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Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Vientiane 2024
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Cost of Living in Vientiane

By Betsy Burlingame

William Russell
William Russell

Summary: If you're moving to Vientiane, understanding the the cost of living in Vientiane helps you know what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Cost of Living in Vientiane - Cost of Living in Vientiane

Apartment Rentals Rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center of Vientiane is around $400 per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the city center is around $800 per month. Rent for a one-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around $250 per month. Rent for a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center is around $500 per month.
Apartment Purchases The cost of purchasing an apartment in Vientiane varies depending on the size and location. A one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $50,000, while a three-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost around $100,000. A one-bedroom apartment outside the city center can cost around $30,000, while a three-bedroom apartment outside the city center can cost around $60,000.
Transportation Public transportation in Vientiane is relatively inexpensive. A one-way ticket on the bus costs around $0.50. A one-way ticket on the tuk-tuk costs around $1.50. A one-way ticket on the taxi costs around $3.00. A monthly pass for the bus costs around $20.00.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Vientiane is relatively inexpensive. A loaf of bread costs around $0.50. A liter of milk costs around $1.00. A dozen eggs costs around $1.50. A kilogram of rice costs around $2.00. A kilogram of chicken costs around $3.00.
Restaurants The cost of eating out in Vientiane is relatively inexpensive. A meal at a fast food restaurant costs around $3.00. A meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $7.00. A meal at a high-end restaurant costs around $15.00.
Utilities The cost of utilities in Vientiane is relatively inexpensive. The average monthly cost for electricity is around $20.00. The average monthly cost for water is around $5.00. The average monthly cost for internet is around $20.00.
Private School Tuition The cost of private school tuition in Vientiane varies depending on the school and grade level. The average annual tuition for preschool is around $1,000. The average annual tuition for elementary school is around $2,000. The average annual tuition for middle school is around $3,000. The average annual tuition for high school is around $4,000.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Vientiane

"The cost of living in Vientiane is generally considered to be moderate. Expenses such as basic groceries, transportation, and eating out are relatively affordable compared to other cities in the region. The cost of accommodation varies depending on location and amenities, but generally more affordable than other places in Southeast Asia," said one expat living in Vientiane.

"The cost of living in Vientiane is relatively low compared to other cities in the region. Basic necessities such as food, transportation, and accommodation are generally affordable. Eating out at restaurants is also relatively inexpensive, with a meal for two people costing around $10 USD. Utilities such as electricity and water are also relatively inexpensive. Overall, Vientiane is a great place to live if you are looking for a low cost of living," wrote a member in Vientiane.

Can I live in Vientiane on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Vientiane for a while now, and I can tell you that it's possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable place to live. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods, like Sisattanak or Sikhottabong, might be out of your budget. Instead, consider looking for a place in more affordable areas like Chanthabouly or Xaysettha. You can find a decent apartment or small house for around $300-$500 a month in these areas.Next, you'll need to be mindful of your utility bills. Electricity can be quite expensive, especially if you're using air conditioning a lot. Try to use fans instead, and be conscious of turning off lights and appliances when not in use. Water and internet bills are generally more affordable, but it's still a good idea to keep an eye on your usage.When it comes to food, eating out at local restaurants and street food stalls can be quite cheap, with meals costing around $1-$3. However, if you're craving Western food, you'll need to be prepared to pay more, as these restaurants tend to be pricier. Cooking at home can also help you save money, but keep in mind that imported groceries can be expensive. Stick to local markets for fresh produce and meats, and try to limit your purchases of imported items.Transportation is another area where you can save money. Taxis and tuk-tuks can add up quickly, so consider renting a motorbike or bicycle for getting around town. The cost of renting a motorbike is usually around $50-$100 per month, while a bicycle can be even cheaper.Finally, you'll need to be mindful of your entertainment and leisure expenses. Going out to bars and clubs can be quite expensive, so try to limit your nights out or look for more affordable options like local beer gardens. There are also plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy, like visiting temples, parks, and local markets.Overall, living in Vientiane on $1,500 a month is doable, but you'll need to be conscious of your spending and make some sacrifices. By choosing an affordable neighborhood, being mindful of your utility usage, eating local food, and finding low-cost entertainment options, you can make it work," commented an expat living in Vientiane.

