Vietnam from expats perspectiveLiving in another country as an expat is a fantastic experience. And, visiting Vietnam is another experience that should be high on your bucket list. Putting the two together is easy to do and a great way to bring both of these life changing experiences into fruition. While life as an expat in Vietnam can be incredible, it also has its downsides. Before you pack your bags and purchase your ticket, consider these pros and cons of expat life in Vietnam.


  • Cheap Living Costs: If you’re coming from a western country or even places like South Korea and Japan, the cost of living in Vietnam will seem extremely cheap. Beers can be had for the equivalent of 50 cents U.S, a hearty meal can run you under $1, a taxi ride may be around $3 and an apartment for a month could cost as little as $100.
  • Opportunity For Work: You may find that as a foreigner there are quite a few job opportunities that will present themselves. English language teaching is a popular way to make extra cash and many movie and commercial productions are looking for foreign faces to cast.
  • Interesting Culture: One of the top reasons to live in Vietnam is for the rich culture. The food, art and people make living there extremely interesting on a day to day basis.
  • Prominent Expat Scene: Lucky for you, there is a whole community of expats living in this country. Especially in places like Hanoi and Saigon, you can find groups of other foreigners to network with, connect with and become new friends.
  • Opportunity For Travel: Vietnam is located in the perfect location if you want to travel in your off time. A gateway to both Southeast Asia and larger countries like China, Japan and South Korea, you will have plenty of places to feed your wanderlust.
  • Ease of Establishing a Life: People in Vietnam are extremely eager to provide you with services and resources for a fee. You will have plenty of choice for apartments and motorbikes and will be able to obtain them rather quickly.


  • Dealing With Visas: As with being an expat in most places, you will have to deal with the visa process in Vietnam. Depending on which country you hail from, there will be a point where you will have to deal with renewing a visa, leaving the country to obtain a new one and paying fees.
  • Hectic Traffic: Vietnam is known for its insane motorbike traffic and the tales are mostly true. In places like Hanoi and Saigon, the streets look like a sea of helmets, making it nearly impossible to cross the street.
  • Scams Against Foreigners: Many locals are on the prowl for tourists and expats around the cities and towns. They have a lot of tricks up their sleeves and are ready to scam anyone with a foreign face. From fruit sellers and taxi drivers to motorbike thieves and shopkeepers, you will constantly have to be on the alert for scams.

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