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My Expat Cost of Living in Hoi An, Vietnam: Rebekah Voss

Posted in: Expats Everywhere

cost-of-living-vietnamThinking about a move to Hoi An, Vietnam? What’s the cost of living there? Rebekah Voss is an American currently based in Vietnam. Learn all about her cost of living in the city of Hoi An.

My Hoi An, Vietnam cost of living: $550/month

You could VERY easily spend less if you’re willing to rough it – a one-room apartment with absolutely no amenities can be found for under $100/month.

My Cost of Living in Hoi An, Vietnam

Here’s my cost of living in Hoi An in five main categories:

  1. Food (I eat out every meal – cooking would be cheaper) – $35/week. Coffee is 50 cents, breakfast is included in my homestay so it’s free, lunch is 26 cents (sandwich), dinner is $1-$2. For a ‘splurge’ my boyfriend and I get a hot pot with tons of small plates, drinks, and seafood for about $10.
  2. Home: furnished room with a private bathroom that includes all utilities is $300/month. I could have gotten a cheaper place if I had rented a house, but didn’t want to deal with the hassle of installing WiFi, etc. My friend rents a lovely 2-bedroom for $250/month.
  3. Health: I went to the Western doc in Da Nang – $59/consultation, $200 total to treat a 3rd degree motorbike burn
  4. Entertainment: Ang Bang Beach – 20 cents for parking, $5 for a huge spread of food and beer. Live music is usually free, drinks are cheap if you get beer and expensive if you get liquor/wine.
  5. Transport: bus to Da Nang (30km away) – $1, inter-city taxi $3-$5 to get anywhere you want to go. You can buy a used motorbike for $200-$250 (keep in mind that will probably be manual, not automatic).

Vietnam expat cost of living

What Costs More in Vietnam?

What costs more in Hoi An, Vietnam? Toiletries! It’s almost impossible to find decent moisturizer, makeup, etc. For women, you should definitely bring makeup, face creams, etc from home because they are 4x as expensive in Hoi An.

Also, almost all of the body washes, lotions and face creams have bleach as their main ingredient (“whitening”), so that’s one more reason to bring your own from home.

Western foods (cheese, pasta, pizza, burgers), liquor, and wine are all expensive in Hoi An.

Rebekah Voss Hoi An Vietnam

4 Things That Cost Less in Vietnam

What costs less where you are living?

  1. Vietnamese food ($1-$2 for a full dinner!)
  2. Beer (less than $1)
  3. Rent
  4. Gas (60km on the motorbike costs about $2)

Expat Cost of Living: Commodities

Also, there are a number of commodities that we can use to gauge real costs of living.

  • a liter of regular gas: – not sure exactly, but we fill up the motorbike for around $5 and that will last us a week.
  • a ten minute cab ride: $5
  • bottle of local beer: – less than $1
  • general practitioner doctors appointment: $59 (Western doctor – wouldn’t recommend local doctor)
  • Average rent for a 3 bedroom / 2 bathroom apartment: Varies, in Hoi An I’d say $300-$400 if you’re coming in blind. If you know locals, that will definitely help you find cheaper places. Also, look for a place away from the Ancient Town, this will drive the price down further.

fishing nets hoi an vietnam

Rebekah-Voss-Digital-Nomad-expatBio: Rebekah Voss is a travel writer and digital nomad who’s been on the road since 2013. Originally from the U.S., she’s spent the past 9 months traipsing around Asia with no plans of stopping. After 6 months in Vietnam she’ll next move on to Thailand, followed by Malaysia, Indonesia, and India. Rebekah is passionate about helping others travel long-term and find creative ways to make money traveling.

Rebekah Voss, The Happy Passport
Current base: Hoi An, Vietnam

Rebekah in USA TODAY

This cost of living post is part of our Expats Everywhere series.

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Meet the Author

Bryan Haines is editor of GringosAbroad - one of the largest English language sites about Ecuador. Work with GringosAbroad. He is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is also co-founder of ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorial blog) and Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands).

13 comments… add one
  • Leslie Perletz Aug 1, 2016, 11:58 am

    I am interested in moving to Vietnam for a year to teach english to kids. I would need to earn enough to support myself. I am wondering about the work opportunities in Hoi An. Any other information about living there would be appreciated. thanks!

