Cost of Living in Ho Chi Minh City

Summary about cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam:

Restaurants
Edit Range
Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant 2.17 $ 1.52-4.33
Meal for 2 People, Mid-range Restaurant, Three-course 25.14 $ 17.34-43.35
McMeal at McDonalds (or Equivalent Combo Meal) 4.23 $ 3.86-5.00
Domestic Beer (1 pint draught) 0.95 $ 0.65-2.60
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 1.73 $ 1.08-3.00
Cappuccino (regular) 2.01 $ 1.08-3.03
Coke/Pepsi (12 oz small bottle) 0.57 $ 0.43-1.30
Water (12 oz small bottle) 0.34 $ 0.22-0.87
Markets
Edit
Milk (regular), (1 gallon) 5.44 $ 4.54-7.38
Loaf of Fresh White Bread (1 lb) 0.85 $ 0.28-1.97
Rice (white), (1 lb) 0.38 $ 0.27-0.59
Eggs (regular) (12) 1.44 $ 0.94-2.17
Local Cheese (1 lb) 5.12 $ 3.34-7.86
Chicken Fillets (1 lb) 1.34 $ 0.69-1.97
Beef Round (1 lb) (or Equivalent Back Leg Red Meat) 5.43 $ 3.93-6.88
Apples (1 lb) 1.18 $ 0.79-1.77
Banana (1 lb) 0.43 $ 0.29-0.59
Oranges (1 lb) 0.83 $ 0.49-1.18
Tomato (1 lb) 0.45 $ 0.20-0.59
Potato (1 lb) 0.59 $ 0.39-0.79
Onion (1 lb) 0.51 $ 0.33-0.98
Lettuce (1 head) 0.87 $ 0.30-1.30
Water (1.5 liter bottle) 0.50 $ 0.39-0.87
Bottle of Wine (Mid-Range) 13.00 $ 4.33-19.99
Domestic Beer (0.5 liter bottle) 0.91 $ 0.66-1.30
Imported Beer (12 oz small bottle) 1.41 $ 0.87-2.17
Cigarettes 20 Pack (Marlboro) 1.21 $ 1.00-1.50
Transportation
Edit
One-way Ticket (Local Transport) 0.30 $ 0.26-0.35
Monthly Pass (Regular Price) 6.94 $ 4.33-13.00
Taxi Start (Normal Tariff) 0.52 $ 0.43-0.65
Taxi 1 mile (Normal Tariff) 1.01 $ 0.77-1.21
Taxi 1hour Waiting (Normal Tariff) 1.95 $ 0.87-2.60
Gasoline (1 gallon) 3.24 $ 2.46-3.94
Volkswagen Golf 1.4 90 KW Trendline (Or Equivalent New Car) 47,680.59 $ 43,345.99-56,306.44
Toyota Corolla Sedan 1.6l 97kW Comfort (Or Equivalent New Car) 35,330.37 $ 32,076.03-41,178.69
Utilities (Monthly)
Edit
Basic (Electricity, Heating, Cooling, Water, Garbage) for 915 sq ft Apartment 68.90 $ 43.35-130.04
1 min. of Prepaid Mobile Tariff Local (No Discounts or Plans) 0.09 $ 0.03-0.13
Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL) 12.26 $ 8.67-21.67
Sports And Leisure
Edit
Fitness Club, Monthly Fee for 1 Adult 22.69 $ 13.00-34.68
Tennis Court Rent (1 Hour on Weekend) 8.73 $ 4.33-13.00
Cinema, International Release, 1 Seat 4.33 $ 3.47-8.67
Childcare
Edit
Preschool (or Kindergarten), Full Day, Private, Monthly for 1 Child 150.20 $ 73.69-281.75
International Primary School, Yearly for 1 Child 12,384.03 $ 6,501.90-21,673.00
Clothing And Shoes
Edit
1 Pair of Jeans (Levis 501 Or Similar) 42.59 $ 15.17-86.69
1 Summer Dress in a Chain Store (Zara, H&M, ...) 27.77 $ 10.84-43.35
1 Pair of Nike Running Shoes (Mid-Range) 101.45 $ 60.68-130.04
1 Pair of Men Leather Business Shoes 88.79 $ 43.35-151.71
Rent Per Month
Edit
Apartment (1 bedroom) in City Centre 549.01 $ 346.77-899.48
Apartment (1 bedroom) Outside of Centre 376.26 $ 229.73-606.84
Apartment (3 bedrooms) in City Centre 1,206.68 $ 780.23-2,167.30
Apartment (3 bedrooms) Outside of Centre 794.95 $ 476.81-1,300.38
Buy Apartment Price
Edit
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment in City Centre 288.28 $ 201.35-483.23
Price per Square Feet to Buy Apartment Outside of Centre 128.72 $ 92.62-201.35
Salaries And Financing
Edit
Average Monthly Net Salary (After Tax) 466.78 $
Mortgage Interest Rate in Percentages (%), Yearly, for 20 Years Fixed-Rate 9.45 7.00-15.00

