The Only Vietnam Digital Nomad Guide You’ll Ever Need

Vietnam has become an increasingly popular destination for digital nomads and remote workers in recent years. With its low cost of living, rich culture, delicious cuisine and stunning natural beauty, it’s easy to see the appeal.

This detailed guide covers everything you need to know to live, work and thrive as a digital nomad in Vietnam.

WHY CHOOSE VIETNAM AS A DIGITAL NOMAD DESTINATION?

Let’s start by looking at some of the key factors that make Vietnam so suitable for the digital nomad lifestyle:

Ultra-Low Cost of Living

Without a doubt, the affordable cost of living is one of Vietnam’s biggest draws. While cities like Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur become progressively more expensive, Vietnam remains budget-friendly.

You can enjoy a filling meal of pho or banh mi for just a few dollars. Shared dorm beds in hostels cost as little as $5 per night. Long-term furnished apartments in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are attainable for $500-800 per month.

With some budgeting, you can comfortably get by in Vietnam on less than $1000 per month. It’s easy to live well without burning through your savings here.

Speedy, Reliable Internet

Fast, reliable internet is like oxygen for digital nomads. You’ll be happy to know that Vietnam’s internet infrastructure has improved enormously in recent years.

While speeds are generally fastest in the major cities, you can expect average speeds of 10-20 Mbps even in smaller towns and rural areas. In cafes and coworking spaces you can easily get speeds of 50 Mbps and up.

Virtually all accommodation options, restaurants, cafes etc provide free WiFi access to customers. Unlimited 4G data SIM cards can be purchased for very reasonable rates.

So although Vietnam still lags behind regional leaders like Singapore and South Korea in terms of internet speeds, for a nomad lifestyle you’ll have all the connectivity you need.

Exotic, Vibrant Culture

Vietnam has a unique and vibrant culture that sets it apart from other Southeast Asian destinations. Spend some time getting to know the people, customs, cuisine and beliefs here and you’ll gain memories to last a lifetime.

With over 90 million people, Vietnam is the 3rd most populous country in the region. There are 54 officially recognized ethnic groups, each with their own language, traditions and crafts. You could spend months exploring Vietnam and still not experience everything its cultures have to offer!

From the chilled out beach vibe in Nha Trang, to bustling capital Hanoi, to the historic port of Hoi An, each area has its own unique charm and rhythms.

Improving Nomad Infrastructure

While Vietnam has lagged behind Thailand and Indonesia in terms of infrastructure to support location independent lifestyles, exciting progress has been made recently.

Coworking spaces are popping up in major cities and digital nomad hubs like Da Nang. Work-friendly cafes with fast wifi can be found in almost any decently-sized town. Forward-thinking local and expat entrepreneurs are driving progress.

Apps like Foody make ordering home-delivery food incredibly simple. Ride-sharing services like GoViet offer an alternative to haggling with traditional taxis and cyclos.

Global startups like Airbnb and WeWork are expanding into Vietnam, catering to the growing nomad community.

So while nomad life in Vietnam may require some adjustments, you can now find most of the amenities and conveniences needed to work productively abroad.

Stunning Natural Landscapes

With its expansive coastlines, lush rice terraces, soaring mountain peaks and dense rainforests, Vietnam is a nature-lover’s paradise.

Some of the highlights include trekking among mountain hill-tribes around Sapa and lush rice fields in Mu Cang Chai, kayaking in emerald waters in Halong Bay, finding deserted white-sand beaches in Phu Quoc, and exploring vast caves systems in Phong Nha.

When you need a break from big-city living, it’s easy to find a peaceful natural escape to recharge your mind and body.

Pranav-Das-in-Vietnam

TOP DESTINATIONS FOR DIGITAL NOMADS IN VIETNAM

Now let’s explore some of the best places for digital nomads to live and work in Vietnam:

Hanoi

As the bustling capital, Hanoi offers big-city amenities alongside rich cultural treasures. The city’s old quarter features winding streets, temples, markets and charming cafes. As Vietnam’s business hub, you’ll find plenty of coworking spaces and nomad meetups.

Cost of living is higher than elsewhere in Vietnam but still very affordable compared to major capitals across Southeast Asia. For comfort and amenities, consider neighborhoods like Tay Ho and Ba Dinh.

