Expat life is full of challenges, but also has its fair share of positives. Moving abroad can be a scary prospect for many people, but there are also plenty of reasons why it could be the right step for you.
Some places might not offer enough job opportunities or perhaps not give you access to a strong social network and other connections that will help your career thrive.
With so many factors to consider, here is an overview of whether or not Vietnam is a good place for expats to settle down.
1) Pros of living in Vietnam for expats
Vietnam welcomes a wide range of expats from all over the world and is a very culturally diverse nation as a result.
This means that expats can expect to make lots of great friends from a wide range of cultural backgrounds, while also enjoying the chance to learn more about different cultures and customs.
With a tropical climate, Vietnam is a great destination for expats who are looking to escape the cold winters of Northern Europe or America.
Furthermore, the country has a pleasant year-round climate, with average temperatures never falling below 15°C or rising above 35°C.
Vietnamese culture has a strong focus on family, and expats are likely to be warmly welcomed into the Vietnamese family.
As a result, you could find yourself being invited to many social gatherings and events, giving you plenty of opportunities to build new friendships.
2) Cons of living in Vietnam for expats
As is the case in any country, there are things about living in Vietnam that may not suit every expat.
If you are looking for a place with strong nightlife, for example, you may be disappointed to find that Vietnam’s nightlife is rather tame compared to countries like Thailand.
When it comes to the job market, the fact that Vietnam is a low-income country could prove to be a disadvantage for professionals looking for high-earning jobs.
Similarly, the fact that many in Vietnam earn low wages could make it difficult for expats to build a comfortable lifestyle.
3) Culture and living conditions in Vietnam
While Vietnam is a warm and welcoming country, expats should be aware that this doesn’t extend to what they eat.
Vietnamese cuisine is a fusion of Chinese, French, and Indian cuisines, meaning that Westerners may be surprised by some of the dishes on the menu.
While this is certainly a challenge for some expats, it’s worth remembering that with a little effort and research, you could easily find ways to incorporate the foods that you are more familiar with into your diet.
There are many festivals in Vietnam such as Tet Festival and Tết, and this cultural aspect of Vietnamese life is what makes the country such a great destination for expats.
Expats who are open to learning about new cultures and customs will find that being in Vietnam is a truly rewarding experience.
In terms of living conditions, although there are parts of Vietnam that are well-equipped with modern amenities, other areas are relatively underdeveloped.
Depending on where you choose to live, you could be missing out on some of the comforts and convenience of a higher-income country.
I know living in a country that has a different culture, customs, and food from your current one will be challenging at first, but what you get in return is something you will never regain while you are still living in your current country. So, it is definitely worth it and is worth thinking about.
4) Safety in Vietnam for expats
Although the media often portrays Vietnam as a dangerous place, the reality is that expats are generally very safe in the country.
That said, the varying levels of safety in different areas of the country are worth taking into account before you decide to settle down.
In major cities such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, expats can expect to feel very safe, but in other parts of the country, crime is more of a concern.
While living in Vietnam, it’s worth remembering that you should always try to avoid being in a situation where you could become a victim of crime. This includes not walking alone after dark and avoiding isolated places.
5) The job market for expats in Vietnam
When it comes to the job market for expats in Vietnam, it’s worth remembering that those with a highly specialized profession are likely to struggle to find work.
One major reason for this is that many professionals who earn good money in their home country decide to move to Vietnam because they want to enjoy a lower cost of living.
As a result, Vietnam has a shortage of skilled workers in many industries, which means that expats who have a broad skill set and who aren’t too picky about their job are likely to find plenty of opportunities.
There are many different types of jobs that are available to expats in Vietnam, including English teaching, hospitality, and business opportunities. On top of this, there are specific sectors in Vietnam that attract foreigners such as government positions.
Want to know the best part?
Once you think out of the box, you can outweigh the disadvantages of living in Vietnam and enjoy a new way of life. Just set a small goal and move forward step by step. You’ll be surprised at how much you can overcome!
I learned this tip from life coach Jeanette Brown, she helped me achieve my dream through her wisdom.
But just a word of warning, she’s kinda critical and she isn’t afraid to give you her opinion. But if you take her advice and do what she says, I’m sure that you’ll be successful in your job hunt as well.
6) The cost of living in Vietnam for expats
The cost of living in Vietnam differs wildly depending on where you decide to live. Areas such as Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi are known for having a high cost of living, while other areas are significantly less expensive.
Given the variety of different places to live, the cost of living in Vietnam is likely to suit almost every expat’s budget.
Normally, the cost of living in Vietnam could be lower compared to a foreign country. This includes the rent, food, and transportation.
As a foreigner in Vietnam, you can choose your place to live based on the areas you enjoy most. Whether it is a secluded area near the beach or a more urban setting of bustling streets, you can live comfortably.
If there is one thing I can recommend, it would be that you do not underestimate Vietnam’s potential in terms of expats living.
While it may be known to many as a tourist destination, Vietnam has taken huge efforts in developing its tourism industry into an international hub.
7) The weather in Vietnam for expats
If you are considering moving to Vietnam, you should be aware that the weather varies widely depending on where you decide to live. Areas in the north of Vietnam tend to be cooler, while the south is hot and humid.
With this in mind, it’s important to make sure that you have a place to live that suits your preferences. Naturally, the places where you can enjoy the warmest days will be more expensive due to their limited availability.
Clearly, the weather in Vietnam can affect your day-to-day life.
For example, if you decide to live in the south, you need to make sure you have a comfortable space to live in as well as air conditioning. Alternatively, if you move to a more northern area, it’s worth investing in warm clothing.
8) Food in Vietnam for expats
When it comes to food in Vietnam, many expats focus on Vietnamese culture. As a result, they tend to only focus on their favorite Vietnamese dishes and enjoy fatty food.
Here are some dishes that expats should try when they move to Vietnam:
- Pho: This is a tasty Vietnamese soup that is popular among locals. It consists of broth, noodles, and herbs.
- Bánh mì sandwich: This is a popular street food that you can find throughout Vietnam. Bánh mì sandwiches are often filled with veggies, meat, or seafood and tend to be served on baguettes.
- Banh Xeo: This Vietnamese dish is made out of rice flour, sugar, and coconut milk with shrimp or pork. It has the taste of crispy fried rice cakes.
- Com tam: This dish consists of a slab of roasted pork, fried egg, and vegetables, which are served on top of broken rice.
With this in mind, you can also find plenty of Western dishes that you have grown up eating. So if you don’t like the local dishes, you can always take Western food as an option.
I mentioned this already, living in Vietnam is never boring. You get to try new flavors and feel the warm welcome from the locals.
The bottom line: is Vietnam good for expats?
If you are looking to escape the cold winters and are curious about living in Southeast Asia, Vietnam is a great option.
This is a warm and welcoming country with a rich cultural heritage.
The job market for expats in Vietnam is varied and diverse, which means that there is something for everyone.
Additionally, the cost of living in Vietnam is relatively low, meaning that expats can enjoy a high standard of living while spending less. All in all, Vietnam is a great place for expats to live.
So, how do you feel about living in Vietnam?
I would love to hear your opinions and thoughts. Please leave a comment below! 🙂