Being a small and beautiful country in Southeast Asia, Vietnam appeals a large number of tourists annually not just by its wonderful natural scenery, but also its cheap living cost. Vietnam is widely known as one of the countries having the cheapest cost of traveling and living in Asia in particular and in the world in general. Living cost in Vietnam is relatively reasonable, if not say cheap. Vietnam ranks the second just after Laos in list of 23 cheapest countries in the Asia – Pacific, and except for Japan (according to a survey of ADB). If you have intention to travel Vietnam, you should concern more about the living cost in the country. On average, the living cost of Vietnamese people ranges around US$300 per month. If you have US$1000 for traveling Vietnam, you can live here like a king for a month. Followings are some basic costs of living in Vietnam with several criteria of accommodation, food, transportation, and entertainment in the country.
There are two major options for you to stay in Vietnam whether you come to Vietnam with purposes of traveling or working. If you are going to travel Vietnam in a short time, such accommodations as guest houses, hotels, and motels. These accommodations are always available everywhere in this country, especially near tourist attractions. The cost of living in Vietnam for this type of accommodation is about US$250 per month. These places are well equipped with kitchen and lounge, even service of cleaning and washing clothes. This type of accommodation is often book online easily, and you might get great promotions as cheap price. Hotels in Vietnam are standardized three star at least with reasonable price of service but best quality. Otherwise, if you have intention to stay in Vietnam for a long time to travel or work here, renting a house or an apartment is a better choice. What a surprise! With about US$200 per month, you can rent a two-story house with four rooms, of course plus bathroom, to live and work. However, if you come to Vietnam for the first time, to find a house like this will take you time. Thus, you should find and stay in a temporary house during seeking for a better one. Apartments in cities with high quality services such as air-conditioner, hot shower, cable TV and WiFi Internet are favored by expats. This type of accommodation costs about US$400 per month. For larger apartments with a couple bedrooms, the price of renting might fluctuate from US$1000 to 1500. In addition, you can absolutely believe in the security in these areas. Many expats in Vietnam do not spend much time seeking, as their companies have already done. The living cost in Ho Chi Minh City is about US$800 per month. It takes you from US$200 – US$400 to rent a room in a shared house in the city with full utilities and laundry. While, that in Hanoi is cheaper with about US$250 per month for renting an accommodation.
Food price in Vietnam is cheap, but nutritious, tasty and safe. Vietnam is famous for street food with a wide range of traditional Vietnamese cuisine. Besides, you can easily find western food in almost cities in the country. With about US$2, you can enjoy a delicious bowl of Pho in Hanoi or in Saigon, and then take a coke or coffee with about 50 cents. Vietnamese people often have their main meals at home to save money. They just eat out in some special occasions. Drinks and other beverages in Vietnam are relatively cheap. For example, a Heineken costs US$1, while local beer costs cheaper. In addition, a Vietnamese coffee costs less than 30,000 dong, while that in a Western-styled coffee shop costs about 100,000 dong. The cost of eating out in Vietnam depends on each restaurant and type of meals you order. In Vietnamese restaurants, you will pay 40,000 – 100,000 dong for a meal, while one in a Western restaurant costs from 160,000 dong and above, but still reasonable. There are many Western restaurants in Vietnam appealing foreigners, as meals in these restaurants recall traditional meals of foreigners. In general, with about US$200 you can manage your eating during a month in the country.
Overall, the cost of traveling in Vietnam is about US$35 per month in this country. Transportation in Vietnam is mainly motorbike and public means of transport like bus, train and taxi. The ownership of car in Vietnam is relatively low as high tax imposed on imported cars. You can own a motorbike in Vietnam and travel the country by yourself with about US$800. Otherwise, you can get round cities by taking a taxi for about 50 cents, a motorbike taxi for 25 cents or a bus ride for 10 cents to make short trips. You can hire motorbikes at cafés, hotels, or motorbike shops to get round, which ranges from US$6 to US$10 per day. For public transport like buses, one-way ticket costs less than 10,000 dong, which helps you to get round Hanoi or Saigon. If you like to take a trip from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City, you should book seat of the Reunification Express train from Hanoi Station, this costs about US$61. If you are fancy traveling faster, why you do not book air tickets with low cost for domestic flights. Vietnam living cost in term of traveling is much lower than other places.
Living expenses in Vietnam also depends on your lifestyle. Entertainment seems to be one of basic need of people when living in a particular place. The amount of money spent on entertainment depends on your interest. Some people spend about US$3 on renting DVDs to stay at home and enjoy, or going to the cinema. Otherwise, you can take a bus to approach beaches or some amusement parks with about US$5. Shopping in Vietnam is one of interesting activities of tourists when travelling Vietnam. There are a large number of shopping malls and plazas in big cities to meet the basic needs of local people and tourists. Similar goods are sold widely in Vietnamese markets, you can easily choose your favorite one with reasonable price, even you can bargain to have the best price. Some expenses of clothing, grocery, and healthcare are low in comparison to other places. Like most Asian countries, Vietnam has a fair share of temptations on your wallet. With a little financial shrewdness, you can live in comfortable and save condition in Vietnam.