Moving to another country to live in can be one of the riskiest decisions in our life. Although it may be hard for us to get along with a brand new environment at first, this decision is really interesting when we can experience a dozen new things: culture, cuisine, and lifestyle. But it is also another big problem in choosing which city to stay in that country. If you have the plan to move to Vietnam, this list below can help you in choosing one of the best places to live in Vietnam.
In general, the climate in Vietnam varies according to the Northern and Southern areas. Living in the North, you get to experience four seasons throughout the year. The South is a tropical zone with two distinctive dry and wet seasons.
The cost of living in Vietnam is broadly lower than in other countries in Asia. In Vietnam, you can find many items costing half the price in Western countries. Vietnam is also a developing country, so plenty of jobs are offered in the big cities, such as teachers of English, programmers, and developers. The average salary ranges from $1,000 to $2,000 for employees level, $2,000 to $5,000 for manager levels and $10,000 and more for experts in some fields. In some rural regions like Sapa and Mekong Delta, it is a bit harder to find a job because people here usually work in agriculture or operate small vendors, but as foreigners, you have better chances of working in skilled and management fields.
Internet access in Vietnam is very convenient nowadays, with high-speed access at almost any cafes. In the rural areas, if it is hard to find wifi, another way is using a phone SIM card with 3G or 4G connection. While Mobifone and Vinaphone are more popular in the major cities, Viettel will have the broadest coverage, from urban to rural towns.
The cuisine in Vietnam varies regarding the region. The Northern people prefer frugal food with a slightly sour taste. People from the Central region love spicy dishes. The food from Southern is often sweeter.
The healthcare and education services are not highly evaluated in Vietnam, but they are gradually improving. The services are better in the big cities, while there is little to no and poor healthcare and education in the rural areas. Some international systems will offer you services of higher quality. Vietnam is considered to be a safe country to live in. As for crimes, you do need to be careful with the pickpockets in crowded places and petty thefts.
The rate of English speakers in Vietnam is not high. In major cities, it is easier for foreigners to communicate with locals. But in most countrysides, finding an English speaker is quite hard. However, in general, Vietnamese people are extremely friendly. They appreciate the cohesiveness in social relationships, so you will not feel too isolated when in Vietnam.
Ho Chi Minh City is considered to be the most vibrant city in Vietnam. It is quite open city, and everybody who comes here finds it easy to get acquainted with the lifestyle in Ho Chi Minh City. The locals are enthusiastic, friendly, and willing to help you whenever you need them.
Life in Ho Chi Minh City is always bustling
As a rapidly growing city, it is really dynamic and full of opportunities for anyone. The cost of living for an expat in Ho Chi Minh City is about USD 724/month (~VND 16,600,000).
Being here, you'll have a chance to learn more about the city’s history and culture by visiting historical monuments and attractive destinations such as the Independence Palace, Cu Chi Tunnels, and Central Post Office.
Ho Chi Minh City - a rapidly developing metropolitan
Especially the food in Ho Chi Minh City is extremely diversified and affordable. The cuisines from all 3 regions in Vietnam are easily available. Because Ho Chi Minh City is a city of migrants, you can find food and restaurants from other regions of Vietnam here.
Check out our private motorbike tours with professional local guides
The locals build up the charms of Hanoi. Everyone has unique traits or characteristics. But most of them are generous, humorous, and respect the traditions.
Hanoi - the Capital of Vietnam
With more than 1,000 years of civilization, from the Thang Long capital era to the present, Hanoi has always been the largest cultural center of the country. The land has produced folk culture with many legends, songs, proverbs, heroes, and folk festivals, which profoundly impact the morale of the people.
In contrast to modern city life, the locals also enjoy simple experiences in their everyday life
The cuisine in Hanoi is also worthy of a food adventure. There are few places in Vietnam that own the traditional dishes as Hanoi: Turmeric fish with dill (chả cá), Glass Noodles with Deep-Fried Eel (Miến xào lươn), Rice Vermicelli with Chicken, Egg, and Pork (Bún Thang). All of this delicious food and affordable standards of living make Hanoi one of the best places to live in Vietnam.
Read more on Must-try Hanoi Food.
Da Nang was considered to be one of the best places to live in 2018 according to Live and Invest Overseas Magazine (LIO). Da Nang is a city with beautiful beaches, located in the Central of Vietnam.
The coastal life in Da Nang
Many people dream to live in Da Nang because the cost of living here is not too high compared to its living quality. Monthly, you'll need to budget about USD 852 (~VND 19,700,000) to stay here comfortably.
Da Nang always owns something that can create a "fever". That is talking about the new, exciting, continuous appearance of many hot spots here: Dragon Bridge, Ba Na Hills, and the Sun Wheel. And recently, tourists around the world have been attracted by a new symbol of Da Nang: Golden Bridge held by a pair of hands.
The local foods in Da Nang are very cheap and tasty, especially the seafood. The locals are friendly and always ready to guide you to the local norms, ways, and places. The Vietnamese also asses Da Nang as one of the best places to live in Vietnam.
Find tickets to travel to Da Nang
Far from Saigon's sultry and scorching sunshine, Nha Trang is sunny and has warm temperatures all year round, with an average temperature of about 26 degrees Celsius. Owning one of the most beautiful bays in Vietnam, Nha Trang beach inherits clear water and white sand beaches.
Nha Trang City by the coast
At Nha Trang, there are numerous islands, each of which has its own charms. The most well-known island here is Vinpearl Land, which is built into a giant entertainment park and luxurious resort complex.
The food in Nha Trang is also very diversified, with hundreds of delicious dishes with main ingredients from seafood but still bold in nature, such as fish noodles, jelly noodles, grilled beef, vermicelli noodles, and dry squid.
