Welcome to our ultimate guide for expats planning their dream retirement in Vietnam. As you embark on this exciting journey of slow travel through Asia, understanding the monthly living costs and creating a budget tailored to your lifestyle is crucial. In this comprehensive Vietnam budget guide, we’ll delve into the intricacies of living expenses in Vietnam, offering invaluable insights to help you make the most of your retirement in this vibrant and culturally rich country.

Vietnam Long Term Visa Options

Vietnam offers a few visa options for long-term stays, depending on your purpose:

  • LB Temporary Residence Card (LTRC): This is the most common visa for long-term residents in Vietnam. It’s valid for two years (with the possibility of extensions) and is suitable for people who want to live in Vietnam but aren’t working there. Requirements typically include proof of financial support and health insurance.
  • Business Visas (Single/Multiple Entry): These visas can be useful for entrepreneurs, investors, or those involved in business activities in Vietnam. The validity period varies depending on the type (single or multiple entry) and can be extended under certain circumstances. Requirements involve documentation from a Vietnamese company or business venture.
  • Dependent Visas: Spouses and dependent children of Vietnamese citizens or LTRC holders can qualify for dependent visas. The validity period is typically linked to the validity of the sponsor’s visa. Requirements involve marriage certificates or birth certificates proving the relationship.
  • Special Visas: Vietnam offers some special visas for specific purposes like retirement or teaching. Requirements and validity periods will vary depending on the visa type. It’s recommended to research these options thoroughly with the Vietnamese embassy or consulate.

For further information on visas for Vietnam: Vietnam Immigration Department

Unlocking Affordable Living: Accommodation Options in Vietnam

When it comes to retirement living in Vietnam, finding the right place to call home is key. The good news? Vietnam boasts a diverse range of accommodation options to suit every taste and budget. Here’s a breakdown to help you choose your Vietnam monthly living costs haven:

City Slickers:

  • Apartments in Bustling Hubs: Thrive in the energy of Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. Studio apartments start around $300-$400 a month, putting you in the heart of the action. Look for neighborhoods like District 1 in Ho Chi Minh City or the Old Quarter in Hanoi for a vibrant atmosphere. Imagine strolling bustling streets filled with energy and exploring historical landmarks right at your doorstep – for a surprisingly affordable price!
  • Furnished Condos for Convenience: Opt for the ease of condo rentals on Airbnb, which often include amenities like security, gym / pool, and even on-site restaurants. This can be ideal for those who prefer a hassle-free lifestyle. Prices vary depending on location and amenities, but expect to start around $500-$600 a month. Furnished rentals offer peace of mind and let you focus on enjoying your retirement without worrying about minor details.

Beachside Bliss:

  • Coastal Apartments/Villas: Imagine waking up to ocean views every day. Beachfront living in Nha Trang, Hoi An, Da Nang, or Phu Quoc is surprisingly affordable, with options starting around $500 a month on Airbnb. Enjoy the relaxed pace of coastal life and have your toes in the sand whenever you please. Beachfront living doesn’t have to break the bank in Vietnam. Long-term rentals can make it even more affordable, allowing you to embrace the tranquility of the coast.
  • Homestays for Local Charm: Immerse yourself in Vietnamese culture with a homestay experience. Live with a local family, practice your Vietnamese, and get a glimpse into everyday life. Homestays are a budget-friendly option, typically costing around $300 a month, and offer a unique cultural experience. Homestays provide a chance to connect with Vietnamese culture and experience a different way of life, all at a budget-friendly price point.

Beyond the City and Beach:

  • Hillside Hideaways: Escape the hustle and bustle in a charming mountain town like Sapa or Dalat. Rent a cozy bungalow or apartment for a fraction of the cost of coastal living. Embrace the cooler temperatures, stunning scenery, and tranquility of the hills. Seeking a cooler climate and breathtaking mountain views? Consider a hillside hideaway – a haven of peace at an affordable price.

