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Currency and Cost of Living

Vietnam - Currency and Cost of Living

The Vietnam currency is the Vietnamese Dong (VND). The New Dong equals 10 Hao or 100 Xu. Notes are available in denominations of VND 100'000 (since 2001), 50'000, 20'000, 10'000, 5'000, 2'000, 1'000, 500, 200 and 100. Coins have been re-introduced in the last couple of years which has been a real treat to coin collectors and has found a ready commercial use in the country.

Travelers Cheques are easily changeable at banks and moneychangers all over the country. Western Union and other cash by wire services have also become quite the norm for sending and receiving monies from outside the country.

The cost of living in urban centers in Vietnam is similar to major cities elsewhere in the world with Saigon being quite expensive if one chooses to live in serviced apartments geared for the foreigner. It doesn't have to be so expensive as quality private homes are available for as little as $500 USD per month (not including utilities) or up to many thousands of dollars per month for giant mansion-like homes with an incredible array of amenities that would rival any 5 star luxury hotel.

One of the main troubles over the years had been access to more reasonable and affordable housing, however with several joint foreign owned real estate companies popping up in the country, especially in Saigon, the access to higher quality and more affordable living has improved greatly, to the point where many foreign companies have started shifting focus toward Vietnam as a place to set up business as well as individuals and individual entrepreneurs who are interested in living in the country and/or retiring there.

It is perfectly possible to rent a small private house and even run your own internet business from home in Vietnam while not having to pay a king's ransom to do so whereas that possibility either did not exist or was quite expensive back in the late 90's and early part of the new century.

Read more about this country

Expat Health Insurance Partners

Bupa Global

At Bupa we have been helping individuals and families live longer, healthier, happier lives for over 60 years. We are trusted by expats in 190 different countries and have links with healthcare organisations throughout the world. So whether you're moving abroad for a change of career or a change of scene, with our international private health insurance you will always be in safe hands.


Cigna has worked in international health insurance for more than 30 years. Today, Cigna has over 71 million customer relationships around the world. Looking after them is an international workforce of 31,000 people, plus a network of over 1 million hospitals, physicians, clinics and health and wellness specialists worldwide, meaning you have easy access to treatment.