After the recent controversy related to Maldives, vacations on sea-beach foreign destinations have been in the news a lot. After Maldives government ministers made derogatory remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi on social media, IjmyTrip has even stopped bookings there. The comments of Maldives ministers came when PM Modi had praised the beaches of Lakshadweep. Bollywood stars and cricketers have since urged people to promote Lakshadweep as a local vacation destination.
The sea and its beaches have always been popular among Indian travellers. Lakshadweep has never really been on the travel itineraries of Indians until now. Goa has always been a popular destination for the people. However, for many people, Thailand and Vietnam are becoming the preferred options. The main reason is that these places are slightly more affordable than Goa.
3 star hotel rental
An instant search on any online travel aggregator (OTA) site will tell you a similar story. The rent for a high category 3-star hotel in Goa will easily be Rs 4,000-6,000 per night. These properties are near beaches, but not ocean front. In comparison, similar properties in Phuket or Pattaya (Thailand) can be booked at half the price. In fact, one can book a beachside AirBnB in Pattaya for as little as Rs 5,000 apiece. In Vietnam’s coastal city of Da Nang, sea-facing hotels are even cheaper, starting at Rs 3,500 a night. Sea facing hotels in Goa cost more than Rs 10,000 per night.
5 star hotel rent
Hotel rent is highest in Goa. After the Covid pandemic, hotel prices have increased in the city in the last 2-3 years. According to media reports, the nightly rent of Taj Aguada Goa in 2021 was around Rs 14,000, which has currently increased to more than Rs 35,000. In an interview to Mint in December 2023, Goa’s Tourism and IT Minister Rohan Khaunte said that around 10 million tourists have visited Goa since March, surpassing the pre-Covid level. Considering the increase in tourist inflow, the cost of food and bike/car rentals has also increased.?
Rent in Vietnam and Hanoi
Mumbai-based Viraj Mehta, who regularly travels to both Vietnam and Thailand for his work, said in media reports that one can easily afford to live in these countries. A luxury 5-star hotel in Goa is available for Rs 35,000-75,000 per night. You can book a similar hotel in Hanoi (Vietnam) for Rs 6,000 per night. Mehta says that hotels in Goa are extremely expensive and the prices are very high for Indian travelers. Any person can apply for an e-Visa on the Vietnam Visa Government website and the application is processed in 10 days.
Apart from hotel room fares, flights also form a major component of most travel budgets. On this front, Goa is cheaper as it is a domestic destination. For example, a round trip per person from Delhi to Goa in the last week of January is around Rs 13,000. In comparison, it would cost you around Rs 21,000 to travel to Vietnam during the same period, which is almost 50 per cent more. Thailand is more expensive as a round trip will cost around Rs 28,000. Keep in mind that these prices are for direct flights from Delhi and if someone wants to take a connecting flight to an international destination then the cost may be less.
In media reports, Mehta explains that this difference in airfares is reducing because direct connectivity with Vietnam has improved in the last few years. He said that now flights are also available from some tier-2 cities like Ahmedabad. In any case, it will always be cheaper to reach Goa as there are many options. Trains are available from all parts of the country, which cost almost half the airfare. Of course, the cheap fares come at the cost of longer travel times, especially from cities in North India where a one-way journey can take up to 48 hours. Night buses run from major cities like Hyderabad, Mumbai, Pune and Bengaluru.
difference in food cost
The additional cost of flights to Vietnam or Thailand can be recovered from accommodation and food. Mehta says that food is very cheap in both the countries. There is no tradition of street food in Goa so food options are very less; This is not the case in Vietnam and Thailand, which offer food options for every budget. The cost of two meals in Goa can be around Rs 1,500 per day. There is very little scope for reducing the food budget in Goa. In contrast, Vietnam and Thailand offer very cheap street food options. In both these countries, any person can manage three meals a day in less than Rs 1,000 by choosing street food and restaurant food. The difference in hotel and meal costing combined can recover an additional 50-100 percent of what you would have spent on flights to get to these destinations.
The other major difference between the two options is transportation – Goa is a small state, whereas the other two are countries and involve inter-city travel. Later, you may also have to take flights to Krabi or Phuket in some cases, such as from Bangkok. Similarly, in Vietnam, from Hanoi to Da Nang, that can increase your total budget by Rs 7,000-10,000. Bus or overnight train is a cheaper option in both countries, but it takes 14-20 hours and will not suit people with a week’s holiday. Local commuting is cheaper in cities in both countries. Like Goa, you can rent a bike or car for Rs 500-1,800 per day. In fact, most cities in Thailand have cheap local transport options that cost Rs 50-200 per day. On the other hand, in Goa, the only option to move around the city is to take a cab or a rental vehicle.
How and how much to spend in Goa
The return flight price from Delhi to Goa is Rs 26,500. The rent of a 3 star hotel near the beach is Rs 5 thousand per night. The cost of two meals without drinks is Rs 3000 per day. The rent of a self-driven bike is Rs 300 per day and the rent of a car is Rs 1400 per day. Water sports will be for Rs 5000. According to estimates, an 8 day trip to Goa can cost Rs 1.08 lakh.
Cost to travel from Delhi to Vietnam
The cost of flight from Delhi to Vietnam is around Rs 42 thousand. The nightly hotel room rent in Da Nang and Hanoi ranges between Rs 1800 to Rs 2500. Here you can eat and drink fully for Rs 2000. Bike and car rent is Rs 500 and Rs 1800 per day. Intercity flight or train will cost Rs 10,000 and visa cost will be Rs 9,000. The entry fee in the tourist spot will be Rs 10,000. This means that you can spend Rs 1.09 lakh on an 8-day trip.
8 day trip expense in Thailand
The cost of flight in Thailand is 55 thousand rupees. Hotel room rent in Phuket and Pattaya is Rs 3000 per night. For Rs 2000 you can eat 3 times a day. The cost of intercity flight and bus is Rs 18 thousand. You will have to spend Rs 10,000 on the activity tour. Whereas visa is not an expense. This means that an 8 day trip can cost up to Rs 1.25 lakh.