lao budget

$1 US Dollar = 8,127 Lao Kip (roughly 8000 with conversion fees and convenience!)

We spent about $35-$50 a day in Laos, and we ate well and did plenty of activities every day. We also shopped a little too much at the markets, so you can definitely skim some money off that total if you were trying to be frugal. Transportation costs were the biggest issue for us, so make sure to add those in your budgets.

Accommodation: $6-$15 w/ fan 

  • Luang Prabang: $12 w/fan one block from market
  • Nong Khiaw: $6 w/ fan away from river, $12-$20 w/fan on river (we paid $14)


  • Tuk-tuks: 10,000-15,000 kip for short distances of 5km or less
  • Scooters: 80,000-100,000 kip for 24 hour rentals, about 60,000 if you only want it for one day.
    • Gas: 8,000 kip for whole day of exploring
  • Buses: 
    • Luang Prabang-Nong Khiaw: 60,000 each 
    • Nong Khiaw-Chiang Mai: 450,000 for both (~$60USD)


  • Breakfast in most cafes: 15,000-20,000 kip
  • Street/Market Food: 12,000-20,000 kip
    • There’s all you can eat buffets in the market every night for 12,000-15,000 kip.
  • Local Restaurants: 10,000-20,000 kip
  • Tourist Restaurants: 25,000-50,000 kip
    • Tourist restaurants on the main road in Luang Prabang will be much more expensive than if you go to restaurants on either rivers.


Drinking/Going Out:

  • Big BeerLao: 8,000-12,000 kip  
  • Drinks (Lao Whiskey): 15,000-30,000 kip
    • Wine is expensive everywhere
    • If you’re in Nong Khiaw, go to the Karaoke place at the end of the road and get wonderful  Lao Whiskey drinks for super cheap!


  • Entrance Fees: 15,000 kip in general
  • One Hour Boat Tour in Luang Prabang: 100,000 kip (can bargain for a little lower but it’s not a bad price for a private boat ride!)
  • Shopping: Bring as much as you want because you won’t leave empty handed! The market in Luang Prabang is fabulous.


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