Vietnam is a country located in Southeast Asia and is bordered by China, Laos, Cambodia and South China Sea. It consists of 58 provinces and 5 municipalities. Some of the largest cities and towns of Vietnam are Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi, Hai Phong, Da Nang, Hue and Nha Trang etc.
People from many ethnicities, cultures, religions and economic groups reside in this country. If you are someone who is looking to shift to this country, then you must consider the cost of living in Vietnam. For example, the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City is about $724 a month. Let’s take a detailed look at the cost of living in Vietnam based on different categorizations:
The cost of living at a place or a country is majorly dependent upon the amount one spends on food. Vietnam is known for its street food which is found almost in every city or town. In Saigon, which is the most international city of this country, the prices for food items are almost double as compared to food in other parts. For example, a bowl of Pho will cost around $2 while it can be bought for $1 in parts outside the district. Overall, Vietnamese food is cheap and abundant. One good thing about eating at restaurants is that you are not expected to tip! The total average cost of food in Vietnam as of 2012 was $185/month.
Any person travelling to Vietnam for a long period of time or any newcomer looking to settle down must consider temporary housing and then shift onto a permanent house. Renting a place is much cheaper than buying one in almost all parts of Vietnam. 1 one room studio apartment in a big city of Vietnam can cost you about $400 per month while larger apartments start at $1000-$1500 with a couple of bedrooms. On an average, if you are renting an apartment, you can consider the total rent cost to be $264/month.
Like most of the developed countries of Asia such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan, the car ownership is low in Vietnam. This is mainly because of the 100% tax which the government imposes on imported cars. Thus the best way to get around in this country is by a motorbike. For about $800, you can purchase a new Honda motorbike. As an alternative, you can take a taxi for 50 cents, a motorbike taxi for 25 cents or a bus ride for 10 cents to make short trips. Overall, transport will cost about $35/month in this country.
It is difficult to live at any place without a dose of entertainment every now and then. Afterall, pampering yourself is a way to lead a happy life. Ask Vietnamese people and they will tell you that just sitting on the streets is good entertainment enough and guess what, it’s for free. But if you are looking for something else then you can escape to the cinema for $1.50 or rent a DVD for $0.50. If you are taking a bus to the beach or some other entertainment zone, then be ready to spend about $3 for that. Overall, the amount of spend on entertainment is totally dependent upon individual interest.
Hiring a maid, pursuing an educational or hobby course, buying groceries, spending on electronics etc too add to the cost of living in any country. You can get a maid and laundry service for about $36/month whereas private high school for your kid can cost about $90/year. Similarly, college tuition fees range from $100-$250 whereas a pack of Marlboro is about $1 in Vietnam.
If you are into drinking, then be ready to shell out $5 for a few beers and some seafood for a one time outing. Overall, your monthly groceries can cost you about $61. When it comes to electronic items, you can get an idea about the costs from the price of an iPhone 4s 16 GB which is $875. Similarly, Samsung Galaxy Tab costs $625 and a Dell laptop costs $650.
The long and short of it is that the cost of living in Vietnam hardly ever goes over the $ 1000 mark/month and this is quite cheap as compared to other major countries of Asia.