General Tips for Finding Your Place:

  • Negotiation is Key: Don’t be afraid to negotiate, especially for long-term rentals. Landlords are often open to offering discounts for extended stays. Long-term rentals are a great way to bring down your cost of living in Vietnam.
  • Explore Online Resources: Use websites like Nestpick or Vietnam Rentals to find a wide range of listings across Vietnam. These resources can help you find the perfect place that fits your needs and budget.
  • Consider Location: Think about your lifestyle preferences. Do you crave city energy, or are you seeking a quieter environment? Proximity to amenities and transportation options will also factor into your decision. Consider your ideal lifestyle – bustling city center, beachfront paradise, or tranquil mountain retreat. Vietnam offers it all!

Living in Vietnam opens doors to a world of possibilities. With its diverse accommodation options, affordable prices, and stunning locations, you’re sure to find the perfect place to create your dream retirement haven. In the next post, we’ll delve deeper into other aspects of daily life in Vietnam, like budget for living in Vietnam considerations for food and transportation costs. Stay tuned!

A Culinary Adventure on a Budget: Dining in Vietnam

Vietnam offers a vibrant and distinct culinary scene that will tantalize your taste buds without emptying your wallet. From steaming bowls of phở to fresh rice paper rolls, get ready to embark on a delicious and affordable dining adventure in Vietnam.

Eating Like a Local on a Budget:

  • Street Food Delights: Immerse yourself in the heart of Vietnamese cuisine with street food vendors. Sample savory bánh mì (sandwiches), fragrant bánh xèo (crispy rice pancakes), or flavorful bún chả (grilled pork with noodles) – all for a steal (around VND 20,000-50,000 per dish $0.79-$1.97).
  • Local Markets & Eateries: Explore bustling markets brimming with fresh ingredients. Many have dedicated food stalls offering delicious cooked options at budget-friendly prices (VND 30,000-60,000 per dish $1.18-$2.36), perfect for a quick and tasty lunch.
  • Hidden Cafes & Family-Run Restaurants: Venture beyond tourist hotspots and discover hidden gems – charming cafes serving strong Vietnamese coffee with a side dish or family-run restaurants offering authentic home-cooked meals at reasonable prices (VND 50,000-100,000 per meal $1.97 -$3.94).
  • Western Food: Craving international flavors? Major Vietnamese cities offer a variety of restaurants serving everything from pizzas and burgers to sushi (VND 80,000-300,000 per meal $3.15 -$11.82). While Western options might be pricier, budget-friendly cafes and local takes on international cuisine can satisfy your cravings without breaking the bank. Remember, Vietnam’s culinary scene is a treasure trove – be adventurous and try some local dishes, you might discover a new favorite!

A Note on Home Cooking:

While grocery shopping and cooking at home can be an option, factor in ingredient costs and the unique cultural experience street food provides. The convenience and affordability of street vendors are often hard to beat, leaving you more time to explore the vibrant dining scene of Vietnam on a budget.

Remember, these are just starting points. Prices might vary depending on location and ingredients.

In the next post, we’ll delve deeper into other aspects of daily life in Vietnam, like transportation options and their costs. Stay tuned for more ways to experience Vietnam on a budget!

Vietnam budget guide

Vietnam boasts a network of affordable and efficient public options to explore the country in 2024. Buckle up for an adventure on a budget!

Cities and Connections:

  • Ho Chi Minh City: Ho Chi Minh City Metro (MRT) network in currently under construction and set to open at the end of the year.
  • Hanoi: Hanoi’s public transport system is undergoing exciting developments! The Hanoi Metro Line 2A is now operational, connecting inner-city areas. Expect further expansion in the coming years. For now, rely on the extensive and budget-friendly bus network, with fares starting around VND 3,500 ($0.15 USD).
  • Da Nang & Other Cities: Cities like Da Nang, Hoi An, Nha Trang, and Can Tho all have reliable public bus systems offering easy and affordable access to key destinations. Fares typically start around VND 5,000 ($0.22 USD) depending on the route.

