Moving to Hoi An

Cost of Living

COST OF LIVING IN HOI AN (2016)

At the moment Hoi An is a very cheap place to live. The main expenses are housing, health insurance, visa runs and for some, schooling.

You can find most things you need in Hoi An but every six weeks (more or less) you will probably need to travel into Da Nang to ‘stock up’ at one of the large supermarkets. However, in the near future Hoi An New Town will be finished. Just outside the town and a little north of An Bang Beach, this massive development will house a large supermarket, shops and many other things so the need to travel to Da Nang for groceries will be a thing of the past.

Below is a guide of what to expect in terms of prices, it is by no means definitive but aims to give you some idea of the cost of living if you decide to move here (see other posts in this section for more in-depth details on housing, jobs etc..)

 

american dollars in hoi an, cost of living, exchange rateAll prices are quoted in American dollars!

This can become annoying and stressful particularly for those who live on rents or funds transferred from their home country. The increasing strength of the Greenback can see a drop in finances for many. Hopefully, one day all prices will be quoted only in Vietnamese Dong.  But for now…

 

Renting a house

You can rent a house for $250 per month. You will not get much for this. For Western tastes, you are looking at $US400 – 500 for a two-bedroom house and $600 – 800 per month for a four-bedroom (or more) house. In this house you will have more bathrooms than you have ever known in your life. The Vietnamese love bathrooms!

Alternatively you can stay in a Homestay (with TV & internet, air conditioning, cleaning services and breakfast) for around $300 or so a month.

 

Food and shopping

For fresh vegetables and fruit go to the markets. A kilo of potatoes is around 20,000 VND, a bunch of bananas around 20,000 VND and 1 kilo of tomatoes around 12,000 VND. Things are seasonal and it varies but it’s always cheap. You can also buy meat and fish as well as clothes, toiletries and general grocery items at the market.

For international products like vegemite, taco shells or whatever, there are several convenience stores around town (AP Mart, A Mart, Bich Thuy). Dingo Deli also has a great range of hard to get products. In general, something like a jar of bolognaise pasta sauce will cost around 110,000 VND.

For ‘big’ shops and cheaper prices, people head to Da Nang. The cheapest of these supermarkets is the Metro. The rules for admission to the Metro change so check with locals before you go.

 

Da Nang Supermarkets

MM Mega Market (formerly Metro), Cach Mang Thang 8, Cam Le, Đa Nang
Big C Shopping Mall255-257 Hung Vuong, Da Nang
Lotte Mart2 Nai Nam, Da Nang
Co-Op Mart, 478 Dien Bien Phu, Da Nang
Vinmart (Vincom Centre)
Joly Mart, 31 Yen Bai, Da Nang (more like a convenience store  but Joly Mart is really worth a visit because it stocks some of the very hard to find items)

For a big ‘grocery shop’ we recommend the Metro and the Big C.

 

Hoi An Now mascotTip: If you purchase more than 2 million dong worth of goods at Metro they will deliver it to Hoi An. If you have a Metro account they will deliver free of charge.   When you have finished shopping do not proceed to the check-out counter at the front, instead go to the Dispatch area at the back. It takes them a long time to process it but this allows you to come in to Da Nang by motorbike.  Ask what time they deliver. According to Michael Johnson who provided this information, they are usually ‘spot on time-wise’.   
 

Bus services to Da Nang

There are local buses that go to Da Nang as well as a shuttle bus run by Hoi An Express (110,000 VND one way). The shuttle bus runs every hour on the hour from 4am – 11pm. Pick up is 9 Phan Chau Trinh Street, Hoi An Old Town. Stops in Da Nang include 108 Bach Dang & 37 Hung Vuong Streets. For more information contact Ms Lam, Hoi An Express.

Tel:  +84 (0) 938 405 917
Email: [email protected]

 

Big C bus

The Big C bus is free of charge but you need to show the driver a receipt of at least 150,000 VND worth of purchases on your return journey. Below is the current timetable for the Big C bus from Hoi An to Da Nang return. (Timetable provided by Jan Villadsen).

 

shopping big C hoi An to Da Nang, vietnam

 

Hire of a car to Da Nang

Hiring a car is the quickest way to get to Da Nang and while this is the most expensive option in terms of transport, it is the most convenient, particularly if you have a lot of shopping. To minimize the cost you can share a car or mini-van with others.

A return half-day car trip should cost around 500,000 VND (give or take your bargaining skills). If you need the car for the day it will be slightly higher.