While summertime heat and air pollution can be drawbacks, Hanoi’s energy and diversity make it a favorite for many digital nomads.

Ho Chi Minh City

Formerly known as Saigon, Ho Chi Minh City is Vietnam’s largest metropolis with a population of over 12 million. The city offers a high-energy, cosmopolitan environment and thriving cafe culture.

Districts like D1 and D3 are popular among nomads for the abundance of coworking spaces, boutique coffee shops, and global cuisine. Lush green public parks provide outdoor relief from the hustle and bustle.

Cost of living is affordable compared to other global nomad hotspots. The downside is that Ho Chi Minh City can feel crowded and chaotic at times. But if you thrive on big-city living, it’s a solid choice.

Da Nang

Da Nang is emerging as one of the top digital nomad destinations in Southeast Asia. The city combines modern living with proximity to beaches, rivers and mountains.

You’ll find sleek coffee shops, coworking spaces, gyms and quality restaurants to keep you powered in your work. When it’s time for a break, My Khe Beach has gorgeous golden sand and smooth waters.

Cost of living is roughly 15-20% cheaper than Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City. With excellent infrastructure and easy access to domestic and international flights, digital nomads flock to Da Nang.

Hoi An

For those craving more of a small-town feel, the ancient port city of Hoi An is charming, pedestrian-friendly and full of character.

The Old Town district transports you back in time with candle-lit paper lanterns, architecture dating back centuries, and no cars or motorbikes to disrupt the tranquility. Cafes set along the river offer superb ambiance for working.

While Hoi An is more geared toward short-term tourism, the low cost of living and slower pace attracts some long-term nomads. The beach is only 4km away.

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a well-developed beach city and one of Vietnam’s top party destinations. While that may not sound very nomad-friendly, there is a sizable community of expats and digital nomads based here.

Great coworking spaces, Western-style cafes and fast internet make it possible to be productive. The stunning 7km beachfront rewards you after a hard day’s work. Cost of living is very reasonable outside of tourist high season.

Beautiful tropical islands like Hon Tre and diving spots offshore add to the appeal for nature-loving nomads.

COST OF LIVING BREAKDOWN

One of the biggest advantages of Vietnam is the lower cost of living compared to most of Southeast Asia and the Americas. For digital nomads on a budget, it’s easy to keep expenses in check.

Here is an overview of typical costs in Vietnam:

  • Shared hostel dorm bed: $5-10 USD per night
  • Basic hotel room: $15 USD and up per night
  • Apartment rentals: $500+ per month in major cities
  • Coworking space membership: $150-300 per month
  • Public transportation costs: Very cheap – $0.50-$1 USD for buses, taxis, trains
  • Street food and meals at local restaurants: $1-5 USD per person
  • Western restaurant meals: $5-15 USD per person
  • Cappuccino at international cafe: $2-4 USD
  • Beer at a bar: $1-3 USD per bottle
  • Unlimited data 4G SIM card: $10 USD per month
  • Activities like museum entry fees: $1-5 USD each

Digital Nomads seeking extreme affordability could get by on a bare bones budget of around $800 per month. For more comfort and entertainment, plan on budgeting $1,200-$1,500.

Major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh will be more expensive across the board. Smaller towns and less touristy areas provide savings on housing and dining costs.

TOP DIGITAL NOMAD NEIGHBORHOODS

Within the major cities, there are certain neighborhoods and districts that are particularly well-suited for the needs of digital nomads.

Here are some of the most recommended areas to consider:

Hanoi:

  • Tay Ho – Upscale area beside beautiful West Lake. High concentration of expats and modern conveniences.
  • Ba Dinh – Contains many embassies and international agencies. Close to Old Quarter without as much noise and congestion.
  • Dong Da – Central district with excellent infrastructure. Easy access to supermarkets, restaurants and nightlife.

Ho Chi Minh City:

  • District 3 – Very central with tons of housing, food and coworking space choices. Often considered Saigon’s creative hub.
  • Thao Dien – Luxury area with upscale malls, restaurants and bars on the outskirts of D2. Popular among families and executives.
  • District 1 – The bustling historic heart and commercial center of the city. Great lodging and dining options.

Da Nang:

  • Thanh Khe – Affluent residential area with malls, fitness centers and easy beach access.
  • Ngu Hanh Son – Closer to the city center with vibrant dining and nightlife options.