Long-Distance Travel:

  • Trains: The Reunification Express (SE Train) connects major cities throughout Vietnam, offering a comfortable and scenic way to travel. Prices vary based on distance and seat type, starting around VND 150,000 ($6.50 USD) for shorter journeys.
  • Buses: Open Tour buses or private company coaches provide popular and affordable options for long-distance travel. Fares typically start from VND 100,000 ($4.30 USD) and can vary depending on the route and amenities offered. Reputable companies like The Sinh Tourist, Hoang Long, and Futa Bus lines offer reliable services.
  • Flights: For faster travel between major cities like Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Da Nang, and Nha Trang, domestic flights can be surprisingly affordable, especially during promotions. Airlines like VietJet Air, Vietnam Airlines, and Bamboo Airways offer competitive fares.

Ride-Sharing Options:

  • Grab & Be: Widely available throughout Vietnam, Grab and Be (formerly BeGrab) offer ride-sharing services with fares based on distance and demand. While slightly more expensive than public transport, they provide convenient door-to-door options.
  • Motorbikes: Taxis are available in major cities, but motorbikes are a popular and often cheaper alternative, especially for short trips. Negotiate fares clearly before your journey.

Remember, these are just starting points. Prices might vary depending on location, route, and travel class.

Travel Medical Health Insurance

While exploring the cost of living in Vietnam, healthcare is a major consideration. The good news? Vietnam boasts a surprisingly affordable system offering quality care, making it an attractive option for expats and visitors.

Affordable Options:

  • Public Hospitals and Clinics: Vietnam’s public healthcare system offers excellent value. With a network of hospitals and clinics nationwide, you can access quality care at subsidized rates. Be prepared for potentially longer wait times compared to private facilities.
  • Private Hospitals: Numerous private hospitals cater to diverse needs and budgets. They provide modern amenities, shorter wait times, and often have English-speaking staff. Costs are higher than public options but still generally lower than many Western countries.
  • Health Insurance: Consider supplementing existing insurance with a plan tailored to your needs. This can give you more flexibility to access private hospitals and specialists.

Quality and Communication:

  • Meeting High Standards: Vietnam’s healthcare system is continuously improving, with many facilities pursuing international accreditations.
  • Skilled Professionals: The country has a growing pool of well-trained medical professionals, with some receiving education abroad.
  • Language: English proficiency is increasing in medical settings, especially private hospitals, ensuring better communication and reducing language barriers.

Vietnam’s healthcare system offers a compelling combination of affordability, quality care, and improving infrastructure. This makes it a great option for those seeking quality medical services at a reasonable cost.

Remember: Costs can vary significantly depending on the type of facility, medical needs, and chosen treatments. Researching options and understanding insurance coverage is crucial. I recommend Safety Wing Nomad Insurance for a monthly affordable policy in my Living in Vietnam Budget Guide.

Budget-Friendly Adventures in Vietnam: Unforgettable Experiences

Vietnam monthly living costs

Vietnam offers a vibrant and exciting adventure waiting to be explored in 2024, and at a price that won’t break the bank! While affordability is a major perk, Vietnam boasts a diverse range of experiences catering to every taste and budget.

Unleashing Your Inner Explorer (Budget-Friendly):

  • Nature’s Paradise: Trek through lush rainforests in Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, kayak through the majestic Ha Long Bay, or explore hidden waterfalls in Da Lat. Vietnam’s stunning natural beauty offers endless possibilities for outdoor enthusiasts without hefty price tags.
  • Cultural Experiences: Immerse yourself in Vietnam’s rich history. Explore ancient temples like Angkor Wat (Cambodia, note: not in Vietnam) or Hoi An’s charming Old Town. Many cultural events and festivals throughout the year provide vibrant and authentic experiences, often free or at a minimal cost.
  • Beachside Bliss: Relax on pristine beaches like Nha Trang’s white sand shores or Phu Quoc Island’s paradise setting. Budget-friendly accommodation options and activities like snorkeling or motorbike rentals allow you to experience Vietnam’s stunning coastline without a fortune.
  • Bustling Cityscapes: Wander through the vibrant streets of Hanoi’s Old Quarter or Ho Chi Minh City’s Ben Thanh Market. Explore historical landmarks like the Imperial Citadel in Hue or the Notre Dame Cathedral in Ho Chi Minh City. Budget-friendly food stalls and local cafes offer delicious culinary experiences.

