Why Should You Move to Vietnam ? (An Expert Expat Guide)

Have you ever wondered what it feels like to work on the beautiful beaches in Da Nang or Nha Trang? Or in the artsy cafes of robust Saigon and Hanoi? You will never feel bored, because the start of every day will be completely new. The monotony of working from nine to five will be broken, and replaced with a fresher experience. There is a balance between work and life, and even more inspiring trips await. Try being a nomad in Vietnam.

This country will bring you and your family many surprises, amazingly delightful experiences, and inspire you as you make your way through every corner of each street. Keep reading to find out why you should move to Vietnam and a few tips and tricks if you decide to embark upon this adventure.

Why Vietnam?

A nice view of Saigon at night from the rooftop of Thu Thiem Tunnel

Thu Thiem Tunnel

With over more than 2,000 years of historical development, the country possesses a spectrum of cultures and architectural works influenced by foreign countries such as France, China, Cambodia, America, etc. Even the locals sometimes are amazed by its diversity and hidden beauty, because anything one wishes to experience is included.

In 2016, a survey conducted by Business Insider showed that Vietnam was among the 20 most attractive countries in the world for work, based on various criteria (such as the economy, environment, and living conditions), on par with developed countries such as Japan and Belgium. The reason why Vietnam has become an ideal working and living destination for nomads is that the country is blessed with beautiful sceneries, extravagant food, and excellent services for affordable prices, from transportation to entertainment. In fact, 87% of expats in Vietnam truly enjoy local food every day.

Now, let us go through the most significant features that will convince you to move to Vietnam.

Safe and Best-Valued Health Care System

You will never have to worry about being threatened physically, or assaulted by strangers. War, terrorism, and religious conflicts are no longer major issues. Illegal drugs and guns are highly restricted, and rape and murder are totally rare. You should not feel insecure here, or expect the unexpected to happen, as Vietnam is safe.

Nguyen Hue Walking Street
Nguyen Hue Walking Street

Expats are extremely well-supported in the employment market of Vietnam with lucrative income, every company should ensure basic social securities. If you are working on your own and want to stay in Vietnam for a long period, applying for a prolonged visa is also relatively easy. The public healthcare is efficient enough for common sickness and some emergency cases. If you do not mind paying extra, private international hospitals in Vietnam provide the best services for an affordable price!

Hospitable Locals and Exciting Atmosphere

Expect a place where locals are genuinely warm, hospitable, and generous. This really shouldn’t be surprising since the previous wars have not had much impact on the younger generation. Most of them will express a welcoming attitude towards foreigners and they will probably know enough English to have basic conversations. Youngsters will be the nation’s future generation, and Vietnam is really moving in an exciting direction.

Hospitable Locals and Exciting Atmosphere

Anyone who has visited the fastest developing city of Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City, has admitted that it’s addicting. The atmosphere in this city is full of hustle and bustle, there is something new to do every night and there are countless international inhabitants that breathe new life into the charming old buildings. After school or work, rarely will people go straight home to rest, but instead, they hang out for a while. Same goes for the weekends, nobody stays home all day, people will flock to the streets, through the alleys, exploring those new food and drink venues hidden in the many mysterious corners.

In the big cities of Vietnam, there is a similar mindset to that in Ho Chi Minh City, you don’t actually have to travel far to find anything that you desire, everything is less than a ten-minute ride on the bike. These cities, like Hanoi, Da Nang, and Nha Trang, are filled with restaurants, shopping malls, and convenience stores. And not to mention the absurd amount of coffee shops everywhere. These places are working paradises, where you can sit back, enjoy the atmosphere, the interiors, the food and drink while doing your thing and earning money. There are also a lot of co-working places for organized meetings with your fellow business partners.

Check out these articles about cafes and co-working places in Vietnam and you will get a better idea:

The Best Cafes in Saigon for Digital Nomads to Get Some Work Done

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Inexpensive Cost of Living

Vietnam has a low cost of living, relatively several times lower for those moving from developed countries. Research shows that 93% of expats living and working in Vietnam have enough or more money than they need to cover their expenses, and many of them also said that they can live happily here for just around 1,000 to 2,000 USD per month.

View Analytics here: https://www.internations.org/expat-insider/2018/personal-finance-and-cost-of-living-indices-39594

Inexpensive Cost of Living
The food is cheap and what’s better than trying new food every day?

Compared to the average cost of living in the USA, you need roughly 45% of your expenses to live happily here.

If you really want to break down prices, take a look:

Accommodation rental 397.63 USD
Water & power supply 56.76 USD
Public transportation 6.60 USD
Price for a cup of (surprisingly good) coffee 1.66 USD
Price for a local beer 0.88 USD
Price of a local meal 2 USD


There is no doubt that the food here is darn good. Food Network recently published an article praising Vietnamese Cuisine for its fresh, delightful, and nutritional characteristics. It also mentions that Vietnamese cuisine is an exemplary diet to properly nourish your body with perfect proportions of each ingredient in every dish. The Vietnamese diet usually does not have just meat and carbs, the vegetables also play a big role. There is also less dairy and high-calorie additives. The food is clean, simple, and good for you.

Southern Pho

You will also have the opportunity to enjoy exquisite cuisines and signature dishes (for a low price, of course!) such as pho (Vietnamese noodles), banh xeo (Vietnamese pancake), banh mi (Vietnamese bread), goi cuon (spring rolls) and so on. Just simply try them and let your stomach be the judge!

