The cost of living in Vietnam

Recently, Vietnam has become a popular expat destination in Asia. The country is a great place for foreigners to work and live because of its nice weather, low- cost living, cultural diversity and rapid infrastructure development. Many foreigners who are going to visit Vietnam for the first time may wonder how much it costs to live in this country. This article will show you the cost of living in Vietnam in detail.

Ho Chi Minh city

Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Pixabay)

Cost of living in Vietnam

Cost of living in Vietnam is possibly low for expats. Most items cost less than half of what you would pay in the West and even around 20% less than what they would cost in other Southeast Asian countries. However, your lifestyle and your living place will determine how much you have to spend. In general, Northern Vietnam is cheaper than Southern Vietanm.

Ho Chi Minh city is the most expensive city in Vietnam and the second one is Hanoi. A couple who lives in these two places can enjoy a comfortable and middle- class lifestyle around 1300 USD/ month. Some Westerners even spend about 700 USD/ month.

If you live in other cities like Da Nang, Nha Trang or Vung Tau, the cost of living is much less. With the monthly budget of 800 USD, you can live in a lovely house or appartment with ocean view, enjoy delicious meal in local restaurants and do many other activities.

Cost of accomodation in Vietnam

Most of expats live in Vietnam for short- term plan so renting a house or an apartment is the best choice. The cost of rent depends on the location, the standard of house and the number of people living. It ranges from 250 USD to 500 USD  for renting a middle- class apartment.

If you have large budget, you can choose a luxury apartment in city center. Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city have more options available for you. Expats usually live in district 1, district 2 and district 7 in Ho Chi Minh city. The cost of rent is from 500 USD to 1000 USD per month.

In general, housing closer to the city center comes at a premium and it is more affordable to rent in outlying suburbs.

Thao Dien-Ho Chi Minh city

Thao Dien, Ho Chi Minh City (Source: Internet)

Cost of transport in Vietnam

There are many ways to get around Vietnam. You can easily buy a motorbike or a car but there is a lot of traffic on the street. Thus, for safer, you can choose other ways to travel such as bus, taxi or “xe om”.

If you do not want to negotiate on taxi or motorcycle taxi fares, you can book at to go everywhere in Vietnam. Uber and Grab are also available in some big cities like Ho Chi Minh city and Hanoi.

The cost of transport depends on the distance or the means you take but it is not much. For renting a motorbike in Ho Chi Minh city, you need to pay around 45 USD per month. For cheaper, you can take the bus with a monthly cost of around 10 USD. Learn more about transport in VN

transport in vietnam

Transport in Vietnam (Source: Pixabay)

Cost of food in Vietnam

Vietnam is a food paradise with a huge range of tasty, delicious food from local restaurants and street food stalls. Expats can enjoy many wonderful dishes in street food stalls and the vendor will cook up amazing fare while the customer waits. The average cost for street food is about 1.5USD per/ meal.

There is a big difference in price between local food and Western food. If you choose a traditional  restaurant, the price is around 4USD/ meal and you have to pay more if you eat Western food (7USD/meal).  Pho is one of the most popular food in Vietnam. The ingredients and flavors vary from north to south, the price remains around $2.50 or less. 

For coffee lovers, you have to pay 0.7USD for a coffee if you buy in street stalls. However, it costs more in some coffee shops like Urban Station (1.5USD), Starbucks (4USD)…

Pho Vietnam

Noodles in Vietnam (Source: Internet)

Cost of shopping in Vietnam

In Vietnam, expats easily find a shopping mall to buy different kinds of things. For buying clothes, you can go to shopping plazas with many well-known brand of the world, the price is quite high and shopping plazas are available in big cities.

If you want to buy cheaper ones, you can go to the market, compare the price and get a good bargain. Ben Thanh market in Ho Chi Minh city is a famous place for expats to visit and buy clothes. The price for a T- shirt here around 5USD

For some necessary things, you can buy in supermarket. Big C and Co.opMart are the most popular supermarket in Vietnam. The price is possibly less than other market places.

Market in Vietnam

Market in Vietnam (Source: Internet)

Here is a sample monthly budget for two people living a middle-class lifestyle in Vietnam:
These information are based on the real cost of living in Vietnam, but one should consider it an estimation, since prices can increase or decrease and landlord agents, shops and many other service are open for negotiations related to the price… to increase your bargaining power, try to learn a few vietnamese words

Updated July 2017






Apartment rental (fully furnished, one bed room)






Transportation (montly bus passes or monthly bicycle gas)






Cell phone with unlimited data


Gas for cooking


Internet, fiber-optic


Cable TV


Housekeeper (four hours a week)












Entertainment (eating out five nights a week, including beer or soft drinks)






Monthly total $864 $964 $739 $634 $634

Finally, DichungTaxi wish you would have good experience in Vietnam. If you want to go somewhere to explore beautiful place and Vietnamese culture, you can book our service at

About DichungTaxi


Founded in 2013, DichungTaxi is an online booking service across Vietnam.

We provide two types of transport service:

1) A private car or taxi

2) A shared taxi

In 2017, DichungTaxi is available in 20 Airports & 40 cities across all Vietnam.

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