Remember: While Vietnam caters to budget travelers, consider your individual preferences for a truly unforgettable experience:

  • Beyond Budget-Friendly: Certain activities like museum entries, guided tours, or specific water sports may incur costs. Factor these into your planning.
  • Nightlife for All Budgets: Vietnam’s nightlife caters to various budgets. From lively rooftop bars to local bia hoi stalls, research options that fit your spending preferences.
  • Travel Responsibly: Respect local customs and dress codes, especially in religious or cultural sites. Choose eco-friendly activities whenever possible to preserve Vietnam’s natural beauty.

Average Monthly Cost of Living Budget in Vietnam

The budget provided is designed for an individual who enjoys regular social gatherings, dining out frequently, and participating in social activities three times a week. It’s crucial to adjust the Vietnam cost of living budget to suit your own lifestyle. While it’s technically possible to live on a monthly budget below $1,500, especially if you opt for a more remote location, it’s worth noting that some Airbnb rentals offer amenities like Wi-Fi, washing machines, electricity, water, gyms, and swimming pools. Cost of Goods & Everyday Items here.

Mid Range
High Range
Renting Airbnb Condo$500-$700$800-$1000
Renting Hotels$500-$700$800-$1200
Electric & Water Bill$50 /m or Covered in Airbnb$70 /m or Covered in Airbnb
Internet (Home Wi-Fi)260k VND ($10.25)260k VND ($10.25) / or Covered in Airbnb
Phone (Viettel)160 VND ($6.30)160 VND ($6.30 4GB data per day )
Eating Out15,000,000 VND ($600)20,000,000 VND ($800)
Groceries 2,545,000 VND ($100)5,090,000 VND ($200)
Transportation1,272,000 VND ($50)2,545,000 VND ($100)
Health Insurance $92.40$199
Visa$25$25 (Up to 90 Days)
Laundry Service382,000 VND ($15)636,000 VND ($25)
Gym (Monthly)350 VND ($14)650 VND ($26)
Shopping2,545,000 VND ($100)5,090,000 VND ($200)
Entertainment2,545,000 VND ($100)5,090,000 VND ($200)
Miscellaneous2,545,000 VND ($100)5,090,000 VND ($200)
AVERAGE MONTHLY TOTAL63,000,000 VND ($2,500+)90,000,000 VND ($3,500+)
Rough Estimate of Cost of Living in Vietnam per Month Depending Your Lifestyle

Vietnam Budget Guide My Actual Detailed Monthly Living Costs

Here’s a breakdown of my average monthly expenses for budget living in Da Nang, Vietnam, exclusively booking hotels for a month-long stay with my partner. We typically ate two meals a day, with one provided through the hotel breakfast. Our grocery runs mainly consisted of beer, water, and a few snacks to enjoy in the room. For dinner, we dined out every night and enjoyed leisurely walks and beach time. I prioritized budget-friendly options for accommodation, ensuring a comfortable room with air conditioning and a private bathroom. Since we mostly indulged in local cuisine and enjoyed drinks at home, our alcohol expenses were primarily included in our grocery bills.

My Monthly Cost
Accommodation 14,000,000 VND ($550)I Stayed 30 Days in 7 Different Hotels
Entertainment1,272,000 VND ($50)Entertainment
Laundry Bill 178,000 VND ($7)Laundry Service
Phone – Viettel250,000 VND ($10)Monthly 4G Prepaid. 4GB Per Day Internet
Eating Out12,724,000 VND ($500)Mix of local and restaurants.
Groceries 1,400,000VND ($55)Food + Beer + Toiletries
Transportation1,069,000 VND ($42)Grab Taxi
Health Insurance $78Travel Insurance
Visa$25$25 (Up to 90 Days)
Shopping891,000 VND ($35)Cloths + Travel Gear
Coffee2,163,000 VND ($85)Cafes
Misc9,238,000 VND ($363)Travel / Random Expenses
My Vietnam Cost of Living Per Month Budget 2024

How Much Money Do You Need to Live Comfortably in Vietnam?

