halong bay tour
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What are the living costs for expats in Hanoi, Vietnam, including monthly expenses for rent/deposits and food (in USD)? Additionally, what are some important considerations to be aware of before permanently relocating from abroad?

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The cost of living in Hanoi, Vietnam for an expat can vary depending on individual lifestyle choices. However, as of my last update, expats can expect to spend around 700to1,000 per month on rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center. Outside of the city center, the rent may be lower. Food expenses can range from 200to

300 per month, depending on dining habits and whether you prefer to cook at home or eat out frequently.

Before moving to Hanoi permanently from abroad, it's important to consider the visa requirements, healthcare options, cultural differences, language barriers, and the local cost of living. Researching the local customs, traditions, and laws can also be beneficial. It's advisable to connect with expat communities or forums to gain insights and advice from those who have already made the move. Additionally, understanding the local job market and opportunities for expats is important for those planning to work in Hanoi.

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Here is the answer:

The cost of living in Hanoi, Vietnam is relatively low, especially when compared to other major cities in Asia. A single person can expect to spend around $500-$700 per month on rent, food, transportation, and other expenses. Couples or families may spend slightly more, but it is still possible to live comfortably on a budget in Hanoi.

Here is a breakdown of some of the costs you can expect to incur:

Rent: Rent can vary depending on the location and size of the apartment, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $1,000 per month for a one-bedroom apartment in a central location.
Food: Eating out in Hanoi is very affordable, and you can easily find a good meal for $5 or less. If you cook at home, your grocery bill will be even lower.
Transportation: Public transportation in Hanoi is cheap and efficient. You can get around the city easily by using the bus, metro, or taxi.
Other expenses: Other expenses you may incur include entertainment, personal care, and clothing. These costs will vary depending on your lifestyle, but you can expect to spend around $100-$200 per month on these items.

Here are some things you should know before moving to Hanoi:

The language barrier: The official language of Vietnam is Vietnamese, and it can be difficult to get by without knowing some basic phrases. However, many people in Hanoi speak English, and there are also a number of English-language schools and resources available.
The culture shock: Moving to a new country can be a big adjustment, and it is important to be prepared for the cultural differences you may encounter. Vietnamese culture is very different from Western culture, and it can take some time to adjust.
The bureaucracy: Vietnam can be a bureaucratic country, and it can be time-consuming and frustrating to deal with government agencies. However, there are a number of resources available to help expats navigate the system.

Overall, Hanoi is a great city to live in for expats. The cost of living is low, the people are friendly, and there is a lot to see and do. If you are looking for an affordable and exciting place to live, Hanoi is a great option.

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edited by
If you live like a local, it’s extremely inexpensive to maintain lifestyle here in Vietnam. This is my cost of living in HCMC:

Breakfast: $0.5 - $1. 2022: $1–$1.5.

Coffee: $0.8 - $1. Sometimes I go to luxury coffee shop with my wife: $10 for 2. 2022: $1.2; price for luxury coffee stays the same.
Lunch: $1. You get: 1 portion of rice, 1 main dish, side vegetable. 2022: $2.

Cigarette: $1. Even though I don’t smoke, but that’s the price for 1 pack. 2022: same.
Dinner: $5 for 2. My wife cooks at home, we typically have 2 main dishes, 1 side dish, 1 vegetable dish. 2022: $6-$7. Mostly because we have a son now.
Beer: $0.8 for a local beer bottle, $1 - $1.5 for imported beer. 2022: surprisingly beer went down, now I pay $0.4 for a local beer can (Red Ruby). I still indulge myself for a good IPA craft beer from time to time $1.8-$2.
Apartment: $200 for 1 bedroom 50 squared meters apartment with kitchen, $20 for service fee. 2022: I have my own apartment now (bought it 3 years ago), I’m paying $40 for service fee (including 2 motorbikes). I got a friend living in a 49 m2 apartment, $200 with $20 service fee.
Clothes: 1 pair of Levi’s is about $50. I have 3 pairs of those, and wear them all year long. T-shirt is about $20. 2022: I don’t buy foreign brands anymore, my closet is mostly Vietnamese brands like Coolmate, Jockey. A pair of jeans is about $20 (Coolmate), t-shirt is about $5. But I do like shoes (Cole Haan), a pair of Cole Haan costs me like $80-$90. I spent about $500 for clothes last year.
Internet: $15/month. 2022: $8.5.
Water & electric: about $30/month. 2022: electric is about $30, water is about $10.
Gasoline (for my motorbike): $5/week. 2022: $2/week because I work hybrid now.
Mobile phone (2022 only): I spent about $3-$4 a month for mobile phones. I hardly make any call on the mobile network, instead I mostly use OTT apps like telegram, viber, zalo. My package include 2.5GB of 4G data monthly (3.5GB of data if you buy 3 months).

Ofc, I won’t take into account cost of travel, and eating out in weekend (which costs me around $50–$80 for a weekend).

Let me know if I miss anything
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Vietnam Living Costs in a month

I work in a tier 2 city just outside of Hanoi (Vietnam capital). All the costs below are per a person.

2 bed apartment with individual bathrooms - $176

Electricity - $27 – 57 (In winter the air con will not be as necessary so the price will drop.)

Water - $9 – 11

Broadband - $6

My Scooter $260

Petrol $3 (gets me 40+ km)

Budget Vietnamese meal $1.5 – 4

Fast Food Meal $3-4 for burger and chips

Fancy Meal $12 – 16

Bottles of vodka $4 – $5 dollars

Other spirits $6 – $8 dollars.

2l bottle of fizzy drink Under $1

Entry to local swimming pool $1.3

Pack of Cigarettes $2-3

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In Ho Chi Minh city

For apartment located in center district as district 3,1,5 the price will be quite higher, It should around 500–600 US dollar

For apartment in suburban, as district Thu Duc, Go Vap, 9. It should be around 300–400 US dollar.

A lot of expats lived in District 7 because it is near the downtown - district 1, but I don’t know how much they pay for rental.

Hope it will be helpful.

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Come to my hometown, Quy Nhon city and you will only need $200 to live per month. But promise me you will be nice to the beaches.

$70 for rent included utilities. (Extra $20 for faster Internet)

$.50 per meal (so 0.5 * 3 * 30 = $45 for food) could be cheaper for about 1/3 of it if you cook at home.

You could go by bicycle around the the city so you don't really have to pay for transportation. But if you decided to use motorcycle then it gonna be about $30 per month.

Save another $1130 and gift me $5. ;)

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