moving to vietnam

So you’re thinking of moving to Vietnam?

We’ve already got you covered with finding a teaching job, renting an apartment and what to pack, but what about those all important start-up costs? What does it really cost to move half way across the world to teach English?

Start-up costs and pre-planning when moving to Vietnam

Just a quick word on currency conversions and the like; I am going to using both pounds and dollars here for ease but know that we paid for pretty much everything in Vietnamese Dong and during Feb and March the exchange rate was around 32,000VND for £1.


Getting ourselves to Vietnam in the first place cost us the following:

  • Return flights with Vietnam Airlines £420 ($600) each
  • Visa letter £21 ($30) each
  • Visa on arrival £17.50 ($25) each

moving to vietnam

moving to vietnam


Accommodation expense can be broken down like so:

  • Hotel for the first 6 nights- £38 ($54) each
  • 3 months rent- £522 ($750) each
  • Deposit equal to a months rent- £174 ($250) each
  • Things for the apartment- £91 ($130)
  • Bills, for Feb only- £12 ($16)

A couple of things to note: we stayed at the original Hanoi Backpackers hostel in the Old Quarter and later moved to the fantastically cheap Anh Hotel in Truc Bach.

If you are going to rent a room in a shared house your costs will be much lower at around $200 per month and you may only need to give up a months rent at a time.

Also, while most apartments come rather well stocked with appliances, furniture and even cooking equipment, there is a good chance you’ll need to buy some extra homeware to make you feel settled.

All in accommodation related expenses in our first month totalled £789 ($1125) per person.

moving to vietnam

moving to vietnam


Our transport related expenses include:

  • 1 months of scooter rental £31 ($44)
  • Buying a motorbike £245 ($350)
  • New bike helmet for Jade £14 ($20)
  • Face masks for both £2 (£3)
  • Taxis, fuel and one flat tyre for Jade £39 ($56)

I bought a new bike helmet, with a large visor and more brain coverage, because safety first and we got face masks because pollution sucks!

All in transport for our first month totalled £193 ($275) per person.

While we obviously had to get two bikes, one rented and the one we bought, I have added the amounts for both as you may likely rent a bike while searching to buy one.



Everyday living expenses

Let’s break this down nice and simply shall we? It’s broken down per person and I’ve rounded the numbers for ease.

  • Food (including stocking our cupboards)- £112 ($160)
  • Drink (alcoholic)- £46 ($66)
  • Coffee- £41 ($59)
  • Entertainment- £11 ($16)
  • Medicine- £5 ($7)
  • Phone- £8 ($11)

So everyday living for our first month was a cheap and cheerful £223 ($319)

moving to vietnam

Total set-up costs for moving to Vietnam:

£1663 or $2380.

It may seem like a lot but bare in mind that we have our apartment paid for until May and bought our bike outright. It’s a great way to go about transport in Vietnam as you can easily sell it on when you leave and make your money back. So with our deposit and selling the bike, we’ll have an extra £300 to go home with. We also have a return flight home!

Now, if this post isn’t detailed enough for you, then please don’t hesitate to ask questions in the comments below of via email.

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