The best cities to live in Vietnam for expats are unquestionably the metropolitans of the country.
The country’s main cities are composed of Hanoi, the country’s capital, Ho Chi Minh and Da Nang. All three are highly urbanized cities, but each has distinct characteristics that entice people on different levels.
The best city to live for a balanced lifestyle in Vietnam is Da Nang. The city is along the beach with the Han River flowing through the center. Its streets are clean and the city is organized. The city also offers a wide range of restaurants, cafes, shops and exciting nightlife.
Most locals that you meet in Da Nang are generally friendly and are also open to helping someone in need be it a fellow local or a foreigner.
Another good thing about Da Nang is it is not as busy as the other main cities in Vietnam. The city also boasts a low crime rate and is close to a UNESCO heritage site. Hoi An is approximately half an hour away from Da Nang and is a must-see place when in Vietnam.
Da Nang is not very touristy, so it does not get too busy or noisy. It is also one of the safest cities in the country, with only minimal petty crimes like Saigon, rife with snatchers and scammers. It is also close to Hoi An, about half an hour away. Hoi An is a nice place to explore, particularly its old town, which is a UNESCO heritage site.
Aside from the notable town of Hoi An, the South Central region where Da Nang belongs is home to three world cultural heritages such as the capital of Hue and the My Son Sanctuary. All these are highly praised and commended by domestic and international travellers for its breathtaking sceneries, sweeping views and virtuous environment.
Way back in 2011, Da Nang won the ASEAN award for “Environmentally Sustainable City” – a proud title of the locals in this city. With its well maintained environment, lesser pollution, Da Nang is a city that has created its own brand and identity in many areas during the past years. Many people think that Da Nang is a place worth living for because of a clean environment, low pollution, world class infrastructures and diverse service models.
Ho Chi Minh City
The business capital of the country – Ho Chi Minh. Living in this city of Vietnam, expect intimidating skyscrapers and fast-paced lifestyles. The city has undergone major urbanization and so much development that it can go on par with cities from other countries. Despite all this progress, the city has kept its rich culture and history. Along with its streets are sacred temples and pagoda, French-style buildings and old museums – the perfect blend of old and anew.
One of the reasons why it’s one of the best cities to live in Vietnam is it’s strategically located close to the rest of neighboring countries, providing cheaper bus fares and tickets should you wish to explore Cambodia and Thailand.
However, you need to note that because of its booming economy, this is the most populated city in Vietnam – offering various employment to both locals and foreigners. And yes, expats flock to the city. Most of the expats can be found living in Binh Thanh, District 1, 2, and 7.
The expat community in Ho Chi Minh is so huge in the city, you surely won’t have any difficulty making friends or finding your own expat squad!
Ho Chi Minh is the largest city in the country and houses approximately eight million people. Thus, you can expect a sprinkle of chaos in dealing with your day-to-day living in this city. The shops are mostly open 24 hours and a bottle of beer is only 1 USD. The city has 12 districts with a variety of residential spaces you can choose from.
You can enjoy a multitude of cuisines both authentic Vietnamese dishes and international ones. There are also plenty of parks, attractions and recreational activities to feed your wanderer soul. Transportation is never an issue to this city as it has several options you can choose including the most convenient which is grab. It also has an underground train system connecting all of its districts.
Shopping malls, hospitals, institutions, and banks can also be easily accessed in Ho Chi Minh. Should you want to have a short getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city, you can try to explore the Mekong Delta, Mui Ne, Phu Quoc, Da Lat, and Vung Tau.
Being the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi is one of the best cities to live in the country. If Ho Chi Minh is the business hub of Vietnam, Hanoi stands as its political center.
If you’re aiming to be living in a modernized city, Hanoi is the best option for you. Hanoi is the political capital of Vietnam. It is a great choice for people who are looking for something modern yet with unique classic aesthetics.
Albeit Hanoi is the country’s capital city, it has a smaller population, compared to Ho Chi Minh. Foreigners also have limited employment options in the city and the pay is lower. However, several expats choose to live here for its natural sceneries and laid-back vibe.
Hanoi is close to one of the most iconic attractions in the country – Halong Bay which has been part of the Seven Wonders of the World.
The expat communities are found in Tay Ho or Dong Da districts. Hanoi has cooler weather with easy access to notable destinations in the northern provinces like Sapa, Ha Giang, Cao Bang, Mai Chau, Ninh Binh, and Ha Long Bay.
As for the cost of living in Hanoi, it is close to Ho Chi Minh with a lot of shopping and dining options. The city is also abundant with attractions and recreational activities that will surely kick the boredom out!