How Much Does It Cost to Live In Vietnam?

Vietnam, officially referred to as the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a long, thin country in Southeast Asia.

When it comes to the standard and the cost of living, Vietnam is still cheap by most standards: a month’s stay can start from 250$ using basic rooms, local food and open bus transportation – which is relatively cheap.

However, even though it has some of the lowest costs of living in all of Asia, it does have some of the most expensive hotels worldwide, so if you’re planning on a luxurious vacation, it can be pricey.

Cost of Living Index:

Vietnam : Cost of Living by City



Vietnamese food is quite cheap, and you can usually get a decent meal for 1–2$ in small restaurants. Fast food can cost you anywhere between 2$ and 20$ – depending on where you want to eat. If you like the local cuisine, meals can be as cheap as 2$ but if you don’t then you are looking at 5$ minimum for lunch deals and probably about 8$ – 10$ for dinner. Alcohol is cheap with beers costing as little as 1$.



With a sheer abundance of fresh vegetables, herbs, fish and seafood you’ve probably never tasted before, Vietnam has a lot to offer. As logic would have it, eating in your own kitchen is always a cheaper option than eating outside, and there are many people who actually prefer this option when on vacation. So for those people, markets are a valid option, and a much cheaper one, at that.



The railway is the least developed transportation infrastructure in Vietnam, but having said that – trains are undoubtedly the most comfortable way to travel overland in Vietnam, although prices are more expensive than buses. Bicycles are always an option and can be rented in many cities – they are actually a great way of covering larger distances. The xe ôm is a cheap mode of transport for Vietnamese and tourists alike – 0.43$ dong for a 10 minute trip.



Utilities, for an apartment of a normal size (of about 85m2) are just above 57$, including electricity, heating, cooling and water. Cell phone services are considerably lower than in most countries, while high-speed internet is also pretty cheap, varying along the lines of 11$ per month.

Sports and leisure


As expected, you will have to cash out a bit more money if you want to indulge in sports and fitness activities and pass your time this way. However, in Vietnam, these are reasonable prices, and most tourists interested in sports will be able to pay for fitness centers that cost about 22$ a month. Other ways of pastime, like going to a cinema are mostly affordable, too.

Clothing and shoes


When it comes to clothing and shoes, this is something that isn’t quite necessary for any tourist, but if you happen to want to go shopping, Vietnam really is a country to do this. You can find quality jeans like Levi’s for only 40$, dresses and shirts for just 30$, while quality shoes and sneakers are more expensive, costing around 87$.

Rent per month


Like in most countries, living and renting apartments, studios or houses depends on the neighborhood and the type of living facility you’re renting. Accommodation will cost you anything from 150$ per month for a small room, to 380$ for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. It really depends on what you prefer and what you want to spend your money on.

Cost of Living Averages Table for Vietnam

Average Restaurant Prices
Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant) $1.72
Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter) $0.86
Water (0.33 Liter) $0.29
Average Market Prices
Milk (1 Liter) $1.40
Loaf Bread (500g) $0.72
Eggs (12) $1.30
Average Transport Prices
One Way Ticket $0.30
Monthly Pass $7.72
Gasoline $0.85
Average Utilities Prices
Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling) $57.83
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local $0.07
Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) $11.00
Average Leisure Prices
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult $22.06
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour) $6.88
Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release $3.43
Average Clothing Prices
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable) $41.98
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...) $29.94
1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range) $87.47
Average Rent Prices
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center $386.54
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center $244.30
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center $825.90

How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Vietnam?

Taking into consideration the statistics provided, it can be said that people in Vietnam spend most their money in supermarkets and markets, buying food and necessities.

They also spend a lot of money covering their taxes and rent expenses which, in this country, exceed 24% of one’s entire salary.

In Vietnam, people also spend a lot of money on transportation, and considering the fact that cities here are extremely large and spacious, this is also to be expected.

Apart from going to restaurants, it seems that people in Vietnam practice sports and leisure and enjoy this more than spending their money on clothing and shoes.


Vietnam: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages

Salaries in Vietnam aren’t too high, unfortunately, and many people have problems making ends meet.

Minimum wage in Vietnam is 180.25$ which is very low and cannot cover the basic monthly expenses.

If you’re planning on living modestly in Vietnam, you will need, at the very least, somewhere around 500$ per month, if you’re living in the city.

However, people living in villages are used to a more modest life and spend less money.

Average salary in Vietnam is around 3080$, which is also not enough to cover all your expenses if you want to afford most things necessary for a living.

Average Salary$387.57
Minimum Wage$180.25
Mortgage Interest Rate8.78%

Cost of Living by City in Vietnam

City Cost of Living Index
Hanoi 38.34
Ho Chi Minh City 37.82

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