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Vietnam Cost of Living

Sunset over Halong Bay

I have received a few requests for more information on the cost of living here in Vietnam. I am more than happy to share this information, however, I also want to point out this is just our personal experience. It is certainly possible to spend a lot more, or a lot less, depending on what you consider to be important. As we are Canadian, all prices are listed in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated. Sorry if this is awkward but hey, if you travel you need to be good at currency conversion anyway. So without further ado….how much does it cost to live in Vietnam.

We did a two week tour of Vietnam from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City but the main portion of our time here has been three months in Nha Trang in early 2017. We chose to rent an apartment for the three months on the north end of Nha Trang. It is out of the main tourist hotspot but arguably we have the better beach at this end. Mainly because it is less crowded and commercialized. We paid $500US a month for a 2 bedroom apartment. I know if you go a bit inland (a few city blocks) you can easily bring that down by $150US, we just really happen to like the water. This is a video tour of our apartment.


The costs associated with the apartment are (these are monthly costs): electricity – $18, internet/TV – $17, maintenance fee – $18, water bill – $3. As it is not recommended to drink the tap water the 20 litre jugs of drinking water cost $2.40 and are available everywhere.

Public Transit
The bus system is quite good. It costs 7,000dong/ride (.42) no transfers. Just get on the bus and grab a seat and the fare collector will come to collect the fare and give you a ticket. I have found the service excellent. They give change and will tell you where to get off if you ask.
Made to order shoes
Karen saw on the expats Facebook page that you could get handmade flip flops in town. We took a walk over and in 4 days had my own handmade leather flip flops for $18. And they are wonderful.

Food costs are very inexpensive by anyone’s standards. But once again with very little effort one could easily spend less or a lot more. We eat out every night simply because it is that reasonable. An average dinner for two with four beer, a plate of fried rice or noodles, and a plate of meat, whether fresh shrimp, fish, or pork runs us between $11 and 18.

Viet Sub
A fresh made Vietnamese sub are 15000 dong each (less than $1)
Fresh limes
Incredibly juicy limes cost 15000 dong (less than a $1) for all these
Dragon fruit
The dragon fruit with the white inside is usually around $1 each while the ones with the red meat inside are about $1.50 each.
Hydration is very important in these hot climates. A case of 24 cans of Saigon beer is 205,000 dong ($12.30). The coke is just over $1 and the rum is $3.50 a bottle. I personally would rate the quality the same as a standard bottle of Bacardi.
Restaurant Beer
The beer in restaurants is usually around $1 each.
Normal daytime alley
By day a normal alley
Back Alley Restaurant
By night it transforms into a restaurant that I believe is the best fish we have had so far in Asia. Yes I know it is a back alley. But incredible fish. Fresh fish with rice paper wraps, greens and beer for 260,000 dong, or about $16. That is for two people.
Adventurous Dining
Most restaurants here have menus in Russian and English. 69,000dong is about $4.10. Feel adventurous?
Hot pot
This Seafood hot pot will run you about $12. More than enough for two people.
Coffee Break
A nice break is enjoying a Vietnamese coffee which come with iced tea. Costs just over $1 per person. Honestly, the best coffee I have ever had.

We took advantage of the New Years special (10% off) and both got gym memberships to Olympic Nha Trang Gym and Fitness for 387,000 dong, or $24. They have two locations, we went to the one at 11 Bắc Sơn.

We have loved our time here in Vietnam and have found it to be a very reasonably priced place to live. If you have any questions about prices feel free to leave a question in the comments section and if I can answer it I will be more than happy to do so.

Welcome to our travel blog. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to say, "I'm out of here?" Well we did, and in 2013 we made it a reality. We sold or gave away all of our possessions other than what fit in our luggage and we set off on an endless adventure. Part of our goal is to share our experiences with others and hopefully provide some information, motivation, or just a moments escape. The general idea was to look for a place that would be ideal to settle down in. However in the meantime it is about experiencing life in different countries amongst different cultures and learning how to understand and appreciate each other. A large part of our time is spent housesitting which provides an excellent opportunity to experience more of the "normal" neighbourhoods as opposed to the tourist locales. Though we make sure to enjoy those as well. So through plenty of photographs and a running commentary come and share with us our life on the road.

3 comments on “Vietnam Cost of Living

  1. James F.Selbert

    All looks very inviting. Where are you off to next?

  2. You have a wonderful apartment! The living cost in South East Asia (except Singapore I guess lol) is quite affordable for expats. And the food – fresh food and affordable everywhere! Thank you so much for sharing the insight of living in Vietnam.

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