Cost of living

Hi, I'm looking for an idea of the  cost of living  modestly  for an abstaining  single senior male in the Da Nang area.

Thanks   :)

Try checking through the posts on the forum. I use www.numbeo.com for living costs

Abstaining from what?  :cool:

Answering stupid questions mostly

Just having a little fun with you.  No ill intentions intended or implied.   :top:

I appreciate that. I am still in the market for the original info, if you have any.

Thanks

Sorry but I am probably the worst person to answer your question as my solution to finance was to give my entire wage to my wife each month and then ask her for lunch money as I needed it.  This method resulted in over 200 million VND in our joint bank account in three years.  My guess is that cost of living will be a fair bit higher if you don't have a money saving machine like that in your household.  It might take about $1500 a month to live single which is about double what we were spending each month.   Even if you are single and although food is inexpensive, you still will be eating close to 100% of your meals outside.  Also as you are talking about Da Nang, rents seem a little high due to the allure of a seaside resort city but other items may be less than they are in HCM or Hanoi.  There are really almost too many variables to count.  If you have access to between $1000-2000 US you can live quite comfortably.  If less, you will need to live more like a local with fewer frills.

Thanks for that.
I was in Saigon a cple years ago, and found it too expensive (as well as too big and too busy). I thought that being further away from the big centres  would offer lower prices along with a simpler lifestyle.
Maybe moving further north from Da Nang would offer those  opportunities?

doack :

Thanks for that.
I was in Saigon a cple years ago, and found it too expensive (as well as too big and too busy). I thought that being further away from the big centres  would offer lower prices along with a simpler lifestyle.
Maybe moving further north from Da Nang would offer those  opportunities?

It looks like you can rent a decent 1BR apartment for about $350 US in Da Nang (about the same as in the outer districts of HCM) but probably not in D1 or D3.  How much did you pay for rent in Saigon?  Rent is the largest cost of living factor.  Food will likely be less expensive outside of Saigon but not as different in relative terms than rent will be.

As you go along the coast, there are towns smaller than Nha Trang, Qhi Nhon or Da Nang but they will have very few English speakers and a lot fewer available rentals if any.  For example, we stayed for a week once with a friend in a beachside hamlet called Cat Tien in Binh Dinh less than 20KM north of Qhi Nhon and I never encountered a single English speaker.   It was a lovely village, with a 5KM white sand beach without a single commercial structure,  but it would not be a practical place for a single expat to live.

Thanks again for the info.

$350 US a month would be at the real upper end for me for accomodation.
It sounds like you have a point in that  the "outer limits" of the cities might be too foreign
for a Canadian.
I only stayed at guest houses by the day, last time, while in Saigon and in Nha Trang and paid $20-30/night. My income after retirement will not be enough to pay that amount for the long term, though.
How much was the rent in Cat Tien? Maybe I could struggle with learning enough Vietnamese to get by.

Thanks for your input.

doack :

How much was the rent in Cat Tien? Maybe I could struggle with learning enough Vietnamese to get by.

Rent would be difficult if not impossible to determine.  In hamlets like that nearly everyone lives in their family home and the number of homes available to rent would be thin to non-existent.  There are no realty offices in a place like that so how could you negotiate a lease where virtually nobody speaks English.  As far as learning Vietnamese, as you are clearly over 20, the chance that you can learn Vietnamese is probably between none and zero.  Read this thread:  https://www.expat.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=337111

UNDERSTOOD!  LOL THANKS

OP,

What is your budget  for all expenses per month? Are you dead set on living in Da Nang or some coastal city nearby? If not, there are many places such as the Mekong where your dollar will go much farther. I love Da Nang; it is probably my favorite city in all Vietnam. I travel there every year for work from Saigon and look forward to each it and every time. However, its a city that's growing exponentially (I can't even recognize it from year to year) and with that comes an increase in cost of living.

A city like Can Tho will give you a much lower cost of living as well as a peaceful and tranquil environment you seek. I, myself, couldn't live there year round; it's too boring for me, but there is no denying its beauty and charm. I am probably a good 35 years younger than you though (without knowing your age) so what is boring for me may be a haven for you. Of course a city like Can Tho is not going to be as expat friendly  as Da Nang, and there will be much less English speakers there (won't be anywhere near as isolate as Binh Dinh however), but if you can get by it might be more than worth it.

