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HCMC among top cities with the lowest cost of living in Southeast Asia

April 29, 2021 | 14:39

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam's largest urban expanses, is one of the most cheapest places to live in Southeast Asia, according to a report by data aggregator iPrice Group.

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Vietnam’s largest urban expanse, is also the place that attracts thousands of expats for job and livelihood opportunities.

iPrice has conducted a comparison research on the average monthly cost of living for six famous cities in Southeast Asia using data from Numbeo, one of the world’s largest user- contributed databases. As a result, the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City seems to be “easier to breathe in” than other cities in ASEAN region, according to Vietnam Insider.

District 1, HCMC, 1/2021. Photo: Quynh Tran
District 1, HCMC, 1/2021. Photo: Quynh Tran

Ho Chi Minh City is a popular destination in Southeast Asia where tourists can find diverse cuisines, hospitable people, and historic architecture. In addition, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam’s largest urban expanse, is also the place that attracts thousands of expats for job and livelihood opportunities.

iPrice has conducted a comparison research on the average monthly cost of living for six famous cities in Southeast Asia using data from Numbeo, one of the world’s largest user- contributed databases. As a result, the cost of living in Ho Chi Minh City seems to be “easier to breathe in” than other cities in ASEAN region.

The average monthly cost of living, including rent, food, transportation and other utilities, for a single person in HCMC was P39,608 (Philippine peso, or $819), according to data culled by the Malaysia-based firm across six popular Southeast Asian cities.

Kuala Lumpur was the cheapest destination with a monthly cost of living at P38,314 ($792).

Singapore has the most expensive cost of living at P119,732 ($2,474), followed by Bangkok, Manila and Jakarta.

"There was a significant gap between the overall expenses of Filipinos living in Manila and its ASEAN neighbors with a "comparable economic state," the report said.

Photo: VnExpress
Photo: VnExpress

Around 90,000 foreigners lived and worked in Vietnam, mainly in Hanoi and HCMC, as of last year, according to official data, according to VnExpress.

Ho Chi Minh City topped a list of 10 most affordable destinations for American expats with typical monthly costs of $462.62 per person, according to an InterNations survey released last year.

This number is lower than Singapore, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta by 202%, 30%, 28% and 4% respectively.

Kuala Lumpur is the cheapest destination with an average monthly cost of $789, not much different from Ho Chi Minh City.

The cost of renting a house in Singapore is 4 times higher than that in Ho Chi Minh City

The study marked differences in the cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the city center across six countries. Singapore is still on top in terms of rent prices. Accordingly, the rental price in Singapore is 4 times higher than Ho Chi Minh City. However, this amount in Ho Chi Minh City is higher than the two cities in the bottom list, Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur.

The data shows that renting a one-bedroom apartment in the central area of Ho Chi Minh City costs about $346, outside the city center around $216. Although the living standard is almost the same as in Kuala Lumpur, the average cost of renting a one-bedroom apartment in the central area of Ho Chi Minh City is 16% higher than Kuala Lumpur.

One of the potential solutions that Ho Chi Minh residents does to reduce the cost is to rent only a room or to share a house with roommates.

With the population of more than 9 million people and about 60,000 foreigners residing in Ho Chi Minh City, the cost of living is something most people are concerned about. Balancing living needs and income will help workers in Ho Chi Minh City enjoy a comfortable life, especially in the period when everything has to “tighten up” because of the global epidemic.

Other advantages of living in Ho Chi Minh City

Photo: Movetoasia
Photo: Movetoasia

A cultural environment and a very dynamic population

While it is true that the language culture can be difficult to grasp, it must be recognized that it can become a passion very quickly when you master it. Vietnam is also very active thanks to its very young population. The youth is in full swing and there are children on every street corner. As a result, streets and houses are very busy and there is a certain amount of disorder.

That said, you will not fail to enjoy this animation unlike the boredom you may have in most of the developed western countries. The population is very friendly and there is a certain security in the area. It is very rare to actually see acts of violence. This is normal, because Vietnamese people all consider themselves to be brothers and sisters.

Good availability of consumer goods

In terms of progress, we can say that Vietnam is a country with strong potential and in the process of development. It is therefore normal not to be able to find all the consumer goods that are available in European countries. However, a large part of its property is easily accessible in this country. Assuming you want to buy sports shoes with a certain level of quality, your choices are limited. But as far as brands with a good reputation such as Addidas or Nike are concerned, they are well represented. The situation is more or less similar for many other European goods.

But like everywhere else, this country is not without its faults. Be aware that the purchasing power of the premises is not that high, and very few people receive an attractive salary. It can also be difficult for some people to adapt to the different waves of noise found in the streets(this line is fine, but maybe move it up to where you first mention children playing).

One thing is certain, this country has more advantages than disadvantages. For the few negative points, it is easy to adapt to them.. If you are considering moving abroad, you should know that Vietnam is a destination to consider.

A tropical climate: Sunshine and heat all year around

The climate in this country is undoubtedly one of the most appreciated in the region. You don’t need to worry about being cold, because the sun takes care of warming you up. Nor will you be interrupted by a rain that surprises you while you jog in the morning.

This wonderful country has two seasons: a dry season and a rainy season. However, cold is practically non-existent in all seasons. If the heat is too hot, it may rain in the middle of the afternoon to balance the temperature a little bit.

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