×
Interested in our Partner Program for businesses or our Local Guide Program for experienced expats and digital nomads? Click here to learn more.
Expat Exchange - Cost of Living in Ho Chi Minh City 2024
Expat Exchange
Free MembershipSign In
Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Cost of Living in Ho Chi Minh City

By Joshua Wood, LPC

SJB Global
SJB Global

Summary: Understanding the the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City helps a newcomer what to expect when it comes to apartment or house hunting, grocery shopping, transportation, dining out, utilities and more.

Apartment Rentals The average cost of renting an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City is around $400 to $1,000 per month, depending on the size and location. Renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost up to $1,000 per month, while a three-bedroom apartment in the suburbs can cost around $500 per month.
Apartment Purchases The average cost of purchasing an apartment in Ho Chi Minh City is around $1,000 to $2,000 per square meter, depending on the size and location. Purchasing a one-bedroom apartment in the city center can cost up to $2,000 per square meter, while a three-bedroom apartment in the suburbs can cost around $1,000 per square meter.
Transportation The cost of transportation in Ho Chi Minh City is relatively inexpensive. A one-way ticket on the bus or metro costs around $0.30, while a taxi ride costs around $2.50 for the first kilometer and $0.25 for each additional kilometer.
Groceries The cost of groceries in Ho Chi Minh City is relatively inexpensive. A loaf of bread costs around $0.50, a liter of milk costs around $0.80, and a kilogram of rice costs around $1.00.
Restaurants The cost of eating out in Ho Chi Minh City is relatively inexpensive. A meal at a local restaurant costs around $3.00, while a meal at a mid-range restaurant costs around $7.00.
Utilities The cost of utilities in Ho Chi Minh City is relatively inexpensive. The average cost of electricity is around $0.15 per kilowatt-hour, while the average cost of water is around $0.50 per cubic meter.
Private School Tuition The cost of private school tuition in Ho Chi Minh City varies depending on the school and the grade level. Preschool tuition can cost around $200 to $400 per month, elementary school tuition can cost around $400 to $800 per month, middle school tuition can cost around $800 to $1,200 per month, and high school tuition can cost around $1,200 to $2,000 per month.

Monthly Budget for Retirees in Ho Chi Minh City

"The cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City is generally considered to be quite affordable. Basic necessities such as food, transportation, and accommodation are relatively inexpensive compared to other cities in the region. Eating out at restaurants is also quite affordable, with a meal at a mid-range restaurant costing around $5-10 USD. Renting an apartment in the city center can be more expensive, but there are plenty of affordable options in the suburbs," said one expat living in Ho Chi Minh City.

Can I live in Ho Chi Minh City on $1,500 a month?

"I've been living in Ho Chi Minh City for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $1,500 a month, but you'll have to make some adjustments and sacrifices. First, you'll need to find an affordable place to live. I recommend looking into neighborhoods like Binh Thanh, Phu Nhuan, or District 4. These areas are still close to the city center but have more reasonable rent prices compared to the more expensive neighborhoods like District 1, District 2, or District 7.When it comes to transportation, you'll want to rely on local options like buses, motorbike taxis, or even renting a motorbike yourself. Taxis and ride-hailing services like Grab can add up quickly, so it's best to use them sparingly. For food, you'll need to embrace the local cuisine and eat at street food stalls and local markets. While there are plenty of international restaurants in the city, they can be quite pricey, so save those for special occasions.You'll also need to be mindful of your entertainment and leisure expenses. Going out to bars and clubs in the popular tourist areas can be expensive, so try to find local spots where prices are more reasonable. There are also plenty of free or low-cost activities to enjoy, like visiting parks, museums, or taking part in local events and festivals.In terms of utilities and other monthly expenses, you'll find that things like electricity, water, and internet are quite affordable compared to what you might be used to. However, if you're a heavy user of air conditioning, be prepared for your electricity bill to be higher than you might expect.Overall, living on $1,500 a month in Ho Chi Minh City is doable, but you'll need to be mindful of your spending and be willing to adapt to a more local lifestyle. It might take some getting used to, but it's a great way to fully experience the culture and charm of this vibrant city," commented an expat living in Ho Chi Minh City.

Can I live in Ho Chi Minh City on $3,500 a month?