 

Eating out

You can get anything in Hoi An. Western, Indian, Mexican, vegetarian, Vietnamese and chip butties to name a few; you can live on 250,000 VND per day, more or less. It’s up to you. In a restaurant, a standard Vietnamese meat dish will cost around 60,000 – 120,000VND and a bowl of pho around 30,000 – 40,000 VND. Street food is much cheaper. For a family of four you can eat out for around 300,000 VND. Remember: you can pay less and you can pay more. The many Quans around (Vietnamese red chairs in an open area restaurant) have great food and beer at very cheap prices.

 

Beer

A carton of beer costs around 220,000 VND. In restaurants you will pay 10,000 – 30,000 per can (or more) depending on the establishment.

 

Wine

Wine is more accessible than it used to be and it seems the Vietnamese are slowly learning how to store it so it actually tastes okay and not like vinegar, as most bottles bought in supermarkets used to. A quaffable bottle of wine can be bought for around 190 – 260,000 VND.

 

Spirits

Cheap, cheap, cheap! If you’re into spirits you will never leave Vietnam.

 

Cigarettes

23,000 VND for a packet (approximately)

 

Electricity

Now this is where it can get PRICEY! If you use an air conditioner (and good God you need to in summer) you can get hit with massive bills. Roughly, one air conditioner running will cost around $US 50 per month. This may not sound like a lot but it can add up for a family where more than one air conditioner is required, particularly at night.

Due to the exorbitant cost, the average Vietnamese cannot afford to buy an air conditioner and think we are mad for using them. For this reason, the government has implemented a type of ‘rich persons’’ tax on using them, i.e. there is a kilowat threshold for power use. In general, costs are fairly reasonable but if you exceed this threshold (which you probably will) the charge rises exponentially.

 

Internet& TV

Internet and TV are ridiculously cheap by Western standards; you can get a reasonable internet and cable TV plan for around 350,000 VND per month. If you like fast internet, get Fiber Optic installed. The installation costs very little but the benefits of faster internet are fabulous.

 

Water

Buy it in the big 21-liter containers and, if you are new to Hoi An, ask your landlord to organize regular deliveries for you. Each container of water costs 10,000 VND. Make sure you get at least two, it’s surprising how quickly you run out.

 

Transport

Most people use motorbikes. To fill your tank costs around 60 – 80,000 VND; depending on your bike and the amount of travel you do this will last you close to a week. Another popular method of transport is the electric bike.  These cost around $US 300 – 600 to buy.

Cars: The following link will give you an idea of car prices in Hoi An.

 

Foreigners must meet the following criteria if they want to own a car in Vietnam:

  • Are living and working in Vietnam
  • Possess a valid passport
  • Have a visa that is longer than three months
  • Have a valid work permit and a Vietnamese driver’s licence

 

If you do not meet the criteria, you can get a trusted Vietnamese to purchase the car for you.

 

Visas

Most foreigners arrive on a 3-month tourist visa and extend it after 3 months. The cost of extending fluctuates but expect to pay in the vicinity of 3,570,000 VND ($US170).

 

Schooling

Greenshoots International School
One year @ primary level approximately:  205,008,000 VND (US$ 9,762)

Important:  the above is a rough estimate, for exact prices visit the Greenshoots website.

A cheaper option is Dingo Deli Home Schooling and after that, home schooling yourself (as a fair few people do).

 

Housegirls

A House girl costs around 30,000 VND per hour.

 

Health

A price gauge for a doctor’s consultation is as follows:

Hoi An-based Vietnamese General Practitioner *                                   =  500,000 VND. (US$ 24).
Hoang My International hospital, Da Nang                                                   =  800,000 VND (US$ 38)
Family Medical Clinic, Da Nang                                                                           =  1,239,000 VND (US$ 59)

*To visit a Vietnamese doctor costs very little for Vietnamese nationals as two different scales are used.

 

Dentists

There are many excellent dentists in Da Nang.  The Saigon Smile in Hoi An is a fairly swish establishment which many Hoi An expats recommend.  However, Hoi An Now didn’t have such a positive experience – are new fillings meant to fall out after two months?

In general, for a check-up and teeth cleaning expect to pay 200,000 VND.

 

Facebook groups

There are two excellent FB pages that you should join:  Danang Hoi An Expats and Hoi An Expats.

Use the ‘Search Bar’ to find information on a host of topics or post a question. You will be able to find out information on almost anything you need to know through these two sites.

 Finally, if we have left anything out or you need further information – email us at [email protected]

 

 

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