December was a full month on the road for us. Our expenses for last month were extremely low; let’s find our how we fared in December. Note that this budget only includes local expenses; insurance costs aren’t factored in. Also, we were a bit lazy and didn’t count ATM fees, but we’ll try to do so from now on !

Breakdown of our expenses

Here are our expenses in dongs (VND) and their Euro equivalent :

Total VND1 924 0001 308 500 6 362 5004 250 084650 000596 0007 110 00022 201 084
Average VND62 06542 210205 242137 09920 96819 226229 355716 164
Total EUR70.7248.1233.86156.2223.8921.91261.34816.04
Average EUR2.28 1.557.54 5.04 0.77 0.718.4326.32

Expenses breakdown for December 2017

The current exchange rate is VND 27 200 for EUR 1, even better than last month.

On average we spent a bit more than 26 euros per day, slighty above our target of 25 euros. As it can be seen in the above pie chart, a large part of our expenses went towards our trek in Kon Tum. Other expenses are at similar levels to the previous month, in spite of several changes.

Expense items


In addition to the many meals we had on the street, we also sometimes ate in small restaurants. But surprisingly, our daily expenses for meals was around 5 euros, down from 6.5 euros last month ! As a result, food was only our third largest expense category in December, while it was the first in November !

Com Chay (rice and vegetables)


In average they were slightly more expensive than last month; our average daily expense for motels was around EUR 7.5. It’s of course still extremely reasonable.



We tend to spend more time in cafés than at the start of the trip; most days we have two drinks each, either at two different places or at the same café if we hang there all afternoon ! As a  result our drink budget had more than doubled, with a bit more than 2 euros each day.

Ice coffee

Last month I mentioned our water filter; it proved to be absolute crap and broke down very quickly. However we seldom have to buy bottled water, as there are nearly always ways to refill our water bottles for free.


Previously counted as part of the “misc” category. We get our clothes washed around once a week, and get our poor bicycles cleaned every two weeks or so. The total amount is very low but it makes our life much easier !

We wrote a post dedicated to this topic.


We had to buy some more sun cream. The central highlands were very sunny so we used a lot of it there !

Also, my poor SPD sandals broke down (they were rather old); the good news is that I can still use them to walk or even pedal, but with regular pedals, which we had to buy. We ended up buying very bulky pedals at a small shop in the central highlands. I was a bit concerned about their resistance as they’re made of plastic, but until now they haven’t broken down in spite of some serious climbing ! However, we bought another set of metal pedals in Nha Trang, just in case.


Our #1 expenses category this month, eating up nearly one third of our budget ! Our main expense was the costly trek at Kon Tum; additional visits included Hoi An’s water coconut village and My Son’s Cham sanctuary. Visiting Diep Son was also rather expensive.

Rong house close to Kon Tum


Our tickets for SE21 train didn’t have a large impact on our budget, even with the cost of transporting the bicycles. Their total cost amounted to less than 25 euros.

Our bicycles ready for the train ride

Expenses evolution

In January I expect our expenses to be slightly lower. We don’t plan any expensive activity or visit, apart from some boating in the Mekong Delta. The accommodation prices should be higher as we’ll spend some time in coastal areas and in Da Lat.



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