Hoi An | © xiquinhosilva / Flickr
11 May 2018
Vietnam is one of the best places in Asia for expats to live abroad, and there are plenty of reasons as to why. For pennies on the dollar, you get a year-round tropical climate and access to modern comforts and conveniences. Here are the best cities in Vietnam for expats to live.
Ho Chi Minh City
Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam and is home to about eight million people, many of whom you will come across in the daily hustle and bustle. The city is complete mayhem, yet organized, making it perfect for those who enjoy big urban cities. The city never sleeps, with shops open 24 hours, and nightlife with beer as cheap as 0.30 USD per bottle. There are 12 districts, each with awesome residential areas, plenty of dining and drinking options, parks and recreational activities, and other necessary things expats look for: easy transport (Uber and Grab!), shopping malls, hospitals, schools, banks, etc. An underground train system connecting all districts is being built. The city is very international, with a large expat community that you can get familiar with by joining the HCMC Expat group on Facebook. You can survive on about 600 USD per month, excluding rent. If you get tired of the constant honks and horns, there are fast getaways around the Mekong Delta, Mui Ne, Phu Quoc, Da Lat, and Vung Tau. Visa runs to Cambodia can be done in one day.
Ho Chi Minh City | © dronepicr / Flickr
Hanoi may have less of a cosmopolitan flair than Ho Chi Minh City in the south, but it’s definitely a more cultural hub. The weather is cooler here, plus you get easy access to all of the gorgeous northern provinces of Vietnam, such as Sapa, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, and Ha Long Bay. The cost of living is similar to that of Ho Chi Minh City and you get a lot of the conveniences of the southern city as well, with plenty of shopping and dining options, parks, nightlife, and easy travel from one place to another. The expat community is also friendly, and most are spread around Tay Ho or Dong Da District.
Hanoi | © Matthias Andrasch / Flickr
Da Nang is Vietnam’s third largest city and is home to a population of over 1.3 million. It has recently been voted as the most livable city in Vietnam, and it’s shockingly clean and organized. The best part is that it has all three features people often look for: mountains, beaches, and urbanization. You’ll never be bored, and there are plenty of things to do, see and travel around, especially the gorgeous Ancient Town of Hoi An that makes a fantastic retreat. The expat community here is tight knit, growing daily, and just like in the other cities, you will find them on a related Facebook group. This city is great for digital nomads with foreign incomes, as you can live like a king—the cost of living is only around 500 USD .
Da Nang | © xiquinhosilva / Flickr
Nha Trang is another gorgeous coastal city, home to around 400,000 people. It’s mostly a tourist town, full of high-rise resorts and is known for being the diving capital of Vietnam. It’s great for someone looking to retire with plenty of sea, sand, and sun. Mountains on one side, beaches on the other, and only four hours away from Da Lat by bus, you will have plenty to explore in the nearby vicinity. The nightlife is awesome, there are supermarkets and plenty of dining options, and the best part is that it’s actually a rather quiet coastal city, with less chaotic traffic, and a pleasant climate. Popular for Russian expats!
Hoi An is another great place to retire to. The Ancient Town is so beautiful you’ll want to walk around and explore every single lantern lit alleyway. Each yellow tea house here has its own story.
Hoi An is also famous for the Tra Que Vegetable Village, the first organic vegetable village in the country, where all the herbs and veggies found in the dishes in Hoi An are grown. An Bang and Cua Dai beaches are not far away either. If you’re missing out on the urban life in Hoi An, just remember that Da Nang is only a 30-minute drive away. Settling in Hoi An is not hard to imagine. Picture yourself in the grassy countryside, sitting in the patio of a beautiful newly-built Vietnamese house by the river and some pet water buffalo grazing around. It’s a romantic town, great to live in with your significant other when your children have gone off to college. You can easily get by on about 400 USD per month.
Hoi An | © xiquinhosilva / Flickr
Now we stray away from the popular options. Sapa is for the true wanderer. The city doesn’t have much going for itself—it’s an old French colonial town, with a few restaurants, cafes, and homes, surrounded by mountains, lakes, cascading rice terraces in all shades, and beautiful ethnic villages. While the town itself is rather touristy, we suggest you should live outside of it. What’s special about Sapa is basically everything else. Explore the area, build a homestay by hand from scratch, and truly experience what it’s like living in the mountains. You’ll be hunting for your own food, growing your own crops, and drinking yourself to sleep thanks to all that homemade rice wine.