Thanks for that. I am pretty much a coastal guy, so it's hard to imagine living too far from the beach. Do you have any  insight into such a place, with the toned down atmosphere I seem to need?
Thanks

Without knowing your total budget/month it would be hard to answer. You can PM me if you don't want to disclose that information on a public forum

Well, be creative. I trust you can manage on just 11,000.000 d or $ 500 a month.

Take internet. VIETTEL sells a SIM card (got mine for 170 k) with 2 GB a day data.
Use Google Hangouts for your calls, if you have phones to call and cannot use apps.

No aircon?

Netflix (different internet speeds required)?

Amortize VISA and the cost of flights or VISA RUNS.

Motorcycle. Get it serviced ;-)

Am not cooking, period. The other day, I order 15 heavy spring rolls (weight? at least 1.5 lbs) for 85,000 d. In Hanoi, my favorite salad sandwhich costs 6,000 d. CAM DO bread with scrambled egg and herbs? 10,000 d in Thank Hoa. YMMV.

I buy the 6 liter La Vie bottles for drinking water

And have dry cleaning bills as well.

Closing, stay away from supermarket, if you can. And buy their packaged fruit, not sure why it's many times cheaper  :/

Thanks very much for that. I will continue my quest.

Hey JVo18 ,

thanks for your contr... I will have to survive on no more than $1200 CAD/ month. i guess that kinda makes me a millionaire in VN?  :top:

Years ago, before I ever went to Vietnam, I had a female friend make me an offer to retire with her in her home that she had built in her village in Northern Thailand.  No running water, no electricity, and jungle instead of beach.  A lot less than $500 which would have paid for servants to cook and clean.

There are plenty of possibilities but I don't think you would like them all.

THIGV :

... No running water, no electricity....

No thanks. :)

doack :

I will have to survive on no more than $1200 CAD/ month. i guess that kinda makes me a millionaire in VN?  :top:

Everybody is a millionaire in Vietnam, including the shop clerk who brings home 5M or 6M/month.

I think $1200 CAD (21.5M) is doable if you don't need to pay for medical insurance, see the doctors, or buy prescription meds regularly.  Also, it would help if your rent is low, your food bill is lower, and Visa run is the only time you travel.

It's not impossible, but you'll have to watch every expense.

The locals can live for much less but they share their houses with other members of their families, they eat at home, bring their lunch to work, and their inexpensive health insurance is partly paid by the employers and partly deducted from their paychecks.  In the rare occasion when they travel, they go in a group to share expenses, and whenever possible, they bring food from home or cook in hotel's room.

the rustic North Thailand sounds romantic, I guess until reality gets a grip lol... I dont think I could do that anymore. But, thanks for bringing up THAILAND. Ive visited a couple of times, but not long enough to get a serious idea of how far the Baht would go, in retirement. And  I had the same situation in Vietnam, so, um... im still trying to decide which address would be nicer for me, in retirement

PS  very appreciative of any and all constructive replies..  :top:

From my limited experience with Thailand (one visit of 2.5 weeks to the northern part), and decades of much broader and deeper experience with Vietnam, the North American retirement dollar goes further in Vietnam than in Thailand.  In addition, as I don't believe in living in a country without communicating in its language, and as I fortunately can learn any language as long as it has Latin alphabets, I'll never be able to live in Thailand.

When I said it takes careful planning to live within 21.5M, I meant in large cities such as Saigon and Hanoi (Da Nang may be up there with those two).  The farther away from large cities, the smaller budget you'll need.  By moving 100 km away from Saigon, we now have twice the living space while cutting a couple M off our expenses, breathing cleaner air, and enjoying healthier diet.  If we move to Quy Nhon, for instance, I'm sure we can afford to spend even less for the same quality of life.  We won't though, because we must live within an easy ride to an international airport.

Ciambella :

...as I fortunately can learn any language as long as it has Latin alphabets, I'll never be able to live in Thailand.

