Cost of living in Ho Chi Minh city 2019

One of the most important things that expats should consider when they have decided to move to Vietnam is the cost of living. There are more than 63 provinces and cities in Vietnam and each place has its own cost of living. It depends on the type of person you are, your lifestyle and which city you want to live. Let’s take a closer look at a living cost in Ho Chi Minh City – the most vibrant city of Vietnam in this article.



If you want to choose to live in the bustling downtown areas, District 1, District 2 and District 3 will be the right places for you. It costs from $350 to $450 for a room in a shared flat or traditional Vietnamese house with basic furniture, from $500 to $730 for 2-bedroom apartment with all of modern funiture, depending on size and location. In District 4, the price will be cheaper as it is a bit further from the center. You can find  a room in a shared house for around 4,200,000 VND/$180/month in Phu Nhuan or Binh Thanh District.

A room for rent in apartment.

In addition, you should pay attention to the distance between your home and your working-place because of the crazy traffic in Ho Chi Minh city. Traffic jams during rush hour can take a lot of time and you can be late for work, especially in Binh Thanh and Phu Nhuan district.

If you want to keep your expenses as low as possible, the best solution for accommodation is a shared apartment or house. You can find people looking for new roommates in the various expats Facebook groups or on expats websites.


  • Buying a motobike: A used motorbike can be acquired for as little as 250 USD – 350 USD, and a new one can be bought starting from around 800 USD to 1500USD.
  • Renting a motorcycle: can cost about $35 – $40/month (the deposit of $200)
  • Gas: The gas for motorbike costs $1/litre
  • Public transport: Buses and motorbike taxi cost about $2 for 10km.
  • Monthly ticket public transport: $10
  • Renting a car: $500+/month

Grab – motorbilke taxi

Click here for the most useful transportation apps in Vietnam.


Ho Chi Minh city is better known for its simple street food, which is made up of a combination of the best dishes from 3 regions,  leading to it being called  the “Heaven of Vietnamese street food” by CNN. The food in Ho Chi Minh City is extremely affordable, diversified and delicious.

You can buy a delicious bowl of sauce noodles, a cup of shaking mango, a fried rice flour cake, a fragrant baked meat and rice noodles or grilled fish cake noodle with just from 15,000 to 25,000 VND (about $1). If you want something with more substance, find yourself a com tam shop. A dish of “Com tam” is made from rice with a side of veggies and barbecued meat and be sold from $1.5 – $2.

Ho Chi Minh Streetfood

Vietnamese streetfood is sold in any local markets, roadside stalls, restaurants or food festival in Ho Chi Minh city. Or click here for more details.



If you’re a cooking-lover, you should cook by yourself at home because this is the best way to earn money when you live aboard. Each grocery shop has its specility so you should go to several shop to get everything you need. For example, one shop sells every kinds of fruit, vegetables or spice, another shop sells rice and noodles. It costs from $2-$4 for a full meal, depends on what you buy to cook. Fresh meat is sold in super market with different prices, pork costs $5.5/kg, beef costs $11/kg, mackerel fish costs $10/kg, shirmp costs $8/kg,etc.

Vinmart supermartket.


The best place to entertain in Ho Chi Minh city is Bui Vien street – the backpacker road, located in district 1. Many bars here serve beer for 2-3 USD and cocktails for 5-6 USD. If you love to go to peaceful places, find some modern/vintage/board games coffee shops to enjoy nightime with your friends. It costs from $1- $3 for a cup of cappuchino, latte or a glass of fruit juice. Nguyen Hue Walking Street is also a nice places to come to walk, socialise, sing, dance and ride hoverboard. Or you can go to the cinema to enjoy the list of hottest movie with less than $5/a ticket.

Bui Vien walking street.

Sim-card and Internet

The SIM card by itself cost 50,000 VND (~$2.20). There are many brands of sim-card available to use in Vietnam (Mobifone, Viettel, Vinaphone, Vietnamobile, Gmobile,etc.) You can buy some data package that provided 3G or 4G/LTE data valids for 30 days from $2.5 – $3 according to the brands. With these packages, data speed is significantly reduced once you go over the threshold, but isn’t cut off entirely. For those wanting more high-speed data, several other options are available, up to 15GB for 200,000 VND (~$9). Sometimes these brands will have discounted promotions if you top up your credit right on time (20% off, 50% off,..)

Viettel 4G sim

In summary, the cost of living in Vietnam can be cheap if you have a plan to spend appropriately. I hope this article will be helpful for you. Remember that you can contact us at if you are looking for suitable English teaching jobs in Vietnam, specially in Ho Chi Minh city!

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