A Vietnamese Melting Pot: Nha Trang
Most foreigners who live in Nha Trang—and there are close to a thousand of them—seem to agree on one thing. Once they have moved here, they never want to leave. Here, you can be footsteps away from one of the most beautiful bays in the world or a short drive from some of the prettiest landscapes in Southeast Asia.
Nha Trang is a special place—it’s a melting pot of nationalities and cultures. You can eat at a different restaurant every day, enjoying a huge variety of Vietnamese and international cuisines that reflect the tastes of Nha Trang’s diverse population. French speakers are as comfortable here as English speakers; large numbers of French and French-Canadian expatriates reside alongside the Europeans, Russians, Australians, Indians, and Americans who live here. A large number of Vietnamese are fluent in English, French, or both, making communication less of a challenge than it is in many other Asian cities.
There are modern supermarkets and upscale clothing stores, and convenient, vibrant traditional markets. There are numerous spas and an excellent hot spring spa and resort. Vietnam’s largest amusement park and aquarium is in Nha Trang, and there is even a miniature golf course here—the first one in Asia.
Nha Trang is a social place, and with such a large foreign population, there are plenty of opportunities to make friends. Nha Trang has been a popular resort town for almost a century, and foreigners have always been made to feel welcome. Spend a few months here, and you’ll likely have as many Vietnamese friends as you will expats. With relatively straight-forward immigration laws, it’s easy to stay in Vietnam long-term and join the ever-growing number of foreigners who have decided to make Nha Trang their home.
Cost Of Living In Nha Trang
Nha Trang’s low cost of living allows you to enjoy a high quality lifestyle at an affordable price. A couple can live well in Nha Trang for about US$750 per month.
Renting a house or apartment here is generally very easy on the budget. There are decent apartments in good neighborhoods starting at around US$125; for this amount, you could expect to rent an unfurnished, two-bedroom apartment with 24-hour security. However, these units would not include housekeeping or any utilities and may not include an air conditioner. An experienced full time housekeeper will cost around US$125 per month and a meal for two won’t strain the budget for more than perhaps US$10.
Although rents are often quoted in U.S. dollars, the law states that rent—other than for hotels—should be paid in Vietnamese dong. In Nha Trang, many owners prefer to be paid in dollars and if dong is offered as payment, it may be converted at a less favorable rate than a bank would charge. Additionally, the banks in Vietnam may not give as good of an exchange rate as you could get outside of the country. So it’s best to come to Vietnam with an adequate supply of U.S. dollars.
A visit to the doctor in Nha Trang costs about US$10 and many expatriates living here say that they are quite comfortable receiving care in these facilities for general medical issues, broken bones, and infections. Additionally, there are several excellent physicians with various specialties scattered throughout the city. On average a visit with a specialist, with a full examination, costs around US$2.
When you have an urge for a massage, you’ll find a wide selection of spas and a multitude of individual practitioners. A skilled sixty minute massage by a blind masseur costs only around US$2. A one-hour massage at an upscale spa will generally be less than US$20.
If you shop for food at the traditional market, it’s important to have a sense of what something should cost. Ask a trusted Vietnamese friend what a fair price would be for a particular item. They’ll usually give you a price range. When you find the item, it isn’t uncommon to be charged the same or even less than what you expect – usually a bit less than that same item would cost in the grocery store.
Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Nha Trang, Vietnam
|Gas||VND 122,814||Used for cooking.|
|Electricity||VND 736,962||Moderate air conditioning use.|
|Internet||VND 245,627||Unlimited access.|
|Cable TV||VND 122,814|