Living costs in Vietnam
Updated April 05, 2023
Currency in VietnamVietnam’s currency is the Vietnam Dong (VND). It is the most common use currency in Vietnam’s daily life and you should exchange some before entering the country. The currency exchange rate between VND and major foreign currencies (for reference only) is as below:
Exchanging moneyThe best place to exchange your money is at a local bank. Many banks, open Monday to Friday, may issue cash advances for Visa, MasterCard, and JCB usually for a specified commission. American Express is less popular in Vietnam. Old, torn, or faded foreign notes can be difficult to exchange, so make sure you bring new, clean bills in small denominations. US $100 Dollar bills pre 2009 Series are often not accepted.
Credit cardCredit cards are accepted in most restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, and convenience stores but not in certain grocery stores, local markets, or local and street food stalls. Few establishments will accept US currency (USD). Please also keep in mind that remember to inform your bank about your abroad traveling. And so that, you may withdraw money from ATMs, or use a credit card while you travel. Otherwise, the bank might block your account from withdrawing to prevent your card/information stolen. While using Apple Pay will not function in Vietnam, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and contactless payment (NFC) using a credit card from Visa and Mastercard are very popular.
ATMsATMs are widely available throughout Vietnam. This is the easiest and safest way of accessing money. ATMs also offer the best exchange rate. Be careful to cover the pin pad when entering your PIN and double-check for the fake clone pad. To withdraw larger amounts of money, ATMs for international banks offer higher limits than those of local Vietnamese banks (Use Google Map to find the nearest ATMs).
Living costs in VietnamApart from our program fees that help you get settled in Vietnam, it is suggested that you always carry a certain amount of pocket money to survive here during the time of your program. In most cases, how much you spend depends mostly on what you want to purchase or the service level you want to use. However, in general, the living cost in Vietnam affordable and is around 70% lower than in the US. Do you believe with just US $500/month you will basically have everything you need for your new life abroad, from housing, food, transportation to leisure activities? The following tables reveal the reasons why you can make it happen in Vietnam:
AccommodationBy accommodation, we mean a safe and private room which usually consists of the following conditions and is a great shelter for your new life in Vietnam. It is not a place for you to just sleep, but truly your second home abroad. You can check out further details and pictures of the different types of rooms you can choose for your stay in Vietnam here.
TransportationOnce you are in Vietnam, our program coordinator and local buddies will guide you to use some of the most popular means of transportation in the country which you can easily commute to work and travel around by yourself. Fare for each of them is shown as below: Besides, there are a few kinds of public transportation which are suitable to use for city day tours, like waterbus, bicycle, cyclo (local tricycle), etc. Moreover, we highly recommend using BusMap mobile application – which is a smart traffic technology product for more convenient and intelligent public transportation use in Vietnam. Here’s the full guide to using the bus in Vietnam
Food & drinksEven though it mostly depends on what you want to order and whether you want to go out or eat at home, a basic meal in Vietnam will usually cost you from USD 2 to USD 5 only, including. Below are some of the most famous things to eat and drink in Vietnam, you might want to take them as a reference then:
Further information & additional resourcesHelpful notes:
- An all-in-one guide by one of our interns
- What to do if you have one day in Ho Chi Minh City
- Costs are calculated according to 2021’s current prices, based on city means of transportation and accommodations located in the city center of Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, and Danang. There will be differences for other cases.
- For a stay shorter than 1 month, there will be hotel choices for accommodation.
- The pricing is for daily expenditures only. Click here for more information about Travelling around Vietnam.
Programs that go with the document
Over 4000 international university students has joined
Why travel abroad? Unfold your myth, meet new people, and explore your career path. Do an internship in Vietnam and bring home your own stories.
60+ Successful customized programs with universities from the US, Canada, Japan, and Australia
Apart from being a Forum on Education Abroad member with liability insurance, we are proud to be ONE – STOP SHOP CENTER for faculty leaders.
Our latest program in the health & medical department
Fulfill the mission of healing the “broken ones” through the rotation of different rehabilitation departments while learning the art of Vietnamese physiotherapy