Laos quickly became one of our favorite countries in Asia — and not only because it was ridiculously cheap. We spent the majority of our days there just wandering, enjoying the relaxed pace and beautiful scenery, cycling, and reading. Bliss! Beer was half as expensive (and twice as tasty) as Thai beer, and we each ate our weight in $1.20 baguettes. Overall, our daily spending was the lowest it’s been so far, with the exception of my home-cooking hermit month in Goa.
Like in Thailand, a chunk of our food budget in Laos went towards super cheap beer ($1 for a small bottle, $1.20 – $1.70 for a big ‘un) and happy hour cocktails. The actual food was affordable, too — $1.20 for a giant baguette in Luang Prabang, $2 for a fabulous Indian meal in Nong Khiaw, and $2 – $3 for a big bowl of soup or mock chicken laap at Cuisine D’Or, a rad little vegetarian place in Vientiane.
Snack food is surprisingly expensive (a packet of chips often costs more than a massive baguette), so we had a singularly chip and cookie free few weeks!
Our room in Muong Ngoi in Northern Laos was one of our cheapest so far — 30,000K/$3.80 for a nice big double room, a private bathroom, and a fantastic balcony. On the other end of the scale, we sprung out for a nice triple in Vientiane (70,000K/$8.75 each). Most of our rooms, unsurprisingly, were somewhere between the two.
We made our way around Laos by bus and boat. Some example fares: Vientiane to Vang Vieng by minibus (4hrs) was 40,000K/$5.10. Nong Khiaw to Muong Noi by local boat (1hr) was 25,000K/$3.20.
Miscellaneous expenses include tube rental in Vang Vieng, a pair of jandals for Ahi, and hair dye and sunglasses for me.
Total: $35.06 altogether/$17.53 each (cheaper than India!)