Cost of Living in Vietnam
Writing a single page on the cost of living in Vietnam is no easy task as there are so many lifestyles and locations. However, if you are reading this page, it's likely you are a foreigner considering becoming an expat in Vietnam, so we will write with this assumption. Furthermore, the majority will be looking at HCMC or Hanoi, so the figures will reflect prices in those cities. Bear in mind that the cost of living in provincial towns and cities will be substantially lower.
There is a full range of accommodation options to suit most budgets. The biggest cities also have high quality serviced apartments.
A one room studio, probably in a guesthouse or similar, can be had for around 400 US Dollars per month and would include aircon, hot shower, cable TV and WiFi Internet. This would probably only be suitable if you're on your own. If you go any cheaper than this, you'll be approaching backpacker status.
Economic growth invariably brings with it more expensive accommodation and recent years have seen housing costs in the expatriate sector being driven up by high demand. Larger apartments start at around 1000 - 1,500 US$ with a couple of bedrooms.
Serviced apartments in prime central locations start at around 3000 US$ and can be in excess of 10,000 US$ per month. These are best for expats on short term contracts, or where the longevity of their stay is uncertain. You will also benefit from good security.
To summarise, accommodation in the major cities can be as expensive as you want it to be and expatriates often end up paying far higher than average rates. Of course, this won't be too much of a concern if your employer is footing the bill.
Listed below are examples of typical monthly expenses, such as common food items and services and meant as a rough guide only. All prices are in Vietnam Dong for accuracy due to exchange rate fluctuations, unless stated otherwise...
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Major annual or one off costs
- School fees (in US$)
$5000 - $12,000
- Visa fees (in US$)
$200 - $300
Food and entertainment
- Bowl of Pho soup
- Budget meal
20,000 - 30,000
- Mid-priced meal
70,000 - 150,000
- Luxury hotel/restaurant meal
- Bottle of beer
- Pack of cigarettes
- Taxi from HCMC Airport to District 1
- Taxi from Hanoi Airport to the Old Quarter
- Typical 3 star hotel room
- Top end hotel
2,500,000 - 5,000,000
- 1 kilo of laundry
- Doctor visit
- Maid's salary
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