Prices in Ho Chi Minh City

This city had 959 entries in the past 12 months by 93 different contributors.
Last update: February 2021
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25 Comments so far
Goofier Goober on Feb 28, 2021:
There's plenty of unreported income in Vietnam so a lot of the so called low income earners are not as poor as you think especially in metro areas of Hanoi and HCMC. Plenty of food stalls / tiny restaurant or small business owners EASILY clear $1000 or $1200 a month, hell a week even.

I know a few in particular that clear 2k a week before expenses at mid range quan nhau places that arent even in the city center. Maybe ur talking about some backward hick towns but not true in Saigon.

Low income refers to salaried employees in Vietnam. So honestly you can't expect some English teacher to come light the city on fire unless they are specialized and work for an international school.

This is why foreigners are not usually respected. Many of them don't make that much and end up pinching pennies and scraping by.
Anonymous on Feb 28, 2021:
Currently Vietnam is pretty much dormant due to covid19. I've lived in Ho chi minh city about 18 years now.I know street vendors are lucky to make $300 usd per month. Your information isn't correct overall Goober.GDP for Vietnam is currently 91st out a possible 100 being the worst.I worked as an economic advisor for the Vietnamese government 38 years before retirement so I know what the correct status actually is.Tell your bullshit to someone else because I don't buy it.
Goofy Goober on Feb 25, 2021:
English teachers are considered talking, overpaid wage slaves in Vietnam now. GDP has gotten waaay up so even street food vendors can easily clear an English teacher's salary in a month. Middle class Vietnamese and their Viet Kieu counterparts all own multiple homes, have 5 / 6 figure USD investment portfolios.

As a westerner, you need a decent income in Vietnam and a good image. Living in nice neighborhoods, eating at good restaurants, dressing well otherwise you are pegged as another loser backpacker. It's a sad state of affairs.
Anonymous on Feb 23, 2021:
People aren't nice to foreigners anywhere in Vietnam I was an English teacher in Ho chi minh and other areas of Vietnam almost 13 years. The part about trash and rats is true.
Jimmy LI on Feb 20, 2021:
Ho Chi Minh is not bad to stay but not for permanent purpose. The people are nice here but the worst thing is there are too many mosquitoes and rats. People throw away everything and the whole place is full of garbage. There are not enough garbage bins on the roads and families just put their garbage outside without cover. You can see rats running around everywhere and government have no interest to control the rats. Restaurants are everywhere and that's the reason why so many rats here. The weather is quite nice. It is hot in the afternoon but temperature will drop a lot in the evening with mind wind. It is quite comfortable and real estates are getting expensive here now.
Lee on Feb 18, 2021:
Remember, VietNam is a communist country unlike free VietNam country prior to 1975. And u know what is the reputation of those communists! They always tried to rip u off anyway they can. So why bother, stick with Thailand, Malaysa, Cambodia, Indonesia, the free SEA countries.
Anonymous on Jan 25, 2021:
Ho chi minh isn't a good place to live. I tried it for 8 months. Even if you sign a lease for one year the rent can go up much higher and there's nothing the tenant can do about it for this reason. The Vietnamese government allows major rent increases even though a tenant signs an agreement. There are many sites promoting Vietnam but those promoters have never actually lived in Vietnam as I have.
Big Boi II on Jan 20, 2021:
This place is ridiculous. I just checked rentals again and they've gone up big time. For some weird reason everyone wants to move to Vietnam during the pandemic and teach ABCs to smot nosed rich brats so agents are marking up prices.

