldn’t have been as comfortable.
Also, while hotels and homestays in Thailand and Vietnam are relatively inexpensive compared to Europe or the US, we got a bit lazy in places and chose to “upgrade” our accommodations at times. Many homestays in Vietnam are in the $10 to $18 a day. On the other end, we spent as much as $60 a night to stay in a luxury resort in northern Thailand.
Obviously we didn’t ride every single day, so the daily average fuel costs drop considerably when the bike is parked.
So with that said, here’s a basic breakdown of what we spent in each country. Keep in mind that these daily average prices are for two people (yes, you really can eat well for around $9 a day). The “Entertainment” category includes everything from bus, boat and walking tours to cruises, and includes the taxi fares we paid to get to these places.
Thailand (22 days)
Lodging: $34.11 Daily Average
Food: $21.59 Daily Average
Gas: $5.87 Daily Average
Entertainment: $22.55 Daily Average
Vietnam (21 days)
Lodging: $26.10 Daily Average
Food: $16.53 Daily Average
Gas: $2.82 Daily Average
Entertainment: $32.87 Daily Average
All together, including the rental cost of both bikes and the round-trip airfare, it works out to a daily average expense of $169.70, or $84.85 per person per day.