cost of living, apartments, gym groceries, golf etc

can someone tell me how much is a round of golf in Vung Tau? Do they have membership availability in the country club, if yes, how much does it cost, how much is a gym membership, massage, manicure/pedicure, monthly groceries cost, etc  the listed prices for apartments for rent are usually negotiable? if yes, by how much? if an apartment is listed for $1,500 a month, is that what will actually rent for? We are planning to move to Vung Tau for 5 months and trying to figure out what the true cost of living,
thank you your input is greatly appreciated

Well, I would recommend to start by renting a place in a normal NHA GHI hotel for like 400,000 d for 24 hours (not by night, Vietnam has a 2-tiered pricing system)
Look past the brochures, join the local Facebook buy & sell groups and connect with EXPATS. Post a wanted ad...

I found a lovely, brand new apartment in a high rise tower for 5 M or $ 200. What exactly would $ 1,500, 7 times more, buy you?
...
Food - I discovered deliveries. Great Vegetarian spring roles @ 5,000. 85,000 d for 15 delivered, with sauce. And the local Coop supermarket sells packaged fruit for pennies. VN is the place to eat healthy food ;-)

Check the housing section on this site. For $1500, you might be getting a large western apartment or taken advantage of since you're a foreigner. There are 2 tier pricing. If you're Vietnamese and call from a local number, the price is cheaper. If I stay at a hotel near my dad, I would have his GF call to reserve. The price is lower. I once booked a hotel near my dad through booking.com and thought I found a sweet deal. When I got there, the pricing on the sign up front was less than half of what I paid.

KruChris :

VN is the place to eat healthy food ;-)

You probably never read news, otherwise you would know how bad the food quality is partly in Vietnam.

They trick and manipulate to make the food look better.  There are no authorities like in Central Europe that continuously check the quality of food.  This is also not possible with so many (illegal) street vendors.  Many bad food comes from China.  But also in Vietnam a lot is manipulated.

Moreover, in Vietnam people cook with far too much sugar and frying oil of bad quality.

It is almost impossible to recognize which foods are bad and which are not.  Therefore I just eat everything and hope never to eat really bad food.

But I would never say that the food in Vietnam is very healthy.

KruChris :

I found a lovely, brand new apartment in a high rise tower for 5 M or $ 200.

My experiences about living in a high-rise building are really bad.

If the apartments are so cheap, it is likely that only Vietnamese people will live there.

Due to Vietnamese mentality mentality, there are enormous noise from all sides and little privacy, as the doors and windows are usually of poor quality and Vietnamese often let the apartment door open in order to safe power cost from air conditioners.

I think that for a young backpacker who normally stays in hostels such a high-rise apartment is a good fit.  But someone who loves it quietly and wants a little privacy, I advise against living in a high-rise in the lower price segment.

Andy Passenger :

They trick and manipulate to make the food look better.  There are no authorities like in Central Europe that continuously check the quality of food.  This is also not possible with so many (illegal) street vendors.  Many bad food comes from China.  But also in Vietnam a lot is manipulated.

Absolutely true.  It's the reason buying and eating from only trusted vendors is very important to Vietnamese consumers.  Many Vietnamese are paying more to their trusted vendors instead of buying the same kind of goods that are sold for less from other vendors.  Spending an hour or so carefully observe the activities among the vendors and the behaviours of the shoppers and you'll notice the difference.  Shoppers always head straight to certain vendors, bypassing others that sell the same kind of good.  In addition to higher price, the practice of haggling is absent at the good vendors.

Andy Passenger :

Moreover, in Vietnam people cook with far too much sugar and frying oil of bad quality.

Even in their own kitchens, Southerners use too much sugar in everything and Northerners use too much MSG in everything.  The flavour in food is achieved with sugar, MSG, artificial powder such as Knorr and Ajinomoto, or all of the above.  In addition, food vendors, whether on the streets or in restaurants, reuse their cooking oil over and over for days on end, often without properly strain and store the oil in between uses,

Andy Passenger :

But I would never say that the food in Vietnam is very healthy.

Agree.  Vietnamese food is healthy in theory, not in reality.

KruChris :

I found a lovely, brand new apartment in a high rise tower for 5 M or $ 200.

Andy Passenger :

If the apartments are so cheap, it is likely that only Vietnamese people will live there.

