Expatriates have a great condition of living at about moderate prices. Mobile phone and internet coverage are excellent and very affordable. Rents can vary, but even five-star luxury living is a lot cheaper than you might expect.
Trains run almost across the country, connecting Hanoi, the bustling and historic capital in the north. With the modern metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City in the south. Roads are improving, and light rail lines in both cities will soon be operational.
Vietnam has three major international airports offering direct flights to many Asian and European destinations. Australia also has direct flights to Ho Chi Minh City. Several budget airlines offer cheap domestic and international flights. Although the long French occupation of Vietnam is long over, its legacy lives on. There are beautiful French mansions and public buildings all over the country, many parks, and wooded city streets. Sidewalk Bistro sells rich coffee and baguettes.
Vietnamese people make the most interesting reasons to live in Vietnam. They are hardworking and determined, but they are always polite and welcoming. Serious and curious, they often approach foreigners, hoping to practice their English skills or learn about the outside world. It’s easy to assimilate into Vietnamese culture, as these interactions seem to have a way of turning into lifelong friendships.
Vietnam is a long country, from China in the north to the Gulf of Thailand in the south. Beach lovers will enjoy exploring over 2,000 miles of coastline. It is also a mountainous country with many impressive waterfalls. Mighty rivers, vast cave systems, mysterious karst towers, verdant rice terraces, and spectacular scenery.
The south enjoys a warm tropical climate year-round, while northern Vietnam has four distinct seasons. Snow is experienced in the northern mountains. Although English is not an official language, it is spoken and understood. We consider Vietnam one of the Asian countries with the largest number of English speakers. Even in most rural areas, someone may speak fluent English.
Tens of thousands of immigrants have lived in Vietnam. Many of them continue in Hanoi, and Ho Chi Minh City, although there are smaller populations across the country. Expats in Vietnam are very sociable and welcoming. Modest metropolises where many expatriates can stay comprise Da Nang, Nha Trang, Hue, Hoi An, and Vung Tau.
Vietnam possesses some of the most distinct and wholesome menus in the business. Which puts it on the map as a premier culinary destination. However, those who want to take a break from the local cuisine. Can rely on a wide variety of international restaurants and imported food outlets.
A couple can live anywhere in Vietnam on a budget of less than $2,000. Smaller cities like Nha Trang, Da Lat, and Hoi An are affordable and foreigner-friendly. A budget of $1,000 per month or less. Enough to provide a couple with a comfortable middle-class lifestyle in these areas.
According to Standard Chartered, Vietnam is the fastest-growing economy in Southeast Asia. Foreign investors can take advantage of local low wages, an educated workforce, and a friendly business environment. New skyscrapers tower over Ho Chi Minh City’s traditional markets. Global restaurant chains, as well as renowned haute couture, jewelry, and accessories stores, popping up in the gleaming new mall. Despite this rapid development, small mom-and-pop shops and street vendors still dominate the city center. Hanoi remains a more traditional city, with many historic pagodas and temples. But even here, new roadways, skyscrapers, and foreign brands are surfacing. Now is the leading moment to enter Vietnam.
The pros and cons of living in Vietnam
Vietnam is a very diverse country. With over 2,000 miles of coastline, modern cities, pristine mountains, and hospitable locals. This is enough to captivate you for a lifetime, but like all things in life, it’s not perfect. Vietnam also embraced the pros and cons. These are some pros and cons found about living here.
Pros: Vietnam stretches over 1,000 miles from China in the north to the Gulf of Thailand in the south. So you can choose any weather you like. The capital, Hanoi, has four distinct seasons. The northern and northwestern mountains sometimes experience snow, and the city can be cold in winter. In summer, the opposite is true. Temperatures will exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit at least a few days a year.
Further south, the climate becomes tropical. Ho Chi Minh City is warm all year round, although it is a little cooler than Hanoi in summer. Da Lat, a mountain town northwest of Ho Chi Minh City, sits 6,000 feet above sea level and is cool year-round. Mild winters and hot summers are typical of the Central Coast. The sea breezes help keep the weather pleasant even in the hottest months.
