Living in Hoi An

Image of Hoi An Old Town at night
The Old Town by night

If you’re thinking of moving to Hoi An you have taken the first step to making one of the best decisions of your life. This quaint little town is an addictive experience and one guaranteed to permeate your soul. Ask any expat and you’ll hear why: ‘wonderful beaches, a UNESCO Heritage-listed Old Town, great facilities, world-class restaurants and shopping and a vast expanse of countryside where sharing the road with the odd sauntering cow, goose or water-buffalo all seems a perfectly natural experience …’ the reply begins and there’s so much more.

But moving to any new place has to be planned and researched. Is it safe? How do you open a bank account? Rent a house? What’s the weather like? And, above all, can you afford to live there? No more wading through copious expat sites or trying to find the phone number you wrote down. So here you go. And please, share back – the more information we all have the better off we’ll all be!

Image of Hoi An Old Town, close to the river
Table Of Contents

Money & Houses

Buying a House in Vietnam

Buying a house in Vietnam can be complicated for foreigners. Much depends on your visa status, or whether you’re married to a Vietnamese partner. There are also complex laws surrounding land ownership, even if you’ve legally purchased a property. Read about the law on buying a house here and find links to the people you’ll need to speak to.

Living Accommodation

If you’re looking to live in Hoi An for a lengthy period, you’ll likely want to rent your own apartment or house. There’s a great range of properties available in Hoi An, from the traditional to the modern. You can either rent through an estate agent or directly through the owner. It’s worth knowing a thing or two about the process before you commit – find our guide to long-term accommodation here.

Jobs

There is work to be found in Hoi An, but you won’t find the diversity that you’ll find in big cities like Hanoi, HCMC or Da Nang. Being a tourist town, a lot of work is centered around tourism and hospitality. There are some teaching opportunities available however, and plenty of digital nomads passing through working in digital marketing. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a tourist visa limits your capacity to work. Find our guide to jobs here.

Image of the river in Hoi An
Get used to wonderful scenery wherever you go!

Cost of Living

By Western standards, the cost of living in Hoi An can be cheap. Essentials such as food, accommodation, and transport can all be found much cheaper than you’ll be used to back home. You’ll pay more if you’re looking for specific Western treats that have been imported, but if you eat and shop locally then huge savings can be made. Our Cost of Living page tells you everything you need to know.

Opening a Bank Account

It can be convenient to open a Vietnamese bank account if you’re staying in Hoi An for a long time. Some banks will even allow you to open accounts in foreign currencies. Rules are varied as to where you can open one however, depending on your visa status. It’s also essential to have a Vietnamese-speaker with you when you try to open an account, and be aware that they often include limitations compared to the account you may be used to back home. Find our guide to opening a bank account here.

Tips & Essentials

For an overall look at essential things to know when in Vietnam, including money tips, post offices and an idea on prices, check out our Tips & Essentials‘ page.

Schools

If you’re planning to stay in Hoi An long-term and have children, then the town has two international schools to choose from:

Hoi An International School

Green Shoots International School

Daily Life in Vietnam

Pets

Keeping an animal in a different country means there’s a lot to be aware of. From the best vets to grooming services, microchipping, shelters, food and even adopting a pet, you’ll find everything you need to know on our dedicated pets‘ page.

Repairs

If you’re new to a town it’s always handy to have a good list of contacts for getting things fixed! On our Repairs‘ page you’ll find tried-and-tested services in the area if anything goes wrong with your motorbike, PC, camera or phone.

Hoi An Nightlife & Social Scene

There’s a growing list of things to do in Hoi An, away from the usual pursuits of sport, relaxation and eating fabulous food! You’ll find our ever-growing list of social clubs, meeting places and creative groups here.

Healthcare in Vietnam

Healthcare has come a long way in recent years in Vietnam, and being close to Da Nang puts you close to one of the country’s best private hospitals. The standard has risen across the board, with some excellent opticians, dentists and GP-style doctors around too. Find our recommendations on our Healthcare in Vietnam page.

Driving Licenses

The issue of driving licenses for foreigners in Vietnam is pretty complex, regardless of whether you’ve a driving license already issued in your home country. Although many foreigners ride motorbikes without a license, there are risks to be aware of if you choose to do this. You’ll also find out how to obtain a license if this is something you’re looking to get whilst living in Hoi An.

Visas

The issue of visas can often seem complex – and in many cases it is! So we’ve compiled all the information you need, in one place. From applying for the right visa before you leave your home country, to renewing a visa and the various ways you can do this, you’ll find it all here.

Weather

Although Hoi An has two seasons – wet and dry – but like the rest of the world, the climate can be unpredictable at times. And given its location, you’ll often find the region to be in a completely different weather system to what is going on north and south. Check out our weather page for the lowdown on what you can expect when living in Hoi An.

Transport

Getting around a town is essential knowledge to have wherever you are, unless you enjoy being stuck in the house with the curtains’ drawn. Our transport page gives you all the info on public transport around Hoi An, plus links to road rules and traveling further afield to the likes of Hue, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.