Due to Vietnamese mentality mentality, there are enormous noise from all sides and little privacy, as the doors and windows are usually of poor quality and Vietnamese often let the apartment door open in order to safe power cost from air conditioners.

But someone who loves it quietly and wants a little privacy, I advise against living in a high-rise in the lower price segment.

"Price reflects value" is particularly true in regard to housing in Vietnam.  There are plenty of apartments that are rent for 4M and 5M, but we've yet to find one in Saigon and Vung Tau that suits us for less than 12M.  On the same street here in VT, we could easily save 5M each month on the rent just by switching to a different building (for our budget, 5M is quite a bit of money), but no, we would never do that.

My nephew and niece-by-marriage are owners of this low-rise apartment building (one apartment on each of the 5 floors).  Four of the 5 floors have been empty for months, but they routinely turn away potential renters (especially Vietnamese renters), for the same reasons as Andy stated above.  They also refuse to lower the rent to match other buildings on the same street.  Maintaining the high quality of their property is very important to them, and it's also very important to us as tenants to live in a very solidly built building that is secure, quiet, and without sharing a wall with anyone.

Watch Vung tau rider's youtube videos for inspiration and ideas. He has many, but apartment/cost of living one is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sa-7IjPRQf8

He can recommend a local contact for finding apartment also.

Op certainly seems to have her priorities straight. Before any question about apartment prices, what's a round a golf gonna cost?...

I suspect she's someone who pretty much lives on the golf course.

MargaretElizabeth :

can someone tell me how much is a round of golf in Vung Tau? Do they have membership availability in the country club, if yes, how much does it cost, how much is a gym membership,

Don't know about golf, country club, or gym.

MargaretElizabeth :

massage, manicure/pedicure, monthly groceries cost, etc

Massage for women (facial and whole body, including hot stones): 300K ($12) for 60 mins.  Don't know about massage for men -- be careful about the definition of this category.

Manicure and pedicure both:  165K ($7).

Monthly grocery bill for two (home cooking, mostly Vietnamese seafood, with pasta dishes a few days each month): 2.5M ($100).  I buy fresh seafood, fruits, and veggies from local sources, the rest from supermarket.

Meal out for two:  Between 80K ($3.50) for Vietnamese food including beer and water, 250K ($10) for Russian-style food including beer, and 800K ($35) for French food including wine. 

MargaretElizabeth :

the listed prices for apartments for rent are usually negotiable? if yes, by how much? if an apartment is listed for $1,500 a month, is that what will actually rent for?

Rental price is not negotiable, but security deposit can be (one month instead of two months, for instance) but only with private landlords, not buildings owned by large companies.  If apartments are in a high rise, management fee and parking are often extra. 

$1500 is 35M, outrageous for an apartment.  That's the same rent my niece is paying in Saigon for a 375 sq m2 (4000 sq ft) 3-story house.  Rent in Vung Tau is slightly lower than in Saigon.

thank you, that was very informative, it seems the cost of living is a lot less then what i thought it would be, We are thinking to live in Vietnam from December through April, then summers in Europe, and based on what you wrote, quality of living on our budget will be pretty good

MargaretElizabeth :

it seems the cost of living is a lot less then what i thought it would be, We are thinking to live in Vietnam from December through April, then summers in Europe, and based on what you wrote, quality of living on our budget will be pretty good

Unless you throw your money around, two people can live in the same standards as middle class America for half the cost.  (Again, isn't included as I don't know anything about it.)  The saving would be better applied toward your stay in Europe.  We lived for 7 years in Italy, and if not for the advantage of owning our own home there (no mortgage, no rent, and because it was classified as a historic home, no property tax), our budget would've been the same as in the States.  As it was, anytime the dollar was weak (our income was from the States), we had to tighten the belt just as we did in CA.

Summer, IMO, is not a good time to be in Europe as it's packed wall to wall with tourists from within Europe as well as other continents.  The prices of food and accommodation in the summer are sky high, transportation is a zoo, and unless you're in Northern Europe, temperature can be brutal.

@op: you can get cost of living estimates on this website:
https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/i … au-Vietnam

can even do funky stuff like compare two cities.

there is a golf club near where i live. i'll try ang get their contact info and message you.

thank you

Andy Passenger :
KruChris :

I found a lovely, brand new apartment in a high rise tower for 5 M or $ 200.

