What’s the cost of living in Vietnam?

Are you considering moving to Vietnam but you’re unsure of the costs of living? Don’t worry, we got you covered. Since Vietnam has become a fast growing expat destination, certain things have become a bit more expensive such as housing for example. Southeast Asia in general is becoming extremely popular amongst retirees, digital nomads and expats who are all looking for a place in the sun. Vietnam is one of the best countries to settle down in – well, at least for a while! There’s numerous well-paid English teaching jobs available, the food is delicious, the locals are friendly, there’s plenty of things to see and do, the expat community is big and the cost of living is low. There’s a lot to love about Vietnam and the longer you live there, the more you’ll discover exactly how much this country has to offer. Vietnam is also a generally safe country, although petty crimes such as theft do occur. But violent crime is very rare.

But when it comes to cost of living in Vietnam, it all depends on where you choose to live. If you want to settle down in, let’s say, Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, the cost of living will be much higher than in less popular cities such as Da Nang or Hai Phong for example. Many of the teachers tend to live in Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam, while retirees prefer the south, where the sun always shines.

The cost of living ranges from 700 to 1,400 USD per month, depending on where you’re living, your lifestyle and your rent. The average local salary in Vietnam is about 148 dollars per month and those who have high paying jobs usually brings home around 500 USD per month. For expats, salaries will be higher than this, but don’t expect your salary to be like at home for example.

Let’s do Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City as two examples of how much it can cost to live in Vietnam. If you’re planning to move to a smaller city, you will most likely spend less than you would in the biggest cities of Vietnam.


Cost of living here ranges from 600-900 USD per month. There’s much more expensive apartments as well, but if you want a flat with all the amenities you need but that’s not the most luxurious one, you might spend about 300-400 USD per month for it. Food can cost everything from 100-300 USD depending on if you go out and eat for every meal or if you also cook at home. For transportation, many people either buy a scooter or a bicycle to get around. The best alternative is of course to get a bicycle so you don’t have to pay for gas. You can also find the cheapest beer in the world here, so even if you want to go out with your friends from time to time, you won’t have to break the bank to do so.

Ho Chi Minh City

Average cost of living per month is between 750-1,300 USD. Rent here is probably the highest in the entire Vietnam. If you want a studio flat in District 1, go out and eat food, drink coffee with your friends, grab a beer or two after work and have a gym membership, count with spending at least 750 USD per month for everything. Ho Chi Minh City is known to be one of the most expensive cities in Vietnam so if you’re not ready to spend that amount of money per month, there’s many more places that you can move to that are equally as charming, beautiful and exciting.

If you’re a digital nomad and you’re planning to move to Vietnam for a couple of months, you can find lots and lots of cozy coffee shops where you can sit and work. Internet works surprisingly well and fast here, even in smaller cities. Their high-speed internet is even better and more reliable than that in Thailand.

For those who want to stay in Vietnam for a longer period of time, you can apply for either a three-month, six-month or even twelve-month visa, both single and multi-entry. But if you’re not sure how long you want to stay, it might be a good idea to apply for the twelve-month multi-entry visa. You can then visit the neighboring countries such as Cambodia for example. It’s very easy to get to Siem Reap from Ho Chi Minh City. Just take the bus for a few hours and you’re already in a new country. Perhaps that’s another reason why so many people love to live in Vietnam – the accessibility to other Southeast Asian countries. The world is yours when you live in Vietnam and the only thing you need to do is hop on a bus. Sounds pretty incredible, right?

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