Sapa | © Jorge Cancela / Flickr
Ha Long City
This is not a very popular option, however it is gaining more expats. Ha Long City is where you find the spectacular Ha Long Bay, the number one visited spot in Vietnam by tourists. This is not a busy city, and there may not be many things to do. But it’s a great place to escape the chaos. Not only do you have a plethora of islands to explore at your reach, but Hanoi is only a four or so hour bus ride away. Ha Long City is great for someone looking to explore some nature, while doing a job such as teaching English.
Da Lat, set at an altitude of about 5000 feet (1500 meters), is what the French colonists used as a cool retreat from the heat and humidity of Vietnam. Da Lat has year-round cool weather that is extremely welcoming. Not only that, but there is good food, and plenty of nature.
The town is picturesque with colorful French-influenced architecture. You will find an okay nightlife, a good handful of restaurants that you will find yourself returning to time and time again, gardens, parks, and supermarkets. The coffee scene here is wonderful, with many plantations and something you can start up if you know what you are doing.
Mui Ne has a population of around 300,000, and is a nice little coastal city in the south, offering beaches, resorts, and sand dunes. You can make what you want of it—a luxury escape, or something more humble, as it can cater to both. Start a beach side bar, with games, books, live music and soul food, and you’ll win at life. You’ll make a good living that way and meet some awesome people. During your free time, you can partake in some kitesurfing, as this town is known to get some awesome wind swell.
The number one getaway in south Vietnam is undoubtedly Phu Quoc Island, sitting pretty just off the coast of Cambodia. Not only is it surrounded on all sides by beach, but it is also mountainous and densely forested, especially in the northeast, where you find the gigantic Phu Quoc National Park, mostly used for research. If you are a beach bum and would like a little beach house or to spend your day doing beach-related things, then this is ideal. The town has nothing much to do, just some bars here and there, a market, and some restaurants. The national park is also great for hiking, camping, and exploring. You will spend some of your days lazing out at the beach, reading stacks of books, and other days on a motorcycle exploring the island and finding hidden gems. It will be adventurous, yet relaxing at the same time. A 40-minute flight to Ho Chi Minh City will cost you about 30 USD, so remember, the city is not too far away.
Phu Quoc | © Dan Searle / Flickr
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way.That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories:Epic Trips,Mini TripsandSailing Trips.Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.
Epic Tripsare deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. OurMini Tripsare small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longerEpic Tripsinto a manageable 3-5 day window. OurSailing Tripsinvite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.
Where do rich people live in Vietnam? ›
And the most prominent and expensive area is District 1, the CBD. While wealthy families often live in other districts, District 1 is still unequivocally the hub for all premium international business amenities, including top hotels, landmark office buildings, and luxury retail.Where do foreigners live in Vietnam? ›
Two of the most popular neighbourhoods with English-speaking expats include Tay Ho in Hanoi and Binh Thanh in Ho Chi Minh City. Once you are a bit more settled, you might find life in other cities appealing, especially those on Vietnam's beautiful coast.Is it cheaper to live in Thailand or Vietnam? ›
The average cost of living in Thailand ($742) is 19% more expensive than in Vietnam ($622). Thailand ranked 112th vs 139th for Vietnam in the list of the most expensive countries in the world. The average after-tax salary is enough to cover living expenses for 0.8 months in Thailand compared to 0.7 months in Vietnam.What is the cheapest city to live in in Vietnam? ›
1. Tra Vinh. Out of 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam, Tra Vinh is the least expensive place to live, with a rate of 87.6% compared to Hanoi. It is a province located in the Mekong Delta with much tourism potential, due to its rich culture and history, especially the Khmer culture.Is Vietnam safer than Thailand? ›
Both countries are roughly the same in terms of safety, with Vietnam having a slight advantage. Scams are a greater risk than violent crime, which isn't really an issue. Thailand is slightly more prone to fraud and petty thefts, but only because it's more popular with tourists.What is considered rich in Vietnam? ›
According to Knight Frank's report, in order to be included in the 1% richest people in Vietnam, one needs to have assets worth at least US$160,000. For Monaco, which has the world's densest population of super-rich, the entry point for the principality's branch of the 1% club is US$7.9 million.How much is a house in Vietnam in USD? ›
The average home in Vietnam costs approximately $4,500. Monthly rent varies, but the average cost is about $650, and this price often includes utilities.What is the divorce rate in Vietnam? ›
The divorce rate in urban areas is a little higher than in rural areas – 2.6% compared to 2%. The proportion of the population aged 15 and over who have been married in Vietnam is 76.9%. Of that figure, the number of people who are still married makes up 67.7%.How much does it cost to rent a house in Vietnam? ›
|Apartment rental (one bedroom)||$400 to $900|
|Electricity||$60 to $80|
|Cell phone with unlimited data||$3|
Expat Retirement In Vietnam- Cost of Living Update 2022
Vietnam is high on my list of favorite affordable retirement destinations. For context, a professional white-collar worker's average wage in Vietnam is ~$450 per month. Compared to the US, those are some ridiculously low salaries.