You really cant find an adequate basic room with a kitchenette for less than 10m + utilities/ management fees. It takes me a week at least to find something good. Plus most of these buildings are in crappy locations and you're stepping around dog feces and old ladies cutting veggies in puddle water when you leave your apartment. Like I said in my post below, 12m is really the sweet spot. And you need it bc it's such a hectic place...you need a good home to return to.

Just a year ago you could get a brand new room in a commercial building from 6.5ish. I'm not seeing any good deals anymore. Most cities in SEA other than Singapore are waaaay cheaper and have better value than hcmc.
Krisakaduh on Jan 11, 2021:
This is sooooooooo usefull for my students! Thank ch <3
Big Boi on Jan 09, 2021:
I think even pre-Covid, hcmc and by extension the rest of Vietnam isnt worth living in unless you're a destitute English teacher with no career prospects or one of those poor uppity Viet Kieu who come back to lord over the locals.

1. Cost of living has gone up 100X with the sharp influx of foreigners. Unless you like living in skinny communist style housing blocks and eating cheap gruel, you need $2500 a month minimum for a good quality life. Quality apartments in not crappy areas start at 500 + high utilities. Even local food now has seen quite the markup. An average snail place on the street for 2 will run you $30 to $40 bucks for tiny portions.

2. If you don't have money or look like you don't, Vietnamese treat you like dirt. They act as if every foreigner is an indigent layabout teacher or refugee.

3. Rampant scams from housing to visas to food and more will add a big deficit to your budget.

4. Vague visa laws. Laws change quite a bit here and if you arent working legally or are working online, expect to make a trek to Cambodia every 3 months to reset your visa. It's a time consuming embarrassing pain and can be costly if you mess it up.

In addition if you mistakenly use the wrong visa agents or spend too much time in the country you can easily be blacklisted for vague reasons which can cost $3000 to fix.

5. Boring materialistic culture.

This is just a small taste or primer of what you can expect in VN. If you go to Vietnam you better have money and better be self sufficient.

There are much better options for your discerning expat.
Anonymous on Jan 08, 2021:
Infected people are rising quickly throughout Vietnam over the past two weeks plan your visits carefully.
Milo Oblong on Jan 06, 2021:
Hcmc is waaay overpriced now especially for apartments.

Minimum is basically 10m VND + EVN electric + management fees + cleaning etc if you want to live in a midrange highrise or condo building. Basically $600++ for a studio condotel or a 1 bedroom depending on the building.

If you decide to go the serviced apartment route it can be slightly cheaper but greedy Viets will artificially jack up your utilities with a submeter. I remember paying nearly $100 for electric and water for a 25-30sqm room with 1 barely working AC and a crappy water heater.

Lot of incidental costs in Vietnam that jack up the cost of living like the visa runs or paying agents or whatnot.
Anonymous on Jan 01, 2021:
There's only one good thing about Ho chi minh. The day my 1 year contract was up and I flew out of there.
Anonymous on Dec 09, 2020:
That's your fault COSTA DE VIDA FYI Vietnamese women don't like Latin men, never did for some reasons.But they love European U S and British men most definitely.
Costa De Vida on Jan 14, 2020:
Vietnam isn't the place to cone to if you are looking for fun or women especially nice ones. Most of the girls here are ugly, rude conservative, cold hearted, materialistic, and money obsessed.

Stick to Thailand.
Sandy on Jul 17, 2019:
All items are costly as compaire India Vietnam is costly place.
Michael on Jun 08, 2019:
If you are paying these prices for housing you are a retard. I see video bloggers talking about how "cheap" their rental is when in actually they are getting ripped off.
Richter Phan on May 07, 2019:
I used to live in Hanoi, and until now, I have spent 1.5 years in Ho Chi Minh city. The general prices from all providers are a little bit higher than I see. In HCM city, the average net salary is about 270 USD (about 6,000,000 VND). You can live a standard life with 250$. Only when you stay in the central areas, it will take you more to cover the living cost. If you want to know more about life in HCM city, please contact me: Richter.phan@oocllogistics.com
Miri Dubai on Mar 19, 2019:
Tons of real estate scams here with agents preying on poor foreigners. Beware.
Anonymous on Mar 11, 2019:
There are no scammers like Vietnamese all over the world who feel no shame cheating foreigners endlessly and its communist government also stands with its scammers against foreigner by not returning justice to foreigner so if you got cheated in Vietnam, the scammers would be fined a little bit of money but the scammer happily keep the scammed money from foreigners. The fine is usually less than 5% of the scammed money.

