Vietnam is now amongst the best destinations for expats as regards cost of living.
The latest report on Vietnam as an expat destination confirms its place as one of Asia’s favourites for its inexpensive cost of living and its quality of life. Especially mentioned as a potential budget-conscious expat hub is the ancient town of Hoi An in Quang Nam province, praised by a number of recent articles in leading travel publications as well as the UK’s Telegraph newspaper and the USA’s CNN, which listed the town as one of the planet’s 16 best destinations for de-stressing and relaxation. At the same time, a UK-based travel website ranked it as second on a listing of the ’10 most exciting and safest places’ in the world.
The town itself is totally charming, rated as a dream destination for everyone from gap-year students to retirees. Its 400-year history and unspoiled traditional architecture are recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, thus boosting its appeal both to tourists and to expats looking for a unique, friendly home from home. For retirees, its cheap cost of living, low property rentals and healthy cuisine tick all the boxes, and the ever-increasing number of tourists haven’t yet spoiled the Old Town’s ambience dating back to its heyday as a riverside trading post for Chinese, Japanese and Western entrepreneurs.
Apartments overlooking the river and its ancient trading port coast around $450 a month, with food and general costs around the same. It’s popular with digital nomads for its fast internet service are and several co-working spaces, and the locals are exceptionally friendly, helpful and honest. Living in one of the villages close by the town is even cheaper. Although there are no supermarkets in town, there’s a Big C in Da Nang, offering most of not all expatriate needs. For expats intending to stay long-term, several shops in Hoi An’s market stock butter, muesli and other Western necessities.