Nha Trang:

  • Tran Phu – Runs along the gorgeous beachfront and has many lodging choices.
  • Nguyen Thien Thuat – Leafy streets near the city center with local and expat conveniences.

COWORKING SPACES

One of the great advances in Vietnam’s digital nomad infrastructure is the rapid growth of coworking spaces.

While you won’t yet find major international chains like WeWork in Vietnam, local providers are filling the gap. Most major cities now have multiple coworking locations.

Here are some of the most recommended spaces in key nomad hubs:

Hanoi:

  • Regus – Stylish space in the Hoan Kiem District. Offers private offices, dedicated desks and open work areas.
  • COGO Coworking Space – This Hanoi workplace, located in the Viet Tower, is close to a variety of fashionable eateries, making it ideal for bringing clients out to dinner or getting a meal to eat with your coworkers.
  • Toong – Great community and perks like free coffee and printing. Five locations in all over Hanoi.

Ho Chi Minh City:

  • Dreamplex – Ultra-modern decor and high-speed fiber optic wifi. Multiple locations including Thao Dien.
  • Workyos – Lively, design-focused space with fun community events and outings.
  • CirCo – Caters to freelancers and startups. Great networking opportunities.

Da Nang:

  • Enouvo Space – You may reserve a quiet area to work with others or an exclusive space for your team, and they will provide full assistance.
  • Hub Hoi An Coworking – This coworking space is situated near the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An and the gorgeous An Bang beach.
  • Beans Workspace – Beans is a quiet and lovely area close to the beach in My An, a popular Da Nang neighborhood.

Nha Trang:

  • Toong – The high-end building has a mix of business, residential, and retail spaces. Along Vietnam’s Toong Gold Coast, it’s a perfect place to work, live, and play.
  • LIVIN – One of the city’s coolest draws for travellers and digital nomads.

Hoi An:

  • Hub Hoi An – Hub Hoi An takes pride in being the first coworking space in Hoi An, and it is undeniably popular!

TRANSPORTATION TIPS

Learning how to get around Vietnamese cities and between destinations is vital. Here are some key transportation insights:

  • For long distances, flying is fastest and most affordable. VietJet and Vietnam Airlines serve domestic hubs. Book early for deals.
  • Overnight buses go between most major cities for very low fares, but be ready for long, bumpy rides. Book via sites like VeXeRe.
  • Trains are mid-range in price and speed. Book berths in advance via Vietnam Railways Official website or Baolau Website. Bring food and entertainment.
  • Ride-share apps like Grab (Asian version of Uber) can get you around affordably via cars and motorbikes.
  • Metro systems are improving in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City but have limited reach. Single-journey tickets are ~$0.50 USD.
  • For bicycle safety, use caution amidst chaotic traffic. Drivers don’t yield to bikes.
  • Always negotiate taxi fares up front to avoid scams – many drivers target foreigners. Insist on using the meter.

BANKING TIPS

Vietnam’s modern banking infrastructure makes money management seamless:

  • ATMs are plentiful with 24/7 access. Withdrawals incur a flat fee of ~$2 USD per transaction.
  • Major banks like Vietcombank, Techcombank and HSBC have English support available.
  • Digital mobile wallets like Momo and ZaloPay are popular for payments and peer transfers.
  • Debit and credit cards are accepted at most shops, hotels and ATMs. Visa and Mastercard are most commonly accepted.
  • Some foreigners open local bank accounts to access better exchange rates and avoid ATM fees. Require proper long-term visas.
  • Compare exchange rates before converting currency. Airport exchanges often have poor rates.

STAYING HEALTHY

Vietnam presents some unique health factors to be aware of:

  • Air and noise pollution are problematic in major cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh. Proper masks can help.
  • Heat and humidity can take some adjusting to – stay hydrated and use air conditioning as needed.
  • Stomach bugs from unclean food and water sources are common. Exercise caution when eating street food.
  • Pharmacies and clinics are plentiful in urban areas for minor health issues.
  • Vietnam has excellent, affordable dental care – take advantage for cleanings, whitening, etc.
  • Always travel with adequate health insurance in case an emergency arises overseas.

