For those that are currently in Vietnam, you might be thinking, “Well, of course, everyone would want to move here. You’ve got it all! Cheap local Vietnamese foods, lovely people, lush nature, expansive beaches, bustling cities, mesmerizing temples, and more.”
Throw that in with a relatively low cost of living and proximity to plenty of other beautiful countries to visit, and moving to Vietnam seems like a no-brainer.
That also seems to be what plenty of digital nomads are considering. While there are still plenty of desert nomads wandering from oasis to oasis without settling down, the term nomad has grown over the past decade to include those who work wherever. This includes being all over the globe.
Thanks to the power of the internet, the rise of remote working, and more acceptance for flexible scheduling, more and more people are turning to the lives of becoming a digital nomad.
While not everyone is cut out for the life of a digital nomad, Vietnam certainly offers several incentives when it comes to promoting the digital nomad lifestyle.
Below, we’re going to run through many reasons why Vietnam is quickly becoming a haven for digital nomads all over the world. By the end, you may just be packing your bags and moving to Vietnam!
ALSO READ: How to move to Vietnam: a step-by-step guide
Reasons Digital Nomads Love Vietnam
Vietnam is the new hotspot for many digital nomads in Southeast Asia. Who could blame them? Vietnam has one of the fastest and cheapest internet speeds in Southeast Asia, delicious and authentic food, affordable cost of living, a big expat community, an easy visa, affordable co-working spaces, and most importantly so easy to travel from here to other parts of the world.
The Visa Process is Easy
Now that the country is totally open to visitors again after COVID, the entry requirements for Vietnam are simple again. The main issue to navigate will be your visa.
Compared to other Southeast Asian countries or other famous places like Europe, the visa process for Vietnam is quite easy. You can apply for a year-long visa if you are a US citizen online and have it processed relatively quickly (depending on your nationality). You can check here if you are eligible for one year visa. (please note, this is pre-covid information)
However, the visa-run culture is pretty well practised in Vietnam by many travellers and expats here (mostly English teachers).
This is much better than European countries which may take months to process a visa or even neighbouring countries like Thailand, where the process is a bit more strung-out. When it comes to the red tape, Vietnam doesn’t have a ton.
You can get a business visa to legally live, apply for jobs, start a job (while waiting for your work permit), and sign an apartment.
Inexpensive Cost of Living
Like most of Southeast Asia (excluding you, Singapore) the cost of living is pretty low. Clicking on the above article in the first paragraph, you could see that the average cost of living is $535 per month. That’s including food, transportation, bills, leisure…everything.
An average apartment will run you around $300, and you won’t be getting a glorified closet, but a real studio. Compare that to US cities where the average cost of rent is around $1000 while approximately $900 in Italy for the cost of living, you can put much more of your money into travelling or investing in your business. If you’d like to send all that money back home, though, it can’t be a little challenging – find out why in this post.
Learn more in this guide to the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), the country’s largest city, and about the country’s casual dress code.
Strong and Reliable Internet
Let’s say you’re planning to run an eCommerce business and you just purchased the perfect domain name. Congratulations, you’re a step closer to have your own business!
You’re going to need to be online 100% of the time to update the site, work with manufacturers, respond to customer inquiries, and work with your team. With a job like writing or editing, you can at least work offline for part of the time and wait for the internet to be restored. In fact, Vietnam is on top 58 fastest internet speed all over the world.
But you need a place where your internet is going to be reliable. Behind Singapore and Thailand, Vietnam has the fastest internet in the region, you can check it here. While you may be able to download a movie or stream music faster in other countries, you just need a stable, reliable internet that’s not going to drop out on you without warning randomly.
ALSO READ: How to get a Vietnam SIM card
Numerous Awesome Cities to Work and Live
While you might be tempted to head straight to one of the big cities like Ho Chi Minh, where there are so many things to do, there are plenty of other places where you can set up and get work done. One of the more popular spots in Da Nang, a beach community that is much cleaner and safer than a big city. Plus, this city has its own international airport.
You’re not going to get the hustle and bustle of constant traffic noise throughout the day, and you can’t really beat the beach being right there. That’s not to say Ho Chi Minh (formerly known as Saigon) isn’t a great place. The city is packed with thousands of cafes and coffee shops that offer a quiet place for you to work.
You might have to deal with the number of people and constant business, but it’s still got plenty of options. Another option is Hoi An, a bit of an ancient town. You’re pretty close to the beach and can stay in some fantastic resorts for cheap.
ALSO READ: Best cities to live in Vietnam
Great Expat and Digital Nomad Community
While it’s difficult to quantify such a claim, browse through any online travel forum and you will see people raving about the culture and people of Vietnam.
Vietnamese, especially the youth, are seen as incredibly hard-working people who also want to learn English. While it would be smart to try and learn a bit of Vietnamese when you’re there, you won’t have too much trouble getting around or ordering coffee.
There’s one word that stands out when describing the people: nice. People in Vietnam are hospitable and helpful. That’s not to say there won’t be bad experiences and everyone will throw a red carpet at your feet, but overall they are kind people who will be willing to help you out when they can.
ALSO READ: Active Facebook groups for expats in Vietnam
There’s Always Something to Do
Being a digital nomad isn’t just about being glued to your computer and working throughout the day. You’re a nomad because you want to see other countries and experience new things.
Vietnam is filled with activities. Streets are filled with markets where you can look for anything you want or find delicious street food. It’s hard to find a place that doesn’t have a cafe or delightful restaurant on the corner.
Outside the cities, you’ll find forests, lakes, and cultural events celebrating local holidays. Maintaining that work-life balance is vital for any digital nomad. Just make sure you are taking the breaks you need and relaxing a bit to enjoy the place you are. Set a schedule for yourself early so you can make sure and take advantage of whatever Vietnam throws your way.
ALSO READ: Fun things to do in Vietnam
We hope that you now see why digital nomads are moving to Vietnam, and are maybe even considering it yourself!