Vietnam offers a diverse range of living experiences, and the cost of achieving your “comfort zone” will depend on your lifestyle choices. Here’s a breakdown to get you started: I would recommend a budget of $2,000 per month.

Living Comfortably:

  • Vietnam Monthly Living Costs: Ranging from $1,500 to $2,000 USD, this budget allows for a comfortable lifestyle in major cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. It covers essentials like a decent apartment, utilities, groceries, and local transportation. You’ll have some flexibility for socializing, dining out, and entertainment. This range reflects the difference in costs between major cities and slightly less expensive coastal towns like Da Nang or Hoi An.
  • Budget for living in Vietnam: A monthly budget of $1,000 to $1,200 USD provides a more basic but comfortable lifestyle, especially outside major cities. You can find affordable housing, cook most meals at home, and enjoy some local entertainment. Careful planning and budgeting are key here.

Rural Living:

  • Living expenses in Vietnam: With a budget of $500 to $800 USD monthly, living in rural areas can be significantly cheaper than cities. However, consider the trade-offs. Access to amenities, healthcare facilities, and entertainment options might be limited.

Important Considerations:

  • Cost of living in Vietnam: Choosing between Western amenities and local goods can significantly impact your expenses. Embracing the local lifestyle and cuisine can lead to a more budget-friendly experience.
  • Healthcare in Vietnam: Factor in health insurance or potential medical costs. Vietnam’s healthcare system is generally affordable, but unexpected needs can arise.
  • Vietnam monthly living costs: Research visa costs and any ongoing permit fees associated with your long-term stay in Vietnam.

Remember: These are just starting points. Prices can vary depending on location, accommodation type, and spending habits.

Ready to Start Your Dream Retirement in Vietnam? 

Do your research, explore different cities and towns, and discover the perfect place to call home in Vietnam. With its affordable cost of living, diverse culture, and breathtaking landscapes, Vietnam offers expats an unparalleled opportunity to live a happy and fulfilling life abroad while managing their cost of living in Vietnam effectively. Whether you’re drawn to the bustling energy of city life or the tranquil charm of coastal or mountainous regions, Vietnam’s budget-friendly living expenses ensure that your retirement dreams can become a reality.

Bonus Tip: Consider getting a visa appropriate for your retirement plans. Vietnam offers long-term visas specifically for retirees, simplifying your stay.

Remember, this blog post is just a starting point. There’s so much more to discover about living in Vietnam. We’ll delve deeper into specific aspects of life in Vietnam in future posts, so stay tuned!

What visas are available for long-term stays in Vietnam?

Vietnam offers various visa options for long-term stays, catering to different purposes. These include the LB Temporary Residence Card (LTRC) for non-working residents, Business Visas for entrepreneurs, investors, and business activities, Dependent Visas for spouses and children of Vietnamese citizens or LTRC holders, and Special Visas for retirement or teaching.

What are the average Vietnam monthly living costs for expats?

The average Vietnam monthly living costs for expats can vary depending on factors such as location, lifestyle, and housing choices. However, on average, expats can expect to spend between $1,000 to $2,000 per month, covering expenses like accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment.

How can I budget effectively for living in Vietnam?

Budgeting effectively for living in Vietnam involves understanding your expenses and prioritizing your spending. Start by calculating your essential costs, such as rent, utilities, and groceries, and then allocate funds for discretionary spending. Regularly review your budget to ensure you’re staying on track and adjust as needed.

Are there any tips for saving money while living in Vietnam?

Yes, there are several tips for saving money while living in Vietnam. These include negotiating rent prices, shopping at local markets for groceries, using public transportation instead of taxis, cooking at home instead of eating out frequently, and taking advantage of free or low-cost leisure activities like exploring parks and attending cultural events.

What healthcare options are available for expats living in Vietnam?

Expats living in Vietnam have access to a range of healthcare options to meet their needs. The healthcare system in Vietnam includes public hospitals, private hospitals, clinics, and international hospitals in major cities. It’s essential for expats to research healthcare providers and insurance options to ensure they receive quality care that meets their preferences and budget.


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