Maintaining mental health is also important when working abroad for extended periods:

  • Manage loneliness by exploring the community and reaching out to meet other nomads.
  • Don’t over-isolate or constantly work alone – make time for social activities.
  • Switch up your work setting to stay stimulated – don’t just hunch over your laptop in a hotel room.
  • Set aside time for exercise, recreation, nourishing food and self-care. Don’t let work consume you.

STAYING LONG-TERM

If you want to extend your time in Vietnam past the standard 90-days tourist e-visa, several options exist:

  • Visa runs – Leave Vietnam briefly by land or air to renew another tourist visa upon returning.
  • Visa agents – Companies can arrange back-to-back tourist visas for a fee without exiting. Riskier.
  • Student visas – Enroll in a Vietnamese language course to obtain a long-term student visa.
  • Work permits – If hired by a Vietnamese company, you can apply for a 1-year work visa, renewable annually. Harder for digital nomads without local employment.
  • Temporary Residence – Investors and entrepreneurs meeting financial requirements can obtain renewable 1-year temporary residence.

If you stay long-term, research requirements to avoid overstay fines or hassles during departures.

Update: “Exciting news for travelers! Vietnam has extended its Tourist E-visa duration to 90 days from the previous 30 days.”

https://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/trang-chu-ttdt

Facebook Groups For Digital Nomads in Vietnam

When you’re planning a trip to an unfamiliar country it’s always helpful to have some assistance! Fortunately there are Facebook communities filled with kind hearted individuals who are more, than willing to offer their support and share their personal stories. Here are the recommended groups that you should consider joining:

Expats in Saigonhttps://www.facebook.com/groups/expatsinsaigon/

Expats in Vietnam: Hanoi Apartment Rentals for Expatshttps://www.facebook.com/groups/874525042647359/

Da Nang & Hoi An Expatshttps://www.facebook.com/groups/79917573655/

Vietnam E-visa Official Websitehttps://evisa.xuatnhapcanh.gov.vn/trang-chu-ttdt

Tripadvisor Articles on Vietnamhttps://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g293921-s1/Vietnam:Inside.html

Wikitravel guide to Vietnamhttps://wikitravel.org/en/Vietnam

Vietnam National Authority of Tourismhttps://vietnamtourism.gov.vn/en

Wikivoyage guide to Vietnamhttps://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Vietnam

IS VIETNAM RIGHT FOR YOU?

To sum it up, Vietnam offers an enticing blend of affordability, culture and natural beauty for digital nomads. Rapid infrastructure improvements also make extended stays easier.

With its slower pace of life, captivating scenery and welcoming locals, Vietnam allows you to settle in and experience the essence of Asian life. Costs are low enough to extend your time without blowing your budget.

That said, Vietnam isn’t yet as digitally-friendly as mature nomad hubs like Thailand and Bali. You’ll contend with pollution, bureaucracy and language barriers that could frustrate less patient travelers. But for many, the rewards outweigh the frustrations.

Weigh how Vietnam’s specific pros and cons fit with your remote work and lifestyle vision. With an open mindset and spirit of adventure, you’re bound to have an unforgettable nomadic experience in this fascinating country!

Vietnam Digital Nomad Guide: FAQ

Is Vietnam good for digital nomad?

For it’s high standard of living ,vibrant cultural scene, delicious cuisine and abundance of breathtaking locations to explore,Vietnam is a good choice for Digital Nomads

How much does it cost to live in Vietnam as a digital nomad?

As a Digital nomad in Vietnam your living expenses will vary depending on your chosen location and lifestyle. On average you can expect to spend between $1000 and $1,600 per month. This includes costs such, as rent, food, transportation and utilities.

Do digital nomads pay tax in Vietnam?

When it comes to taxes in Vietnam for digital nomads it’s important to consider your residency status and income source. Residents are required to pay taxes on their income while non residents are only taxed on their income earned within Vietnam with 20% Tax Rates

Is There a Vietnam Digital Nomad Visa?

At the time of writing, there is no specific Vietnam digital nomad visa.The majority of digital nomads prefer the tourist e-visa, enabling them to enjoy a 90-day stay in the country. This e-visa option can be conveniently obtained from the official website at a fee of 25 USD For Single entry & 50 USD For Multiple entry.

Pranav Das
Pranav Das

I’m Pranav Das, Indian Travel blogger & Reputation Management Expert by profession and lover of world cultures, languages, souls, mountains, oceans, and wild spaces.

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