Cost of Living in Vietnam
The largest dents in your monthly budget will be in the areas of housing, schooling and western foodstuffs. Travel, phone and Internet costs remain low.
Like most countries, Vietnam has is fair share of temptations on your wallet. Being in Asia, there are lots of electronic gadgets that you can spend your hard earned salary on. However, with a little financial shrewdness it’s easy to live comfortably and save.
When shopping you will notice that different streets sell similar goods, for example there will be a “shoe street,” followed by a “stuffed toys street” and a “TV and audio visual street”. This system comes from ancient Vietnam when traders would set up their businesses close to their competition in order to cluster all similar services in one area. Today, it means that shoppers are able to go to one area for all their shopping and they can compare prices easily and bargain knowledgeably. There are also numerous malls and shopping plazas constantly being built or added to in the larger cities.
Cost of electrical goods in Vietnam
You will find cheap electrical goods, particularly in the markets. However, many of these are inferior copies made in China.
Shopping at department stores and malls is one way to ensure that you’re buying the real thing; unfortunately this also means that you will be paying a lot more than you would expect to pay in the region, especially with Bangkok a cheap flight away.
Cost of food in Vietnam
Vietnam is a food lovers paradise. Not only are there many Western restaurants to choose from, but there are also a huge range of great local restaurants, food stalls and street vendors that cook up amazing fare while you wait.
Sticking to Western food and Western restaurants will burn a hole in your wallet as many of the food items or ingredients are imported and the government levies a tax on these goods. Eating Vietnamese food is cheap, tasty and definitely something to write home about.
The cost of a coffee from a Western style coffee shop is about VND 104,225 , while a Vietnamese coffee will cost less than VND 20,000 on the street. Fruit and vegetables from the supermarket are a lot more expensive than those bought in the marketplace.
Cost of toiletries in Vietnam
Supermarkets tend to stock Vietnamese, Thai and French brand names.
Deodorant costs about the same as in Western countries, toothpaste is roughly VND 60,000 and sunscreen ranges from VND 100,000 upwards.
Haircuts are cheap with a male cut costing less than VND 200,000 and women can expect to pay between VND 200,000 and VND 400,000.
There are also numerous facial and massage salons, however salons advertising a ‘happy ending’ or staffed by a host of scantily clad well made-up women usually offer a lot more than your every day hair trim or massage.
Cost of eating out in Vietnam
Eating out will set you back VND 40,000 to VND 10,000 if you choose a Vietnamese restaurant whereas a Western restaurant prices will start at VND 160,000 and range upwards.
There are some top quality Western restaurants in Vietnam ensuring that expats never miss familiar meals from back home. Most expats soon develop a liking for Vietnamese food, especially street food which is cheap and tasty.
Vietnamese coffee and the famous Vietnamese beer, ‘bia hoi’ (also less than VND 20,000) are also incredibly cheap and make for a good evenings out with friends.