Can I live in Vientiane on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Vientiane for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, you might have to make some sacrifices in terms of your lifestyle and the neighborhood you choose to live in.Firstly, you'll want to look for accommodation in more affordable neighborhoods. Some of the more expensive areas in Vientiane, like Sisattanak or the city center, might be out of your budget if you're trying to stick to $3,000 a month. Instead, consider neighborhoods like Nongduang, Dongpalane, or Phontong, which are still relatively close to the city center but offer more affordable housing options.In terms of housing, you might have to settle for a smaller apartment or house than you're used to, but you should still be able to find something comfortable and modern. Many expats choose to live in serviced apartments, which come with amenities like a pool, gym, and cleaning services. These can be a bit more expensive, but if you're willing to sacrifice some space, you can find a nice one-bedroom serviced apartment for around $500 to $800 a month.When it comes to transportation, owning a car in Vientiane can be quite expensive due to import taxes and high fuel costs. Instead, consider using a motorbike or bicycle to get around, which is much more affordable and a common mode of transportation for locals and expats alike. Taxis and tuk-tuks are also available for when you need them, but they can add up if you use them frequently.Eating out in Vientiane can be quite affordable, especially if you're willing to try local cuisine at street food stalls and markets. However, if you prefer to eat at more upscale restaurants or international chains, your food budget will increase significantly. To save money, consider cooking at home and shopping at local markets for fresh produce and ingredients.In terms of entertainment and leisure activities, there are plenty of affordable options in Vientiane. You can visit local temples, parks, and museums for little to no cost, and there are often free cultural events and festivals throughout the year. However, if you're used to frequenting high-end bars, clubs, or attending expensive concerts and events, you might have to cut back on those activities to stay within your budget.Overall, living in Vientiane on $3,000 a month is definitely doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some sacrifices in terms of your lifestyle and housing choices. By embracing the local culture and being open to new experiences, you can still enjoy a comfortable and fulfilling life in this beautiful city," said one expat living in Vientiane.

Can I live in Vientiane on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Vientiane for a few years now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month, even if you're used to modern amenities. However, there might be some sacrifices you'll have to make to ensure you stay within your budget.Firstly, you'll need to find a place to live that's affordable but still offers the amenities you're used to. Some of the more expensive neighborhoods in Vientiane, like Sisattanak or the area around the Mekong River, might be out of your budget if you're looking to save money. Instead, consider looking for a place in neighborhoods like Anou Village or Nongnieng, which are still close to the city center but offer more affordable housing options.When it comes to transportation, owning a car in Vientiane can be quite expensive due to import taxes and high fuel costs. Instead, consider using a motorbike or bicycle to get around the city, as they're much more affordable and convenient. Public transportation is also an option, but it can be a bit unreliable at times.Eating out at fancy restaurants can also add up quickly, so you might want to cook at home more often or explore the local street food scene, which is both delicious and affordable. There are also plenty of local markets where you can buy fresh produce and other ingredients at a fraction of the cost of supermarkets.As for entertainment, there are plenty of affordable options in Vientiane, like visiting local temples, parks, and museums. However, you might have to cut back on more expensive activities like going to the movies or attending concerts, as these can be quite pricey in comparison to other local options.In terms of healthcare, while there are some modern facilities in Vientiane, they can be quite expensive for expats. It's a good idea to have comprehensive health insurance to cover any medical expenses you might incur while living here.Overall, living in Vientiane on $5,000 a month is definitely doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and make some adjustments to your lifestyle to ensure you stay within your budget," commented an expat living in Vientiane.

About the Author

Betsy Burlingame Betsy Burlingame is the Founder and President of Expat Exchange and is one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. She launched Expat Exchange in 1997 as her Master's thesis project at NYU. Prior to Expat Exchange, Betsy worked at AT&T in International and Mass Market Marketing. She graduated from Ohio Wesleyan University with a BA in International Business and German.

Some of Betsy's articles include 12 Best Places to Live in Portugal, 7 Best Places to Live in Panama and 12 Things to Know Before Moving to the Dominican Republic. Betsy loves to travel and spend time with her family. Connect with Betsy on LinkedIn.


William Russell
William Russell

William Russell
William Russell

SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

SJB GlobalSJB Global

SJB Global is a top-rated financial advisory firm specializing in expat financial advice worldwide, offering retirement planning & tax-efficient solutions with a regressive fee model.
Learn More

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