Nha Trang, Vietnam

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Nha Trang: A Vietnamese Melting Pot

Reviewed by Kathleen Peddicord

Kathleen is the Live and Invest Overseas Founding Publisher. She has more than 30 years of hands-on experience traveling, living, and buying property around the world.


Sunset view of Ponagar Tower in Nha Trang, Vietnam.
iStock/Pham Hung

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. As a result, 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.

Most importantly, 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. Also, you’ll find 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, Vietnam, 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, Vietnam

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.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Nha Trang, Vietnam

ExpenseMonthly CostNotes
RentVND 7,403,440
GasVND 122,814Used for cooking.
ElectricityVND 736,962Moderate air conditioning use.
WaterVND 122,814
TelephoneVND 122,814
InternetVND 245,627Unlimited access.
Cable TVVND 122,814
GroceriesVND 3,681,356
EntertainmentVND 3,681,356
TotalVND 16,239,997

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

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Health Care In Nha Trang

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.

When shopping 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.

After 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.

Health Care In Vietnam

Many foreigners living in Vietnam say that the care that they have received at these facilities has been excellent. Any medical condition can be treated at the French Hospitals, including trauma.

For complex illnesses or surgeries, most foreigners chose to be treated in Thailand,Malaysia,Singapore, or in their home countries, where international-standard medical care is routine.

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Vietnam - FAQs

Are Medications In Vietnam Expensive?

Medications in Vietnam cost a fraction of what they cost in the West. And, chances are good that they will be authentic. However, when in doubt about authenticity get your medications at the hospital or at one of the larger pharmacies.

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