Moving to Vietnam from Australia

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Craig (not verified)
Moving to Vietnam from Australia

Hello all. I am seriously considering a move to Saigon. I have the money from the sale of my house but wish to hang onto as much of that as possible. Invest in case I need to come back to Australia to live. I have spent some time in Saigon and have some Vina friends there. I just want to make sure I'm not making the biggest mistake of my life :-) A couple of things I just wanted to make sure I have right...

Is it possible to live a reasonable lifestyle including rent, food etc for about $1000US a month? I love Vietnamese food and am happy to eat street food. I drink very little but would like to have some funds for a modest social life. Is this doable?

I am not expecting to have the same standard of living in Saigon but nor do I want to live too hard either. I would like a small tidy one bedroom apartment quite close to Saigon, air conditioned. Nothing too luxurious but safe and secure. I'm not into material possessions etc. I am told around $400-500 a month for an apartment like this? Does that sound right?

I have been told that id be able to find work as an English teacher at an English centre if I complete a TEFL course. I don't hold any uni degree although I have qualifications as an electrician and hold a high level training job at the moment.
Is this realistic? What sort of money could I expect?

When I first arrive. I might have a break for 3-12 months before looking for work.
I know you can only apply for 3 months visa at one time unless you have work. I am told it's reasonably simple to pre arrange a new visa, leave the country and come back with a renewed visa virtually the same day. I was also told this can be done an unlimited amount of times. I was also told it was easier if you exited and returned to the country by aircraft. That could possibly be expensive. I have heard of people living in Hanoi taking a short bus trip to the border and returning same day. Is this the same in Saigon. I think the border by bus may be a lot further? Could be an excuse to go to Thailand for a few days :-) How do you guys manage this?

Really appreciate any advice given. Please forgive me if my assumptions are incorrect or naive.


I have recently returned from travelling around Thailand, Laos & Vietnam as a tourist. I bought a motorbike in Saigon for $300 and drove all the way up to Hanoi and managed to sell my bike for $150! As for living costs, you can stay in hostels for as little as a few dollars or a reasonable hotel for anything between $5-$15 per night. It's cheaper to buy a motorbike as hiring at $5- $10 per day soon adds up. Street food is very cheap from 25000-50000 dong ($1-$3) and beer is very cheap at only 4000 dong for a large glass (20 cents) or 50 cents for a bottle in many bars.

Anonymous (not verified)

Great thoughts. when i went there i booked my number as autralia in vietnam. its easy like you can see here : they provides virtual numbers and you can route them anywhere where you wants to recieve calls.

Thu (not verified)

Hi Craig,
I'm Vietnamese so I don't know much about the renew visa process but I know about the hiring an apartment that you can handle the cost easily. you can hire a 2 bedrooms, 1 wc apartment at about 250$/month, it locates on district 2, takes about 15mins to go to district 1- central of SG, I'm living in there too, it has fresh air and cheap VN food. If you want more information that I can help, please contact me , i'm glad to help you :-)

TC (not verified)

Hi Craig.I too am thinking about the same move except from Canada. Did you make the move?

Tomo: Thank you for the info. I am planning to make a trip there and staying for a couple of months. Can you offer any help in looking for accommodation for those two months? I don't mind staying with family offering room and board (safe? and cheap). What do you think?


If you a) love Vietnamese food, b) are willing to partake in the Vietnamese street food scene, and c) don't spend all your money on drink, then yes you should be just fine on $1000 a month depending on how extravagant your housing needs to be.

Please reference my post on finding apartments in Ho Chi Minh City.

Your experience as an electrician won't be as valuable as your white face and native English abilities which will guarantee you a job as an English teacher at one of the many English centers.

One way to extend a visa if you can't do it within Vietnam is to take a cheap bus to Phnom Penh where you can get a new Vietnam visa in about 2 days. Then you can just ride the bus back. Cambodia can be a nice break from Vietnam for expats.

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