Cost of Living in Hanoi

Expats Guide: Cost of Living in Hanoi

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What is the cost of living in Hanoi? This is a typical question from some tourists who are planning to move to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam.

Hanoi is rapidly growing in terms of its economy and development but still it managed to maintain its culture and history throughout the city.

It comes to no surprise that there are several tourists who would want to stay and live in this promising place. But then, how much is the cost of living in Hanoi for an individual?

Generally, the country offers an affordable living compared to Western countries and although the cost of living varies from city to city – there’s not much of a difference. In Hanoi, an average student can have $200 and still survive. Now for an average person, having at least $1,300 is more than enough per month.

Accommodation

In whichever country you might be living, the biggest portion of your monthly expenses is chosen accommodation. The great thing about living in Hanoi is that the city offers all types of accommodation depending on your budget, of course.

From flat sharing types to a 1 bedroom studio apartment there are several to choose from. If you’re not that particular in your living space, you can rent a room for as low as $200 a month with basic amenities.

Otherwise, if you want a sharing type, you can check on expat groups to join or perhaps bring along your gang too! However, if you are aiming for fancy living with more privacy and space you will surely find something with an average price of $1,000.

Another good thing about living in Vietnam is that electricity is included in your rental fee. Other inclusions can be water bill and the cleaning fee. On an average, the electricity costs 3,000-4,000 VND per kilowatt.

One thing to note about living in Hanoi is that the closer you are to the city center, the more expensive it can get.

Food

Food should be less of a worry when living in Hanoi, the city offers a wide range of food to eat from easy street finds to fancy meals. There are heaps of food shops lingering around almost every corner offering dishes at $2 – $3. A typical noodle soup costs $1.29!

At restaurants, if you are craving for western bites a meal is priced at around $6 – $10. For fast food chains, each meal can cost $2-$4.

Transportation

Traveling in Hanoi, there are several transportations available to choose from. The most common means is through motorbikes which you can rent at $40 per month with a deposit that starts at $200.

Should you plan to stay a little longer, the cost of oil in Hanoi isn’t expensive so your budget for transportation is too high on a monthly basis. You can also get a second-hand bike for your stay at $250-$350.

The best mode of transportation in Hanoi is through taxi, but note that there are several taxi scams in the city. Make sure to keep an eye out for the taxi meter and hop on well-known taxi brands in Hanoi. If you’re unsure about the taxi company, it would be better to use grab instead.

Mobile Phone

Mobile phone plans are controlled by the government of Vietnam so there’s not much difference with whatever plan you choose.

However, the variation falls under the data and the mobile service. Each provider runs different promotion codes with which you can find on their websites. For the data allowance, you can expect to pay around 10,000 VND (0.43 USD) for 50 MB to 500,000 VND (22 USD) for 30 GB.

Entertainment

Entertainment and activities must also be a part of your budgeting as Hanoi offers inviting bars, city attractions, gym membership and perhaps, a relaxing spa. These have various costs depending on your budget but are part of the cost of living in Hanoi.

If you’re into fitness clubs, its average membership fee starts at around $25.

Clothing & Shoes

Hanoi is home to several shopping malls and clothing shops so brace yourself up (and your wallet too). A pair of jeans can cost around $35 and tops from stores like Zara or H&M costs less.

If you opt to go to markets in Hanoi, always try to negotiate the price. Sellers will initially give you a high price especially if they see you’re a foreigner – make it a habit to bargain before buying!

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