Good point.   Even though I usually have no clue about pronunciation, I can drive down any street in Vietnam and in most cases be able to tell what type each restaurant or store is.  In Thailand or Cambodia, this would be tough.  I suppose given enough time, one would begin to recognize patterns but it would be tough at first. 

Korean is supposedly the easiest Eastern language for English speakers to learn.  Like English and unlike Vietnamese, consonants matter as much or more than vowels.  As the alphabet is based on the way the sounds are mouthed the writing is reputedly easy to learn as well.  My wife watches Korean soaps with Viet subtitles but still has a growing vocabulary of Korean words.   :joking:

No problem living on that amount in a smaller city. My wife and I live on less than that, mainly because we eat at home and don't frequent expat cafes and restaurants. Cook most nights at home and you will find 1100 USD goes a long way.

Guys,
You may want to keep the focus on Da nang here. It is a Da nang Forum.  ;)

Good luck.

Colin -- The OP's pension is in CAD.  About US $925.

Thanks for that...would you say that street or market dining would be a good second to actually cooking my own grub, as far as cost is concerned, as opposed to eating in restaurants?
I can't get very excited about cooking every day  .

sanooku :

Guys,
You may want to keep the focus on Da nang here. It is a Da nang Forum.  ;)

Good luck.

Some are described here as Grammar Police.  Now we have a new vocation of Off-Topic Police.  Don't you dare stray.  Maybe Sanooku is the new Chief of  :offtopic: Police. Take care or you may get some of this:   :dumbom:

doack :

Thanks for that...would you say that street or market dining would be a good second to actually cooking my own grub, as far as cost is concerned, as opposed to eating in restaurants?
I can't get very excited about cooking every day  .

Yes you could say that.  In fact street food may actually be less than your costs at home because street vendors work with family labor and a very thin margin.  Street vendors have an efficiency in that they mostly have one or maybe two menu items.  This means that they have regular suppliers who may give them good pricing and they can carry over unused ingredients to the next day.  You change the menu simply by going to another place.  Home cooking inevitably has waste especially when cooking for one.

Our monthly grocery is less than 3M ($160 CAD) including household staples.  We also eat seafood almost daily; without that, the cost would be less.

Street food and drink 3X a day would cost at least 100K ($5.50 CAD).  If you're not a big eater, can survive on bánh mì twice a day and only café for breakfast, then it's half that amount.  Multiple that by 30 and cooking at home, even for one, is cheaper and better yet, healthier (MSG in every dish and reused cooking oil, anyone?)

You don't need to cook every day.  Make a big pot of something and have it for a few days each week, with new veggies daily for 10K ($0.56 CAD)

Your husband is lucky to have you.  Ask yourself if you think he could cook daily with the same efficiency that you do.  Most bachelors are severely deficient in kitchen skills.

You're absolutely correct about his cooking skills.  He already plans to have pasta with pesto-from-a-jar daily for the 10 days I'll be in CA next year, as I make him promise not to eat out. 

There's one good thing about Vietnam that most bachelor expats do not take advantage of:  the cooking talents of their landlady, cleaning lady, or wife of the security guard.  Every Vietnamese housewife (can I still use that term?) would be happy to cook a pot of something for a nice ông Tây for a *very* nominal price on regular basis.

*Off topic:  Congrats on your wife's excellent saving ability.

Oh my gosh . Ow we have “ Off City” police. For the person that got his nickers in an uproar be it know if you selevt “ Vietnam” on the forum the first new thread listed today is this one. I imagine most pay little attention to where the thread applied to. And I think most of tge cost of living here, sans housing is pretty similar. But good to know we have a nice controlled forum!!!😜😜

sanooku :

Guys,
You may want to keep the focus on Da nang here. It is a Da nang Forum.  ;)

It's commendable that you want to keep everything in its proper place, but as we all know from hundreds of posts about people wanting to move to Vietnam, intention is only a small part of the path to final decision.

Didn't we all see people came in with a question about jobs, COL, lifestyle, and expat scenes in one city, then after reading a dozen or so comments and comparisons later, realized that perhaps they should broaden their search and check out other cities as well? 