Nha Trang is one of the best places to live in Vietnam for the one who wants to be close to the beach and sea. The cost of living here is also lower compared to big cities like Ho Chi Minh City or Hanoi. It is around USD 438 (~VND 10,100,000) per month.
Until now, the ancient town of Hoi An has still preserved the intact status of a complex of ancient architectural relics including many houses, condominiums, pagodas, temples, bridges, churches, ports, markets and the narrow lanes running horizontally that make chess-like squares. Hoi An's street view covers an ancient mossy style that looks like a vivid picture. The existence of a city like Hoi An is unique in Vietnam and it is rarely seen in the world. So Hoi An is considered as a living museum of architecture and urban lifestyle.
Hoi An Old Quarters
In addition to cultural values through diverse architecture, Hoi An also conserves a large intangible cultural background. The daily life of the residents with the customs, beliefs, local activities, folk art, cultural festivals are preserved and promoted along with the natural scenery, traditional villages, and special dishes, which make Hoi An an increasingly attractive destination of foreigners.
Vung Tau is a major tourist coastal town for the Ho Chi Minh locals who seek weekend getaways to the beach. The harmonious combination of natural sea and mountain with urban architecture and cultural works such as monuments, temples, and churches, which become Vung Tau’s advantages over many beautiful coastal cities. Because the coastal town is near the major ports, most expats who live here are often engineers or in the oil and petroleum industry.
The scenery in Vung Tau is what makes the city worth living in
Vung Tau has many vestiges such as the Lighthouse of Vung Tau with 18 meters high and lights up 35 nautical miles away, Nirvana Temple (Buddhist temple) with a Buddha statue (12 meters in length) lying on a 2.5-meter high pedestal, the Statue of Jesus with 32 meters high on the Little Mountain; White Palace and Shakyamuni Buddha Temple on Big Mountain; Relics Long Son House on the island Long Son.
Hue is the old capital of the ancient dynasty. So you can easily find the antique atmosphere from the first time you come here. Hue still conserves plenty of traditional values and archaic charming. Through the ups and downs, the turmoil of history, Hue is still the charming land with gentle, elegant and full of romance.
Hue is also the land of cuisine, you can explore the food here, from popular to high-end everywhere, from the northern citadel to the western quarter and the south of the Huong River. Popular Hue dishes include beef noodle, baby basket clams with rice, and steamed dumplings. Tea from Hue is also interesting, and coffee shops are easily found everywhere in many styles.
Da Lat is known as a romantic city located on a plateau. That is the reason why Da Lat has a cool atmosphere all year round and also because of this, Da Lat is called the “Foggy City”. In Da Lat, the soil is very rich so it is easy for us to plant flowers and vegetables.
Da Lat view from an apartment
In Da Lat, the pace of life seems to be much slower than in other cities. People love living in the Da Lat highlands because of the fresh atmosphere and cooler temperature compared to Ho Chi Minh City. There is also an airport for convenient travel.
Phan Thiet City has a relatively flat terrain, sand dunes, coastal sand, and hills. Phan Thiet is located on the coast with a system of resorts, hotels, and fast-food restaurants, Vietnamese, Italian, American, European-style.
The sunny coastal city of Phan Thiet
The resorts are in Mui Ne, a quiet space, with many attractive services, providing games, and entertainment for foreign tourists such as rubber boats, surfboards, and swimming floats.
The Ca Ty River crossing the city divides the city into 2 districts: the south is the commercial area, the river is the administrative and military area. Living in Phan Thiet city, you have an opportunity to explore many historical sites such as Phan Thiet water tower - a symbol of the city, Doi Duong beach, Mui Ne sand dunes, Duc Thanh Temple, Khe Ga Lighthouse, Ong Pagoda, Ta Cu Pagoda.
Sa Pa is the land of the long ranges of mountains, the hills extending endlessly, the deep valleys, and the winding passes. Famous for the terraced rice fields, this town is more suitable for digital nomads and those who love nature and treks. This is also home to the Fansipan summit, Indochina's highest peak.
Blend in with the life of ethnic groups in Sa Pa
Sapa is home to many ethnic minorities, so the culture and architecture here differ from other places in Vietnam. You can have interesting experiences in visiting traditional local markets, got a chance to enjoy the specialties.
The Mekong Delta is not only known as the largest "granary" of the country but also considered as one of the famous tourist attractions for tourists who wish to experience the countryside. This land is the cradle of the ancient Oc Eo culture, with many precious historical relics archived.
The Mekong Delta is home to those who long for life near prosperous nature
Those who have come to the Mekong Delta are deeply impressed by the rustic beauty and the truthfulness of the locals here. They are very friendly, willing to help each other. This region is also famous for its variety of tropical fruits. The reason is that this area is covered by a dense network of rivers, creating a wealth of nature.
Despite being in the countryside, the Mekong Delta doesn't lake modern facilities and extravagant lifestyle
The Mekong Delta is a large area with many provinces and cities. The densely populated big cities are namely Can Tho, My Tho, Long Xuyen, Rach Gia, and Ca Mau. These cities are developing in both the economy and tourism.
Mekong Delta owns a unique culture and charm. The life of locals is closely related to the rivers, mainly farming and fishing.
Read more about the life of locals at Vietnamese countrysides.
Vietnam is well-known as a friendly and happy country with affordable places to live. Living in Vietnam can give you the experience of living in a typical Eastern culture. The temperate climate, the low cost of living, and the charming culture of Vietnam usually attract the foreigners.
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Sources from Nomad List, VNExpress, and First Alliances.
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I'm a digital nomad and I vouch for Dalat (highlands) and Nha Trang (coastal); these 2 are very different cities but they are really great places to live with things to do for everyone (both busy and slow lifestyle). The internet speed in these cities is fast.
Been living in Ho Chi Minh for quite a while and loving it