Ho Chi Minh City, commonly referred to as Saigon, is the largest city in Vietnam and also the former capital of the Republic of Vietnam.
Like any Vietnam city, Ho Chi Minh has pretty low cost of living and offers low daily expenses for meals, public transportation, and living.
It is an incredibly comfortable place for foreigners to live and work and it offers every aspect of life: the pace of life can be as relaxed or electric as you like.
The city is modernizing, developing, and improving at an almost unbelievable pace.
Due to the variety of culture, Saigon cuisine is quite diverse. In this city, you really do not need to go far to enjoy great meals, since they are usually stunning and generally cheap. You will find many restaurants or cheaper street restaurants with satisfying homemade dishes for 1–2$. Don’t worry, the quality of the food is very good as well.
As far as groceries, go, you’ll spend around 150$ a week. This is because shopping for groceries if you’re a westerner and prefer that kind of food can be challenging and expensive in Ho Chi Minh City. So shopping in supermarkets is a bit on the higher side but you can also choose to buy local stuff and for this option, you will need only 75–80$ a week.
Taxi prices are reasonable in Ho Chi Minh City as long as you use a reputable company and insist that the meter is used. The buses are also a valid option since they are cheap, safe and not too crowded. Many buses are even modern and comfortable, with air conditioning, music and television. When it gets challenging, you can easily get around by bikes. Buying a car is expensive in Vietnam because of heavy import duties.
Internet, 4G, telecommunication and other utilities will not cost you much – they should, altogether, be around 100$ even if you are using them excessively. Monthly price of basic utilities, including electricity, heating, cooling and water for a normal-sized apartment, of about 85m2, amounts to around 53$. Local calls and 3G/4G is cheap – around 30$ a month.
SPORTS & LEISURE
You won’t need to cash out huge amounts of money to spend quality leisure time (or fitness time) in Ho Chi Minh. You can go to a movie for a fairly low price, and if you’re into sports – pay a monthly fee for a fitness club, which is just a bit more than 21$. Of course, an hour of renting a tennis court remains a bit expensive.
CLOTHING & SHOES
Nothing is cheap in Vietnam for people who have a specific western taste and this goes for clothing too. If you want the same quality of stuff you buy in US or Europe, you will probably be paying more than the price you need to pay in those countries. You can buy a pair of quality jeans for about 50$, and a pair of running shoes for a whopping 90$.
RENT PER MONTH
This varies from the place you live, and it has a very wide range. But, as in most cities, the standard rules apply – the closer to the city center, the more expensive it is. Accommodation will cost you anything from 150$ per month for a small room, to 440$ 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 Ho Chi Minh City
|Average Restaurant Prices|
|Meal (Inexpensive Restaurant)||$ 2.16|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 Liter)||$ 0.86|
|Water (0.33 Liter)||$ 0.29||Average Market Prices|
|Milk (1 Liter)||$ 1.39|
|Loaf Bread (500g)||$ 0.78|
|Eggs (12)||$ 1.33||Average Transport Prices|
|One Way Ticket||$ 0.26|
|Monthly Pass||$ 6.42|
|Gasoline||$ 0.87||Average Utilities Prices|
|Basic (Water, Electricity, Garbage, Heating, Cooling)||$ 53.94|
|1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local||$ 0.08|
|Internet (Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)||$ 11.57||Average Leisure Prices|
|Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult||$ 21.79|
|Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour)||$ 7.43|
|Cinema, 1 Seat, International Release||$ 3.45||Average Clothing Prices|
|1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Comparable)||$ 48.25|
|1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, etc...)||$ 31.01|
|1 Pair of Adidas Walking Shoes (Mid-Range)||$ 90.68||Average Rent Prices|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Center||$ 445.05|
|Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Center||$ 286.67|
|Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Center||$ 935.88|
How Does the Average Person Spend Their Money in Ho Chi Minh City?
The biggest bulk of money in Ho Chi Min is spent by its citizens in markets and supermarkets – mostly because everything that is imported is very expensive, and this goes for groceries too.
The second place in the pie chart of money spending in Ho Chi Minh goes to expenses of rent – because you’ve gotta live somewhere and rent is no small expense.
Though people of Vietnam use transportation virtually for everything, it is still surprising that transportation is such an important part of their everyday life, so these expenses are third, followed by restaurants and basic utilities.
Ho Chi Minh City: Average Salary, Minimum Wage & Mortgages
The cost of living here compared to the United States is much lower.
Housing, food and transportation is all 4 to 5 times less than the United States, and in some cases even cheaper.
The good news is that with the low cost of living, the average salaries for foreigners tend to be much higher than the country average.
This means that, if you’re a foreigner, you will have no problems getting by in Ho Chi Minh.
However, the locals might have a hard time making ends meet. The average salary in Hanoi is about 370$ which is not enough to cover the rent expenses, bills, utilities, food and clothing.
Cost of Living by City in Vietnam
*Click the name of the city for more information.
|City||Cost of Living Index|
|Ho Chi Minh City||37.82|