How much money do I need to move to Vietnam? ›
|Rent (Western-style 1-bedroom)||$400|
|Utilities (including fast wifi)||$70|
|Transportation (motorbike + gas, or month of Grab motos)||$60|
|Food (mix of local & international)||$300|
The law on land ownership in Vietnam is valid for all types of property. A foreign owner can purchase an apartment, house, villa or land. Foreign individuals and foreign entities cannot hold more than 30% of the shares of a building or more than 250 properties in the same district.How much do English teachers make in Vietnam? ›
The average monthly income in Vietnam is approximately $1,500 USD (typical for most teachers who work for one language school).Is Vietnam cheaper than Bali? ›
Bali is 40.2% more expensive than Vietnam.Which is best Vietnam or Cambodia? ›
If you fancy relaxing on the beach before visiting some of the world's most important cultural and religious sites, we'd recommend a trip to Cambodia. But, if foodie delights and cosmopolitan cities are more your thing, Vietnam is the place for you.Is Vietnam hotter than Thailand? ›
Vietnam and Thailand have similar weather conditions — both are tropical countries with rainy and dry seasons. Thailand is a little hotter than Vietnam due to a lower latitudes in the south.How much are apartments in Vietnam? ›
|MONTHLY EXPENSES||PRICE (in US dollars)|
|Apartment (1 bedroom)||$400 – $600|
|Apartment (2 bedroom)||$650 – $1,000|
|Basic (Electricity, water, Cooling, garbage, heating)||$70|
|Simple entertainment (Cinema, fitness, cafe, … )||$200 – $300|
- Fort Wayne, Indiana.
- Wichita Falls, Texas.
- Brownsville, Texas.
- South Bend, Indiana.
- Dayton, Ohio.
- Toledo, Ohio.
- Evansville, Indiana.
- Buffalo, New York.
- Costa Rica.
Some say that Thailand has better beaches and a livelier nightlife. Others find Vietnam the most beautiful place on earth and are drawn to its fairly affordable prices. But, apart from the differences, both Vietnam and Thailand are paradisiac places, capable of pleasing the most inquisitive travelers.
Where should I live in Thailand or Vietnam? ›
Both are 'stable' and considered safe for travelling and living, in terms of daily life. Thailand wins hands down with convenience, options and comfort. Travelling around Vietnam, although progressing quickly, is still more of an adventure.Is Vietnam richer than Thailand? ›
Specifically, in the period 2018-2021, Thailand's average GDP (7,800 USD/year) is about 3 times that of Vietnam (2,740 USD/year). In 2021, the average GDP of Vietnam will reach about 2,859 USD and Thailand will reach about 7,645 USD. In 2021 alone, Thailand's average GDP is about 2.7 times that of Vietnam.How much money do I need for 1 month in Vietnam? ›
Our rough estimate was a budget of around US$ 3,000 (total for 2 people) for 30 days. That worked out at US$ 50 per day per person, which is a comfortable amount for Vietnam and would allow us room for the occasional splurge. We break down our travel expenses into the following categories: Flights.How much tax do you pay in Vietnam? ›
US Expat Taxes - Vietnam.
