Photo: Classic scenery surrounds Vang Vieng.

Laos forum

Cost of living....

Posted by Brainfreeze on 9/1/2007 at 14:55

I just arrived in Luang Prabang yesterday and I immediately noticed that generally it is a little bit more expensive than Thailand! This came as a suprise to me and my girlfriend as we had heard from many people that Laos would be cheaper... is there anyone else that has noticed this and does anyone know if we will find many places that are cheaper than Luang Prabang?

#1 Brainfreeze has been a member since 9/1/2007. Posts: 4
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Posted by somtam2000 on 9/1/2007 at 15:40 admin

Hi BrainFreeze,

Welcome to Travelfish!

Luang Prabang is just about the most expensive spot in Laos and pretty much everywhere else in the country (except perhaps for Vientiane) is cheaper.

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,706
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Posted by Brainfreeze on 9/1/2007 at 20:42

Thanks alot somtam2000 :) like I said, we have only just arrived, seeing such high prices has been very discouraging, enough that we have begun to wonder whether Laos is really worth the money. I came here without any information about Laos and I have been unable to find a guide book in Luang Prabang although thanks to travelfish I haven't been entirely lost. I know a little about the more travelled areas of Laos but nothing at all about the less touristic parts. It depends on what you are looking for since travelling can offer different experiences to everyone, maybe it's a difficult question to answer but what might i expect from traveling through Laos?

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Posted by skinnylatte on 11/1/2007 at 20:59

I noticed the same thing, but mostly because the restaurants and cafes along the main tourist strip (night market area) was charging in USD and... well let's just say a regular meal in these places worked out to be much more expensive than even back in my own country!

We gave up on the expensive tourist restaurants after a day, and wandered along the alleys with local markets and foodstalls. There we would be able to buy 2 bowls of noodles, one whole big barbecued fish, two legs of chicken, a bottle of Beer Lao, a serving of papaya salad, a bag of dessert... all for less than USD3 (less than the cost of ONE dish in the tourist restaurants). Food was MUCH better too. Just wander around, and you'll be fine. Another good place to eat is along the riverbank, where things are mostly cheaper.

Also try to pay in Kip whenever possible, because with the Kip pegged to the USD at 10 000 K to USD1, even though it is convenient to pay in USD or baht, you're losing US$0.10 to US$0.15 for every 10000kip in each transaction, which can add up. We learned this the hard way.

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Posted by Brainfreeze on 15/1/2007 at 17:42

Thanks alot skinnylatte :) You have certainly provided some very pleasing information! I will be sure to hunt around the market for some cheap food! I have Been in Muang Ngoi for 3days and have just arrived in Luang Prabang this evening. If you haven't yet been to Muang Ngoi I recommend it for a few days at least. Although it is a very small village, it is becoming quite developed. There are some beautiful views and scenic trails from the village and accomodation and food is cheap. Well I'm going to find some food! If you're currently travelling, have a wonderful trip!

#5 Brainfreeze has been a member since 9/1/2007. Posts: 4
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