For example, how many people who wanted to move to Hoi An after watching that YouTube video, but after reading about other people's experiences with grey sky, flood zones, unbearable heat, high humidity, and the need to rely heavily on expat community because it's darn difficult to be accepted as part of the local community, changed their minds and decided to settle elsewhere?  The elsewhere, incidentally, was often presented in the "off-topic" comments.

Threads on a forum is like conversations at a sidewalk café, how many of them stay on topic and on focus?  The off-topic comments, in my experience, can be very valuable to the original posters as well as people who lurk about, sometimes even more valuable than the answers to the initial questions.

As usual Ciambella, well put.

Da Nang is considered one of the best city to live in Vietnam. Well designed urban areas (compared to city like Ho Chi Minh city), great fresh seafood and beautiful ocean. People are friendly and are educated to abide laws. If you live modestly, $300 could be enough. With 500$ living there would be comfortable.

tuan88vn :

If you live modestly, $300 could be enough. With 500$ living there would be comfortable.

Is rent included in this $300?  That's not even 7M.  I don't know how to pay rent, utilities, food, household staples, transportation, health care, phone, etc. on 7M, and we don't live in an expensive city nor do we live extravagantly.

Even $500 is not enough for us to pay the essentials.  Please share your tips with us, but keep in mind that most expats do not have family members with whom to share a home or split the utility and grocery bills.  Moreover, foreign retirees do not have the option to purchase inexpensive insurance as Vietnamese retirees.

doack :

Hi, I'm looking for an idea of the  cost of living  modestly  for an abstaining  single senior male in the Da Nang area.

Thanks   :)

I'm in Đã Nẵng now, east of the river Hàn. My sense is that you can probably create a situation for yourself where your 1,500 Canadian dollars (currently ₫21,466,000+ Vietnamese dong) will keep you afloat, especially since you are abstinent.

*I think* it's important to be able to walk good distances (1 to 2 km) as the area you want to live may not be the area where you need to do your shopping and secure services.

I have a monthly hotel room (2 Star) right now for ₫7,000,000. Two free bottles of water a day and daily maid/linen service. Air conditioning and elevator. A 4th floor ocean view:

https://gordythomas.files.wordpress.com/2018/10/fb_img_1539275719088.jpg

I'm one block away from Mỹ Khê Beach (I'm living on the street behind the Holiday Beach Resort). However, street food, cafes, laundry, spas are more expensive here as the area is geared toward tourists and expats.

Being near other expats is helpful, but if I walk 8 or 10 short blocks west toward the river (and 1 long block south) I enter a neighborhood where there are many, many street vendors, cafes, pharmacy, laundry and shops with prices that are markedly lower, without sacrificing quality.

Google Translate app helps in that general neighborhood, as merchants seem less likely to speak English.

I know I'm not covering a lot of the items mentioned by others. I'm just saying that you can save a little by walking a lot.

FYI: I don't intend to stay in the hotel. If I stay in Đã Nẵng, I've already found over a half dozen good situations, including a genuine homestay where the mother of the family would be cooking my meals, and I'd have a private room with private bathroom.

Once I finish exploring down south in November and December, I'll make up my mind where to stay long term.

THIGV :
doack :

Thanks for that...would you say that street or market dining would be a good second to actually cooking my own grub, as far as cost is concerned, as opposed to eating in restaurants?
I can't get very excited about cooking every day  .

Yes you could say that.  In fact street food may actually be less than your costs at home because street vendors work with family labor and a very thin margin.  Street vendors have an efficiency in that they mostly have one or maybe two menu items.  This means that they have regular suppliers who may give them good pricing and they can carry over unused ingredients to the next day.  You change the menu simply by going to another place.  Home cooking inevitably has waste especially when cooking for one.

Really good advice from most of the posts above.
I like THIGV's description of street food.
I think you could live ok for US$ 1,000 a month. Once you find a Vietnamese girlfriend, that figure could be 30% less.
And you will get a GF pretty soon. There are a lot of single women 30's to 50's who would like a good man and would take care of you well. Very well.

New topic