|Non-residents - Other tax rates on non-resident individuals|
|Income from capital investment||5%|
|Transfer of capital||0.1%|
The average pay for a Medical Doctor is VND 1,059,351,377 a year and VND 509,304 an hour in Vietnam. The average salary range for a Medical Doctor is between VND 703,409,314 and VND 1,347,494,951. On average, a Doctorate Degree is the highest level of education for a Medical Doctor.How much does a car cost in Vietnam? ›
The price range for hatchbacks is 120,000 – 500,000, mid-size sedans range from 600,000 – 12,00,000 and luxury sedans range from 14,00,000 – 45,00,000. SUV's start at 900,000 and go up to 60,00,000.Is there any US bank in Vietnam? ›
There are five U.S. banks and financial institutions operating in Vietnam. Citibank and Far East National Bank have branches, Wells Fargo and Visa International have representative offices, and JP Morgan Chase has both a branch and a representative office.Where is the cheapest country to buy a house? ›
In 2022, Vietnam was ranked as the most economical destination for first home buyers by the Annual Global Retirement Index. Vietnam saw a 50% decline in rent over the past year and housing prices do not drastically exceed the median income.What is considered rich in Vietnam? ›
According to Knight Frank's report, in order to be included in the 1% richest people in Vietnam, one needs to have assets worth at least US$160,000. For Monaco, which has the world's densest population of super-rich, the entry point for the principality's branch of the 1% club is US$7.9 million.Is it expensive to live in Vietnam? ›
Cost of Living in Vietnam.
|Entertainment (eating out five nights a week, including beer or soft drinks)||$250 to $300|
|Monthly Total:||$899 to $1,469|
Is Vietnam a good place to live? ›
Vietnam is one of the best places in Asia for expats to live abroad, and there are plenty of reasons as to why. For pennies on the dollar, you get a year-round tropical climate and access to modern comforts and conveniences. Here are the best cities in Vietnam for expats to live.Is Vietnam a safe place to retire? ›
Safety and Security.
Vietnam ranks 57th in safety and has a very low crime rate. Violent crime in Vietnam is very rare, and the country makes sure to offer its citizens a safe environment where they can live peacefully.
Foreigners can only buy property if they are allowed to enter Vietnam. Although there is no limit on the number of properties to buy, foreigners are restricted to buy a maximum of 30% of the units in a condominium. They are also not allowed to own more than 10% of the properties in a landed project.How much money do I need to retire in Vietnam? ›
How much does it cost to retire in Vietnam? Expats can enjoy comfortable, upper-middle class retired life in Vietnam for $900 to $1,200 a month. Expats on social security or pension income can afford a luxury 1-bedroom apartment with maid service, utilities, meals, cell phone, transportation, and entertainment.How much is a house in Vietnam in USD? ›
The average home in Vietnam costs approximately $4,500. Monthly rent varies, but the average cost is about $650, and this price often includes utilities.Does Vietnam speak English? ›
The short answer is absolute yes. Many people in Vietnam can speak English, most of them work in tourism sectors in almost big cities in Vietnam including Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, Nha Trang, Mui Ne, Hoi An, Ninh Binh…Can I drink the tap water in Vietnam? ›
Drinking tap water generally isn't recommended in Vietnam. Water contaminated with pathogenic organisms is a major source of sickness and can lead to traveler's experiencing diarrhea, gastroenteritis, typhoid, cholera, giardia, dysentery and hepatitis A.How much do you need to move to Vietnam? ›
|BUDGET FOR MOVING TO VIETNAM: $990|
|Visa (+ stamp fee)||$150|
|Rent + Bills + Deposit||$250 + 30 + 250|
|Transportation (rent of motorbike + deposit + gas)||$40 + $200 + 10|
|Grocery (1 month)||$50|
Safety. Both countries are roughly the same in terms of safety, with Vietnam having a slight advantage. Scams are a greater risk than violent crime, which isn't really an issue. Thailand is slightly more prone to fraud and petty thefts, but only because it's more popular with tourists.What is the divorce rate in Vietnam? ›
The divorce rate in urban areas is a little higher than in rural areas – 2.6% compared to 2%. The proportion of the population aged 15 and over who have been married in Vietnam is 76.9%. Of that figure, the number of people who are still married makes up 67.7%.
How much do English teachers make in Vietnam? ›
The average monthly income in Vietnam is approximately $1,500 USD (typical for most teachers who work for one language school).Is Vietnam friendly to Americans? ›
Twenty-five years after the establishment of bilateral relations in 1995, the United States and Vietnam are trusted partners with a friendship grounded in mutual respect.
- Portugal. ...
- Colombia. ...
- Ecuador. ...
- France. ...
- Malta. ...
- Spain. ...
- Uruguay. ...
In order to reside permanently in Vietnam and be eligible for naturalization in Vietnam, you have to apply for a permanent residence card, which has the same validity duration as a visa.