What is the cost of living in Vietnam?
Prices are in US Dollars
This is exactly my question before I purchased my very affordable ticket to Vietnam, what is the cost of living in Vietnam? Many travellers and former expats in Vietnam assured me that it is cheap, which I think was one of enough reasons to move to Vietnam. After I moved, I found their statement both right and wrong.
Vietnam is relatively cheap, especially if you are looking in retiring in Vietnam or simply planning to start a new chapter of your life. The cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City is different from Hanoi or from the smaller towns in the country. It also depends on what lifestyle you are planning to have; type of accommodation, food to eat, where to shop, or how to get around in Vietnam are the factors you have to consider.
To give you an idea, I will list down what are the expected living prices in Vietnam from the housing, food, alcohol, transportation, and other things that can be helpful.
Do you need a tourist visa to Vietnam? You can get it here.
HOW MUCH IS THE AVERAGE COST OF LIVING IN VIETNAM?
For an expat, the average cost of living in Vietnam is $500 including a cheap rent, decent food, transportation, and budget for leisure. I’m spending a little less than this as I share a room with my boyfriend in a shared apartment. We also rented a motorbike to go around the city and mostly cook the food for ourselves. Our biggest expense is the apartment and leisure during the weekends.
NOTE: $1=22,000 VND
APARTMENT AND HOUSE PRICES IN VIETNAM
The best thing here is that Vietnam can accommodate both expats who are looking into cheap living and those who are keen to have a luxurious life. Here is for more detailed about the difference between the type of housing in Vietnam and its prices. The price varies depending on the location and services that are included. Finding an apartment or house in Vietnam can be easy or hard depending on where and when are you arriving or moving.
LENGTH OF CONTRACT: minimum of 6 months to 1 year
ELECTRICITY PRICE IN VIETNAM: 3,000-4,500 VND per KW
PRICES OF FOOD IN VIETNAM
I think everywhere you go in the world, it’s almost a lot cheaper to cook for yourself than eating outside or getting a food delivered right to your door.
COOKING: $1 and up – doing your grocery at the local dry market is always cheaper than shopping in commercialised grocery stores
EATING OUT: $1 (if you eat on those small side street restaurant) $3-$5 (in fast food chains) $8 and up (for restaurants)
FOOD DELIVERY: $2 and up (sometimes the delivery fee is free)
COST OF TRANSPORTATION IN VIETNAM
Forget about driving your car unless you can’t stand the pollution in the big city, driving a car will take you forever to get to where you want to go. There is a big chance you will be stuck in traffic especially if you plan to use this when going to work. Motorbikes are your on-the-go way to get around.
BUYING A SECONDHAND MOTORBIKE: $250 (Hanoi) $350+ (Ho Chi Minh City), cheaper in the smaller cities/towns
RENTING A MOTORBIKE: $40 and up per month with a deposit of $200+
GAS: $1 per litre
MOTORBIKE TAXI: $.50 (minimum) depending on how far and the demand at the time of booking, you can use either Grab or Uber phone apps.
GRAB CAR or UBERCAR: $1.5 depending on the size, distance, and the demand at the time of booking
BUS: $.25 (local buses in the city) prepare for the traffic
BUSES TO THE NEXT TOWN OR CITY: $7+ (depending on the bus company and the travel distance) – Check the bus times and prices of out of the city buses here.
BICYCLE: $25 (buying a second-hand push bike)
RELATED POST: Teaching in Vietnam; Important things you need to know
ALCOHOL PRICES IN VIETNAM:
Alcohol is quite cheap too, depending on where you are buying. Cocktails and beers are expensive in bars and clubs especially in the big cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, also in touristy places.
|GROCERY STORES||BARS & CLUBS|
|Wine||$5 (local wine)
$10 (imported wine)
|$4+ per glass|
|Hard liquor||$7 (local)
|$2+ per shot|