  • bob Sep 19, 2015, 5:51 am

    hope to join

  • detlef gerischer Aug 22, 2015, 10:13 pm

    am presently contemplating a poss move to vn . stayed in hoi an for 5 days 2 yrs ago and jst fell in love with it . tk u all for grt insight as to cost of livg etc . if anyone could enlighten me as to procedure , govt req etc to make this move i would be so appreciative — cheers detlef

  • Doug Dec 4, 2014, 12:35 am

    Further to the post by HoiAnExpat,

    If the prices quoted here are inaccurate, where would one go so as to get a more accurate, up to date idea of current costs for accommodation, eating, bills etc in Hoi An? I would definitely be interested in living there, but maybe a monthly income of USD $1,200 wouldn’t cut it?

    • Bryan Haines Dec 4, 2014, 10:26 am

      Cost of living is very hard to determine.

      Some expats are happy eating typical food with the locals. Others demand their favorite foods from home. There is no way to identify what someones else’s cost of living will be.

      Something else to remember, is that the nameless “HoiAnExpat” is just another opinion. I wouldn’t put much stock in someone’s opinion who doesn’t even use their name. Rebekah not only published her name, but also her blog and social networks. She openly shared her costs.

    • Thay Jeff May 27, 2015, 8:43 am

      Doug,
      You could live like a king for 1200/month. Half that, 600, would be more like a good starting point. Ive lived in Viet Nam for over 2 years and have been coming here for 10. My wife is Vietnamese and we have a great lifestyle. I work part time and she stays home. We travel when we want and generally do what we want, within reason.

      The “foreigner” tax really only applies to boobs and the clueless. Spend a week in the neighborhood and get to know your neighbors and you will pay the same as any local. Yes, if you hang out in the tourist trap areas some vendors will try and overcharge you. Get to know that the local price for common things are and you’ll know. I’m afraid HoiAnExpat either is a sucker for getting ripped off, must always have “western” things, or just doesnt know.

      I can tell you that yes, you can get a nice meal for 1-2 USD. A bowl of Cao Lau will cost 35K (1.50) and a 333 Beer 12k (50cents). Of course if your the type needs to eat at western hotels, buffets, and things youll pay more. Besides, if you cook at all, your home cooked meals will be even cheaper.

      Live like a local – pay like a local. Live like a Western Tourist – pay like a western tourist.

      • Doug May 27, 2015, 9:45 am

        That very much meshes with my experience during a trip I made to Vietnam a couple of months ago. I am confident that my financial resources will more than suffice. Now all I have to do is to figure out a way through the visa system so that a retired gentleman of nigh-on 60 (on a teacher pension) – that’s me – can live there for more than a month or so at a time.

        • Thay Jeff May 29, 2015, 12:16 am

          About the visa. First off. money solves most problems. Ie, pay more, stay longer..But also, you can get 3 month Tourist Visa and extend it up to 3 times in a row ( 9 months), then travel out of the country for a day or two and come back, Then the process starts all over. Many people take the bus to Cambodia for a day or two, have a nice time, then come back. Easy peezy. Once youre here you can navigate the visa issues much easier.

    • KIWI Jul 18, 2016, 9:56 am

      I came for 3 months holiday in Hoi An 4years ago ,returned the following year and as fate would have it was married to a Vietnamese lady the next year. There is so much that is very special about living in Hoi An , I believe an expat can live very well on US $1,000 per month. I have travelled all over the world ,Hoi An is one of the best towns , I love living here.

  • HoiAnExpat Oct 7, 2014, 11:40 pm

    I’m afraid most of this is inaccurate. Having lived in Vietnam 15 years and most recently in Hoi An for 3 years, I would say most of the prices stated are significantly lower that you’d have to pay as a foreigner. Unless you’re fluent (and I mean here mastering the local accent as well as general Vietnamese), you will always be paying prices loaded with the foreigner ‘tax’. This goes for everything from food on the street to accomodation.

    I’d love to know the place to eat a $1-2 “full” dinner? Or are we talking about feeding a mouse?

  • Rebekah Voss Sep 22, 2014, 2:20 am

    Thanks so much for this, I had such a great time sharing info on Hoi An. (:

    • Bryan Haines Sep 22, 2014, 6:39 am

      Thanks for sharing all the specifics Rebekah! Great stuff.

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