Making Waves In Vietnam Most expats end up in Da Nang, Vietnam, as a result of...Read more
Da Nang is located within 100 miles of three UNESCO World Heritage Sites: the ancient towns of Hoi An and Hue and the Hindu ruins of the Champa Kingdom at Mỹ Sơn. This makes Da Nang a perfect base for the history buff. Its proximity to such major attractions allows residents of Da Nang the opportunity to enjoy a huge selection of restaurants, spas, golf courses, and other amenities.
Da Nang is not a tourist town. Clean and modern, Da Nang’s new skyscrapers give its downtown a decidedly cosmopolitan look. However, you won’t find the hustle and bustle here that you find in other Vietnamese cities. Other than along the riverfront, there are few, if any, vendors, and we saw no beggars during our entire time in Da Nang. The city has the look and feel of a comfortable, safe, and economically viable place to live.
No matter which direction you look, beauty surrounds Da Nang. The South China Sea’s clear, warm waters form the city’s eastern boundary. The clean, fine-sand beach starts at the northern edge of the city and continues southward all the way to Hoi An. During the autumn months, the normally calm waters will often have waves large enough for surfing. Yet Da Nang is not a beach town. The beaches receive surprisingly little use, and no matter the time of year, it’s generally easy to find a deserted stretch of sand.
There’s something about Da Nang that feels different from other places in Southeast
Asia, and certainly quite different than any other place in Vietnam. It’s a big city of nearly a million people, but it has a small-town feel about it. Da Nang is more than just a transportation hub, it makes a wonderful destination in its own right.
Da Nang is a top-pick for expats living in Vietnam and a couple live comfortably on less than US$1,100 per month and about US$200 less renting a house.
Two- or three-bedroom houses in nice areas start at around US$400 per month and for large, luxury homes, range up to around US$800 per month. Midrange and top-end condominiums start at about US$600 per month, with an upper range of around US$1,000 per month for condos with an ocean view. Single-family homes tend to be larger and less expensive to rent than condominiums.
Electricity runs around US$100 per month for a two- or three bedroom home during the hot months—more if you use the air conditioner during the day as well as at night.
Cellular telephones are not “locked” in Vietnam. You are free to use any provider you want and switch at any time. Promotions are offered constantly, making calls extremely affordable. If you buy minutes during a promotion (which are usually displayed on the screen of your mobile phone) and don’t make a lot of international calls, you can expect your monthly calls and texts to cost less than US$3 per month.
The water that comes out of the tap is considered potable, and is charged by units, with one unit being one cubic meter, or 1,000 liters. Each unit about a US quarter. Most people spend less than US$5 per month for tap water.
Cooking stoves usually run on propane gas. Cooking gas is supplied in tanks similar to those used for outdoor barbecue grills in the West. They are exchanged when empty and cost about 300,000 VND to fill (click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.) Unless you do a great deal of cooking at home, you’ll find that a tank of gas will last for several months.
|Rent||VND 14,700,000||Unfurnished, two-bedroom apartment.|
|Gas||N/A||Usually included in rent.|
|Transportation||VND 1,500,000||for taxis use.|
|Electricity||VND 1,050,000||A/C usage.|
|Water||N/A||Usually included in rent.|
|Internet and Cable||VND 650,000||15,000 for internet, and 500,000 for cable.|
|Cell Phone||VND 75,000||Basic plan.|
|Groceries||VND 2,564,000||Basic items for couple.|
|Entertainment||VND 1,850,000||Movie tickets: 55,000 per ticket; dinner and drinks for two: 325,000-895,000; drinks for two: 155,000.|
|Medical Appointment||VND 300,000||A basic doctor/clinic appointment; per visit.|
|Household Help||VND 2,500,000||Full-time, live-in maid.|
|Total||VND 25,689,000||US$ 1,106.07|
Saigon, Vietnam, at sunrise. The streets are already bustling with vehicles—just as workers on a construction site next to my...Read more
Women ride sidesaddle on the backs of motorbikes, even when wearing pants or jeans, legs dangling over the side, chauffeured...Read more
We've all read axioms about travel... "It's not the destination, it's the journey... " Or this from J.R.R. Tolkien: "Not all those who wander are lost... " Or this gem from Caskie Stinnett, which rings so true to me: "I travel a lot; I hate having my life disrupted by routine." Why, when choosing to retire abroad, must it be a matter of exchanging one home in one location for another in a new location? One daily routine for another?...Read more