Cons: Vietnam is humid all year round. Sometimes you can seem to feel the air and the clothes never seem to dry. No matter where you live, you’ll need air conditioning at least occasionally in the summer; energy prices are reasonable. The hot, sunny climate makes for pleasant weather, but sunburn can be a part of life here. Especially if your lifestyle includes a lot of time at the beach. Many locals wear hats or umbrellas to provide shade when they go out.
Some parts of the land, especially the key coast, comprise Da Nang and Hoi An. They experience equatorial storms and bad weather between September and November. Flooding is also possible during these storms.
Cost of Living
Pros: The cost of living in Vietnam is very low. Most couples find they can live anywhere in the country for less than $1,500 a month; most times, they can make a living for less than $1,000. If you eat Vietnamese food and buy local produce, your grocery bill may be close to zero. A large bag of fresh vegetables at a traditional market can cost $3 or less. And other items are just as cheap. Liquor and beer are good options: a glass of local draft beer costs about $0.55.
Most people in Vietnam, including ex-pats, ride motorcycles. These small scooters have small engines and burn minimal gasoline. A full tank costs $3 to $4 and should last a week. Maintenance is cheap too; sometimes you may wonder how mechanics make enough money to survive here. If you can’t imagine riding a motorcycle, most cities offer good public transportation; a bus ride through town will cost you about $0.30. Entertainment in Vietnam is affordable by any measure. A movie ticket is less than $4, and an opera ticket with good seats is around $30.
Cons: You can spot any imported foodstuff in Vietnam, although you may compensate for it. Some western brand origins, like spaghetti, are brought in the same or less than you’re adopted to be. But other imports can be quite expensive. USDA beef is available, but it costs at least twice as much as Vietnamese beef. And a pound of apples from Korea can set you back $8 or more.
Transportation services such as Grab Taxi are available in most parts of Vietnam, making it easy and cheap to travel. The ultimate cost of a taxi can be much higher than Grab. The Hanoi Taxi Group in the north, Vinasun in the south, and Mai Linh in the whole of Vietnam. Have the most honest drivers. You still have to be vigilant.
Pros: Healthcare has improved a lot in recent years. Vietnam today includes four JCI-certified wards: 1 in Hanoi and 3 in Ho Chi Minh Downtown. Prices are moderate, averaging just 10 percent of what you’d pay off in the US. Dental care is excellent and affordable. A checkup costs less than $10, and many dental offices offer free X-rays. Drugs prescribed in the U.S. are often sold over the counter in Vietnam for a fraction of the price.
Cons: Hospitals provide medical services; few private clinics in the country. Outside big cities, medical services may be basic or non-existent. Even in accredited hospitals, medical services still fall short of international standards for complex situations. Most people who need difficult surgery or treatment choose to travel to Thailand, Malaysia, or Singapore. Therefore, it is best to purchase medical insurance that includes evacuation.
Protection and Safety
Pros: Violent crime is non-existent in Vietnam. Almost anywhere, it’s safe to walk alone on the street at night. But you may need to exercise caution if you drink too much mojito. The locals are often very helpful; if you get lost or need help, someone is there to lend a helping hand. Roads are improving; They built several major divided highways in recent years. Driving isn’t the safest thing, it’s not like driving in the west. But many people like it because traffic laws are seldom enforced. So they can drive as much as they want.
Cons: Others can drive as much as they want. Minor fender strikes are common, especially in urban areas, although serious accidents, especially on the highway, are also a problem. Rural roads, even in urban areas, are often narrow and insufficiently maintained. You need to be vigilant.
Close to the USA
Pros: we expect Vietnam to have direct flights to the US and Canada soon. Vietnam has multiple international airports with direct flights to Australia, Asia, and Europe.
Cons: No matter what you do, flights to the Western Hemisphere are long and involve multiple time changes. The fastest flights (which still require at least one connection) take at least 17 hours.
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Activities and Recreation
Pros: In Vietnam, you’ll never run out of opportunities to relax or challenge yourself. Explore the mountains and discover empty beaches, hill tribe villages, or hidden waterfalls. Hike or take a boat trip. Try street food or enjoy a five-star restaurant. Shop at traditional markets or designer malls. Vietnam is good and cheap, and you can do these things without breaking your budget.
Cons: With so many friendly English-speaking locals, it can fill your schedule with so many social visits; you’ll have a hard time finding time to explore the country. We got around this by hiring a driver and traveling with a group of friends. And doing both at the same time.