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Cost of Living in Vietnam

By Dylan Nguyen

Summary: Real estate professional Dylan Nguyen offers an overview of the cost of living in Vietnam.

Expat Life in Vietnam - Cost of Living in Vietnam

The job seeker can either live rather cheaply in Ho Chi Minh City, or can live a life of luxury. Salaries are competitive, and numerous benefits (such as recreation facilities and bonuses) make working here a rewarding experience.

Those on expatriate compensation packages may also receive additional benefits, such as transportation/car allowances, housing, childcare, payment of school fees, entertainment allowances, and work-related benefits. According to Mercer survey (1 June 2010) on the cost of living, Vietnam is easier to stretch the dollar than that of Tokyo, Singapore and Beijing, making it cheaper for expatriates to live in. Singapore fell twenty one places from 100th to the 121st position, in a survey of cost of living of 144 cities. The survey measures the comparative cost of more than 200 items in each city, including housing, food, clothing and household goods, transport and entertainment.

Cost of utilities – Electricity, Water and Gas

Electricity

Latest electricity cost 2011 (tariffs) –
  • 1 to 400 kWh: 7.35¢ per kWh
  • Above 400 kWh: 8.82¢ per kWh

House Type Average – kWh

  • House 1225
  • Apartment 804
  • Landed property 1439

Water - Latest water cost 2011 (tariffs):

  • 1 to 4 cubic metres: 24.5¢ per cubic metres
  • Above 4 cubic metres: 53.9¢ per cubic metres

House Type Average – cubic metres

  • House 28.8
  • Apartment 18.8
  • Landed Property 38.3

Restaurants Average Cost

  • Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 3.42 $
  • Meal for 2, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 13.88 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught) 0.75 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.70 $
  • Coke/Pepsi (0.33 liter bottle) 0.44 $
  • Water (0.33 liter bottle) 0.38 $

Markets Average Cost

  • Milk (regular), 1 liter 1.38 $
  • Loaf of Fresh White Bread (500g) 1.00 $
  • Eggs (12) 1.38 $
  • Fresh Cheese (1kg) 5.45 $
  • Chicken Breasts (Boneless, Skinless), (1kg) 2.75 $
  • Water (1.5 liter bottle) 1.05 $
  • Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 13.00 $
  • Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 0.65 $
  • Imported Beer (0.33 liter bottle) 1.20 $
  • Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro) 1.11 $

Transportation Average Cost

  • One-way Ticket (local transport) 0.17 $
  • Monthly Pass 9.00 $
  • Taxi (5km within center) 2.94 $
  • Gasoline (1 liter) 0.97 $

Utilities (Monthly) Average Cost

  • Internet (6 Mbps, Flat Rate, Cable/ADSL) 16.80 $

Sports And Leisure Average Cost

  • Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 52.50 $
  • Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 3.50 $
  • Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 3.38 $

Clothing And Shoes Average Cost

  • 1 Pair of Levis 501 41.00 $
  • 1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 30.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Nike Shoes 59.00 $
  • 1 Pair of Men Leather Shoes 120.00 $

Rent Per Month Average Cost

  • Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 566.67 $
  • Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 558.33 $ Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,750.00 $ Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 1,325.00 $

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About the Author

Dylan Nguyen is with Vina Rentals in Ho Chi Minh City.

Cigna International Health Insurance

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Comments about this Article

guest
Oct 17, 2011 20:47

I lived in Vietnam for two years, and find that this information is correct, however, it is a bit on the low side and not the average. Of course as an expat, you are generally going to pay more for nearly everything ~ especially anything considered "luxury" such as many restaurants, golfing, and travel. All in all, Vietnam was one of the greatest places to live with general "laid back" lifestyle.

guest
Oct 19, 2011 01:01

What would be the approximate monthly expat cost of living for a family of 4 around Ho chi Minh city? Thanks!

TJGabriel
Nov 3, 2011 15:21

I will exspand on costs in HMC december 2011. It will be my fourth time to Vietnam in the past 5 years. Love Vietnam. Only 49 year young and am making plan to live there, this is a different story and not as easy as you would read on the internet. TJ_Gabriel

guest
Apr 2, 2013 00:52

These figures are very much incorrect. they are perhaps out of date?

First Published: Oct 16, 2011

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