My experiences about living in a high-rise building are really bad.

If the apartments are so cheap, it is likely that only Vietnamese people will live there.
of
Due to Vietnamese mentality mentality, there are enormous noise from all sides and little privacy, as the doors and windows are usually of poor quality and Vietnamese often let the apartment door open in order to safe power cost from air conditioners.

I think that for a young backpacker who normally stays in hostels such a high-rise apartment is a good fit.  But someone who loves it quietly and wants a little privacy, I advise against living in a high-rise in the lower price segment.

Disclaimer: this is a top 10 city, but neither Hanoi nor Saigon.

I hear you - one tenant kept her doors open and blasted the hallway with noise, cooking smells and Vietnamese music for hours. Luckily, these people were not surrounding me. But on a Sunday morning, some work might start at 8 am...

As for the quality of the building and the windows, top notch, although I doubt they bothered looking into the k-value of coated glass which would pay for itself in energy savings pdq, pretty darn quickly. ** At the time, I was the mesne, the sub-tenant. A Vietnamese friend had rented the place.
---

The OP should go there first,  t h e n  check out what's available. Renting stuff over the internet is like buying watches. Just saw a "discounted" ad on Facebook. 250,000 d instead of 350,000 d. Guess what? The same watch will be sold on www.ebay.com with free shipping for <60,000 d.

yea the food in Vietnam is not something id call healthy either

It looks healthy , looks fresh , but the only way to really achieve that is to buy high quality ingredients and cook at home

I was in Saigon for 3 weeks and I ate every meal at home but kept a close watch at the local vendors and street food, and sorry I cant do it

Its not always their fault, they are on a limited budget, how can you expect them to be "always fresh" , and with limited space their food processing and prep cant be as good as the Michelin star resteraunts back home.


I would definitely plan to eat at home for the first few weeks until you figire out where the good places to eat are

1willy1 :

yea the food in Vietnam is not something id call healthy either

It looks healthy , looks fresh , but the only way to really achieve that is to buy high quality ingredients and cook at home

I was in Saigon for 3 weeks and I ate every meal at home but kept a close watch at the local vendors and street food, and sorry I cant do it

Its not always their fault, they are on a limited budget, how can you expect them to be "always fresh" , and with limited space their food processing and prep cant be as good as the Michelin star resteraunts back home.


I would definitely plan to eat at home for the first few weeks until you figire out where the good places to eat are

Sadly you are missing out on a significant aspect of your Vietnam vacation to the extent that I actually feel a little sorry for you.  Food is a core element of any culture and Vietnamese cuisine is recognized as among the best in the world.  Eat your meals at home and you will miss one of the best aspects of Vietnam; high quality food, both on the street and in sit down restaurants.  I am curious how you think you will find the "good places to eat" if you never eat out.  Would you eat at the noodle shop in Hanoi that Anthony Bourdain and Barrack Obama enjoyed?  Using your methods, you would likely never find anything like the Vietnam the Bourdain experienced.  If you discount the US, he visited Vietnam more times than any other country. 

Locals are, I think, unreasonably suspicious of vegetables from China.  As a former agriculturalist, I can pretty confidently say that better looking vegetables are usually the result of better agronomic practices and not some mystical "chemicals."

THIGV :

Locals are, I think, unreasonably suspicious of vegetables from China.  As a former agriculturalist, I can pretty confidently say that better looking vegetables are usually the result of better agronomic practices and not some mystical "chemicals."

The bigger the apples, the more expensive they are.

I always choose the smallest and the cheapest, because they are certainly the most natural and the healthiest.

Andy Passenger :
THIGV :

Locals are, I think, unreasonably suspicious of vegetables from China.  As a former agriculturalist, I can pretty confidently say that better looking vegetables are usually the result of better agronomic practices and not some mystical "chemicals."

The bigger the apples, the more expensive they are.

I always choose the smallest and the cheapest, because they are certainly the most natural and the healthiest.

Or they could be the ones that come from trees starved for basic nutrients.  If you really want nice tree fruit, you should look for imports from South Korea.  Koreans are sticklers for nice fruit.   I bet if you found a Korean market, probably in Tan Binh near the airport, the apples would be large, unblemished, and sweet and unfortunately likely expensive as well.   :(

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