Every day you can expect to eat healthy and delicious food

Read more: Regional Differences in Vietnamese Cuisine – North to South

Rich in Culture

You will be amazed by Vietnam’s long history and rich traditions. It would be such a huge disappointment if we omit Tet holiday, or Vietnamese Lunar New Year – a kind of holiday that makes Vietnam unique. People celebrate Tet annually, with the main color marking the festivities red, which stands for fortune.

Go for a ride on a motorbike!
Go for a ride on a motorbike!

I also cannot forget to mention one of Vietnam’s most unique features, the motorbike. For those who have not yet heard the term before, xe om is a casual word in Vietnamese to refer to motorbike taxi, a convenient privately-hired transportation. Since the motorcycle is the major transportation and the symbol of Vietnamese traffic, “xe om” is literally available on every corner. It is also the cheap and more interesting way for nomads to get from place to place when traveling around. If you are going to commit to learning a few words in Vietnamese, maybe you should also learn how to ride one of these. Embrace the unique culture behind the handlebars.

Beautiful Landscapes

Vietnam is a country with unbeatable natural sceneries, from the lush rice terraces in Sapa to the pristine beaches of Phu Quoc, attracting millions of both domestic and international travelers each year. To be honest, it is possible to go on vacation in Vietnam every weekend.

Imagine after a whole week of intensive work, for just less than a two-hour drive from any city, you will be sitting relaxed, swinging on a hammock, enjoying fresh chilled coconut, and the sea breeze with golden sand covering your happy toes. Or if you need a calm atmosphere to do extra weekend work productively, there are nearby mountainous towns that will do the trick.

Thu Them Tunnel

Here are some suggestions for some unique weekend destinations from the North to the South:


Come to Sapa and you will be immersed in a mysterious nature. The infamous, romantic terraced fields, mountain ranches, hidden ethnic villages, and the perfect temperate climate calm your soul. But don’t come here for the wifi, come here to stay in a peaceful homestay with a dinner of local specialties.

Ha Long Bay 

Situated on the West Bank of the Gulf of Tonkin, Ha Long Bay is known for its mythology and grand sceneries. A series of unpopulated islands, floating villages, hidden beaches, and mysterious limestone caves will keep you active for at least a day.

Ha Long Bay

Enjoy the marvelous landscape in Ha Long Bay

Hoi An

Hoi An is just 45 minutes from one of the most rapid growing cities of Vietnam, Da Nang. This old town is just as rustic and charming, and makes for an excellent weekend escape. Whether it’s day or night, the ancient city is always blessed with an unmatched beauty and a gastronomic mecca that cannot be found in any other place in Vietnam. Do not forget to spend some time in the cafes!

Nha Trang

The city of Nha Trang itself is a whole resort complex surrounded by a series of hills and featuring a silky crescent-shaped beach with a countless number of tropical islands offshore. Together with impressive hospitality infrastructure, Nha Trang should always be on the bucket list of weekend vacations if you are stationed in the south of Vietnam.

Things You Should Know When Deciding to Live in Vietnam

Hang at the bar with new friends in a new atmosphere
  • Make sure you do some research to find a place suitable for all your needs – look at the neighboring areas, identify schools, markets, hospitals, transportation, etc. Also make sure you do some research about the culture and habits of the locals, so you know the do’s and don’ts.
  • Communication services are well established in Vietnam, even in rural areas. But the connections in big cities are always a bit more stable, and surely more than enough than you need for working and entertainment purposes. 50 Mbits unlimited internet for corporate users costs around 40 USD per month, and a personal mobile package from major providers with unlimited calls and SMS is no more than 5 USD on a monthly basis. Furthermore, “Smart” 4.0 metropolitan areas are being established, providing seamless experiences in every aspect of work and life, based on excellent communication services.
  • Always, always watch out for your belongings! Since Vietnam is still a developing country, you will have to cope with the occasional person trying to rob or scam you. But don’t worry, living here long enough, you will find tips and tricks to avoid these situations.
  • Without a Vietnamese driver’s license, foreigners currently do not have the right to drive or rent a car. Try to use a motorbike instead (I’m pretty sure it would be an adventurous experience) but do be careful. There aren’t many driving laws here, and even if there were, people wouldn’t follow them.
  • It’s kind of strange to say this, but a sincere smile can help you cheer people up and defend yourself in most situations. As I mentioned earlier, Vietnamese people are really generous and friendly, they have a tendency to accept the past and tolerate mistakes if you express a genuine attitude.
SAi Gon

Basically, what I can conclude here is that Vietnam is still developing. The government is trying its best to improve the standard of living and quality of life, to make sure the country becomes a much safer and cleaner area. Throughout the past, Vietnam and its people had to suffer quite a lot from wars and foreign invasions, one after the other. The country has only had its actual independence for just a little over 40 years, and this happened only because millions of honorable men and women sacrificed their lives for freedom. The people deserve respect and love and with an open mind, you can experience all that Vietnam has to offer – beautiful landscapes and beautiful people.

Being a nomad in Vietnam is on the rise. A journey to the country will inspire you a lot, with its unique cities, nature, and people. To discover more and more interesting features of the cities in Vietnam, check our Travel Blog for weekly updates, including travel tips and tricks, new destinations, and delicious dishes!

Here are some articles that will help you to settle down in Vietnam:

Vietnam’s Top Three Cities for Digital Nomads

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