5 Best Places to Retire in Vietnam
By Betsy Burlingame
Thinking of retiring in Vietnam? Here are 5 of the best places to retire in Vietnam.
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Retirees in Vietnam enjoy the lower cost of living, warmer climate, friendly locals and amazing Vietnamese food (and coffee)! If you're considering Vietnam for retirement, here are 5 of the best places to retire in Vietnam.
Da Nang, Vietnam
Da Nang is Vietnam's 3rd largest city with a population of over 1.3 million people. An expat in Da Nang describes life in Da Nang saying, "We love to visit the 'Lady Buddha' and Marble Mountain. We take long walks on the beach day or night. We visit the markets, we travel by bus to Hoi An, we eat at local restaurants. The residents of Da Nang are mostly Buddhist, although there are some Catholics and there are a few beautiful churches. These are remnants of the French occupation in Vietnam. The majority of people here are Vietnamese. Although there is large tourism industry. Travelers arrive every day from all over the world. All races, all religions... I laugh though, as I am one of only a few Jewish folks here! They follow Vietnamese holidays... ancestral days, Buddha day, Lunar new year etc. But, they also celebrate Women's day, Teachers Day and Children's Day too! Be open minded. Be prepared for a slower pace of life. If things don't get done today, they may get done tomorrow. Bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent. Be ready to smile and laugh every day. There are lots of new things to look forward too... food, people, rats, construction, the beach, dogs, tiny plastic chairs and Vietnamese coffee!"
Another expat living in Da Nang recommended meeting others by, "Taking Vietnamese classes, frequenting expat hang outs like Bread of Life, The Waterfront (both restaurants).
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2) Nha Trang
With a population of over 400,000, Nha Trang is a beautiful coastal city. "Nha Trang has several hot springs, good beaches, best seafood, lovely mountain streams in the foothill outside town, an excellent selection of English reference books in the province library, microbreweries, three big supermarkets, sea breezes during the day and mountain breezes at night. All in all, Nha Trang has clean air and a pleasant climate," described one expat. "Nha Trang is more like a quiet coastal city, less chaotic traffic, scenic scenery, smaller population and thus more breathing space and less nighttime activities," added another expat in Vietnam.
3) Phan Thiet
With a population of over 300,000, the coastal city of Phan Thiet, Vietnam offers beautiful beaches and bustling city streets. An expat in Phan Thiet said the best advice he received before moving to Phan Thiet was, "The only advice I've got was to forget everything and start from scratch. I did not realize that he meant really from scratch! In Vietnam, everything goes in another way than we are used to. I mean: everything!" Expats enjoy eating at Sandals Bar & Restaurant at the Mia beachfront resort and Breeze Restaurant.
4) Vung Tau
The port city of Vung Tau has a population of over 450,000. An expat living in Vung Tau suggested that newcomers meet others by attending Yoga classes - held at The Lady Club, volunteering at local orphanages and having drinks at The Vung Tau Beach Club, which is popular among the expat community. She went on to say, "People in this town are very conservative and most accept the diversity that expats bring to this town. However the older people seem to be less accepting of expats and if an expat is dressed differently or has pink hair, for example, they are almost disgusted. So if you don't stand out you will be fine in Vung Tau. Blending in is good."
5) Ho Chi Minh
Retirees interested in big city life will enjoy the hustle and bustle of Ho Chi Minh City, which locals call Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City is the largest city in Vietnam with a population of over 8 million. "Find a couple of real estate agents in the area and look at a lot of apartments before choosing. Consider whether you need to be close to a supermarket. Consider whether you'd like to be near a swimming pool. Consider your transport options: taxis, rent a scooter or is there a bus route close by? I live in District 7 of HCMC on the 14th floor of a group of 25 storey apartment blocks. In the centre of the 4 blocks is a sort of village square with several swimming pools, a gym, small shops/cafes/ hairdressers, a large good supermarket and two tennis courts. More shopping centres are within 5 minute's taxi ride, and I can get into District 1 shopping in 20-30 minutes depending on traffic," advised one expat in Ho Chi Minh.
"The culture is vibrant, and new. The cost of living is cheap, even in HCMC which is the Viet equivalent to New York City. I actually stay in D7 which is close to Saigon South which is where most foreigners hide. Staying in Phu My Hung you could insulate yourself enough that you might forget you are in Vietnam all together. everyone speaks English there, and there are western restaurants everywhere," added another expat.