If human were dog, Vietnamese must be the lowest grade dog like Hyenea.

Even Myanmar reported the news of the most dishonest Vietnamese at the link below.

Tourist scams hold back Vietnam’s spearhead economy
https://elevenmyanmar.com/news/tourist-scams-hold-back-vietnams-spearhead-economy-asianewsnetwork

Any foreigner recommending anyone to visit Vietnam without ever suffering the scam of Vietnam as a normal tourist, is a liar who must be paid from behind to serve the interest of the world greatest tourist scammer

Anyway, Vietnam should act like a dignified nation and should not encourage foreign tourism with the intention of scamming and ripping off.

You are shameless but we feel shameful because you're still human like everyone of us and hope you're human.
Nguyễn Thị Hà on Feb 20, 2019:
I live in Ho Chi Minh city. If you need to know information about Ho Chi Minh city, you can contact me by email: mainhien111&@gmail.com. Wellcom to Ho Chi Minh city
Mika on Apr 27, 2018:
Addition:
buying a motorbike: a Honda Air blade new 2018, very popular model, may be not average, is about 52 to 55 mio VND. I had one before. Now I bought a new Honda Vario 150 (Indonesia made) for 64.Mio. The nasty aspect is that in Indonesia you buy the same scooter for just 32 mio VND (22 mio rupiahs). So the ASEAN treaty of killing all import tariffs between the ASEAN countries by Jan 1st, 2018 does still NOT WORK.
Mika on Apr 27, 2018:
I live in HCM for 5 years now. I see that the vietnamese relatives of my wife are earning 6-15.000.000VND /mo.
Local markets are cheap, buying vegetables and fresh shrimps e.g. is very cheap. Local fish same.
If you go to one of the Malls (Vivo, Aeon,...) or to the US market and you buy Australian or US meat and apples/grapes or Korean strawberries instead from Da Lat, you pay a fortune and no average income person could afford that.
Even as a European, one time a day I eat very good Crumbs bread (70.000/550g for 8 days), french Emmentaler or Camembert cheese (100.000/200g good for 10-12 days), eat french liver pate (39.000 for 10 days), these things are affordable, not too expensive. This is to avoid MacDo breakfast.
The only thing I saw skyrocketing were prices for real estate (floor and houses). 100-120sqm houses in far D.8 outside, or Nha Bé, or D.7 have beeen rising up by 25% at least up to 50% more than last year in the identical vicinity. Not even Hongkong / Paris / London / NYC had ever seen skyrocketing prices like that, just incredible.

So we stay very local, pay a rent 3.000.000 VND/mo. for a small 60 sqm VN house in central D.8.
But we have roosters crying at 5 am, many dogs barking half nite, lousy neighbors nobody takes care of any neighbor, everybody is friendly but reckless, nobody takes care of other neighbors, too many people drinking too much beer, every second day karaoke, at evening you can hear 10 different TV stations at the same time, very very noisy.
I want to switch to an appartement, but latest after the Carina Plaza fire, my wife refuses to move to any appartement. Very few Westerners would accept all these issues.

Altogether, we need about 40 Mio VND every month for 2 adults and a child, including some extra teaching and some local health care and everything.
Yes could be much cheaper, but 2 times a month we go to one of the malls and spend 3-4 mio.
This is a mix of some Western lifestyle with much Vietnamese lifestyle.
Nguyen on Nov 16, 2017:
Those Vietnamese commenting below can not see the big picture. Honestly, they looked at the minority only ... .
openwaterraver on Jun 23, 2017:
I was just noticing... on my last post here April 2016, the average monthly salary listed here was $266 USD, and today June 2017, it's gone up to $453..!!

Even if that's remotely accurate, that would be about a 70% increase in the salary in just 14 months.. amazing IF that's true.