Being a digital nomad in Vietnam

As Vietnam’s tourism is increasing, so is the expat community. People from all over the world are starting to discover this beautiful country – which also happens to be very affordable – and many end up staying here for a longer time than they planned. If you are a digital nomad or just getting started, Vietnam is a great place for you travel to.

The first thing you will need to get is a Vietnam visa before you enter the country. Some European and Asian countries can stay in Vietnam visa-free for up to 15 days, but if you want to stay for longer you will need to apply for a visa. There are three ways: apply for the VOA, Visa on Arrival, go to your local or nearest Vietnam Embassy or Consulate or if you are eligible to apply for it, choose the E-Visa. If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to apply for this, contact your embassy. The visas are usually very easy to get and the process is fast if you get a VOA.

Getting visa on arrival at the airport of Vietnam
Getting visa on arrival at the airport of Vietnam

If you are just getting started and are not earning a lot yet, why not stay in Vietnam for a longer period of time. The country is known to be very affordable to both travel and live in for internationals so it is a great place to start in as a digital nomad. If you prefer to be in the bigger cities, price for accommodation will be a bit more expensive. Hanoi is one city in Vietnam where rent has become surprisingly expensive (although still very doable!). Why not head to one of the smaller cities such as Da Nang, Hoi An or Nha Trang, where you can relax on the beach after a day of working.

One thing that is so important for digital nomads to have is good Wifi. Thankfully, a lot of places in Vietnam has great coworking spaces and cafés where the internet works very well. It will be easier for you if you stay in the bigger cities such as Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City because there will be more choices, but smaller towns like Hoi An is also very popular amongst the digital nomad community. Some places also organise meetups so you can network with other digital nomads and maybe even land a job or two!

Also, when you are traveling and working by yourself (or even with a friend), it can be nice knowing that there is a big expat community where you are going as well. If you like to socialise and get to know people from all over the world, you will have ton of opportunities here in Vietnam. The digital nomad community is growing more and more now that people are able to find jobs online and you will most probably get to know a few digital nomads in Vietnam.

A tourist on motorcycle
A tourist on motorcycle

Although life in Vietnam is far from flawless, you just have to embrace the Vietnamese lifestyle. Yes, traffic here can be a bit intense (read: hectic!!!) and if you are coming from a Western country, it can be a bit tough acclimatising to your new environment. It can be loud, busy, different, things might not be working like they do at home and the language is not the easiest to learn. But once you have gotten used to it, it is impossible not to love it. And if you are not used to riding a motorbike yet, there are tons of apps such as Uber and Grab which is incredibly affordable.

Being a digital nomad is a great way to travel and explore other countries. You can work from wherever you want to while still enjoying the travel life. You can start your day in a big city and end the day on the beach. If this is something that appeals to you, Vietnam might very well be the answer.

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