"I've been living in Ho Chi Minh City for a while now, and I can tell you that it's definitely possible to live comfortably on $3,000 a month as an expat. In fact, you can enjoy a pretty good lifestyle with that budget. However, there are some sacrifices you might have to make, depending on your preferences and priorities.First, let's talk about housing. If you want to live in a more upscale neighborhood like District 1 or District 2, you might have to spend a significant portion of your budget on rent. A nice apartment in these areas can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 a month. However, if you're willing to live in a more local neighborhood like District 7 or Binh Thanh, you can find a decent apartment for around $500 to $800 a month. These areas are still relatively close to the city center and have plenty of amenities, but they might not have the same expat community or Western-style restaurants and bars.Next, let's talk about transportation. If you're used to driving a car, you might have to adjust to riding a motorbike or using public transportation. Cars are quite expensive in Vietnam, and the traffic in Ho Chi Minh City can be pretty chaotic. A motorbike is a more affordable and convenient option, but it might take some getting used to if you've never ridden one before. Alternatively, you can use Grab or other ride-hailing apps to get around the city, which is still quite affordable.When it comes to food, you can definitely eat well on a budget in Ho Chi Minh City. Local Vietnamese food is delicious and very affordable, with meals costing just a few dollars. However, if you prefer to eat Western food or dine at more upscale restaurants, your food budget will be higher. You might also have to adjust to shopping at local markets instead of Western-style supermarkets, which can be more expensive.Finally, you might have to make some sacrifices when it comes to entertainment and leisure activities. While there are plenty of affordable things to do in the city, some expat-oriented activities like going to high-end bars, clubs, or international schools can be quite expensive. You might have to prioritize your spending and choose which activities are most important to you.Overall, living comfortably on $3,000 a month in Ho Chi Minh City is definitely doable, but it might require some adjustments and sacrifices depending on your lifestyle preferences. By choosing a more affordable neighborhood, embracing local transportation and food options, and being mindful of your spending on entertainment, you can enjoy a great quality of life in this vibrant city," said one expat living in Ho Chi Minh City.

Can I live in Ho Chi Minh City on $5,000 a month?

"I've been living in Ho Chi Minh City for a while now, and I can confidently say that it's possible to live comfortably on $5,000 a month as an expat. In fact, you can enjoy a pretty good lifestyle with that budget. However, there might be a few sacrifices you'll have to make, depending on your preferences and priorities.Firstly, let's talk about accommodation. There are several affordable neighborhoods where you can find modern apartments or houses with all the amenities you're used to. District 2, District 7, and Binh Thanh District are popular among expats, and you can find a nice 1-2 bedroom apartment for around $600-$1,000 per month. If you're looking for something more luxurious, you might want to consider District 1 or District 3, but keep in mind that these areas are more expensive, and you might end up paying $1,500 or more for a similar apartment.When it comes to transportation, you can either use Grab (similar to Uber) or rent a motorbike. Grab is quite affordable, and you can get around the city for just a few dollars per ride. Renting a motorbike is also an option, and it usually costs around $50-$100 per month, depending on the type of bike you choose.Eating out is generally cheap in Ho Chi Minh City, especially if you're open to trying local Vietnamese cuisine. You can find delicious meals for just a couple of dollars at street food stalls and local restaurants. However, if you prefer dining at high-end restaurants or international chains, you might end up spending more on food. Groceries are also quite affordable, especially if you shop at local markets.Entertainment and leisure activities can vary in cost. There are plenty of affordable options, such as visiting local parks, museums, and cultural sites. However, if you're into nightlife and fancy bars or clubs, you might end up spending more. Gym memberships and other fitness-related activities can also add up, but there are affordable options available if you're willing to shop around.In terms of healthcare, there are several international hospitals and clinics in the city that offer high-quality services, but they can be quite expensive. It's essential to have good health insurance to cover any potential medical expenses.Overall, living comfortably on $5,000 a month in Ho Chi Minh City is definitely achievable. You might have to make a few sacrifices, such as living in a more affordable neighborhood or cutting back on certain luxuries, but you can still enjoy a great lifestyle and experience everything the city has to offer," commented an expat living in Ho Chi Minh City.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


SJB Global
SJB Global

SJB Global
SJB Global

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam

William Russell
William Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

William RussellWilliam Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

Contribute to Vietnam Network Contribute
Help others in Vietnam by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Vietnam.

SJB Global
SJB Global

Copyright 1997-2024 Burlingame Interactive, Inc.

Privacy Policy Legal Partners & Local Guides