How Much to Budget for Living in Ho Chi Minh City

How Much to Budget for Living in Ho Chi Minh City


So, you want to come to Ho Chi Minh City for an internship. You may be wondering, ‘How much money should I budget for daily life in Ho Chi Minh City?’ Well, good news! If spent wisely, your money can get you far. Daily costs are generally inexpensive and you can dine out cheaply compared to other destinations. Food comes at a standard price, with an average restaurant charging around 50,000₫ (₫ = Vietnamese dong) for a meal. Drinks can also vary with prices, with a local beer costing 20,000₫. However, you may want to save up some money when wanting to visit tourist locations and splash out on Western food.

What is the exchange rate?

For the current exchange rates, please see here. (

1 GBP = 30,482

1 USD = 22,654

1 AUD = 16,440

1 CAD = 17,994

1 NZD = 15,898

**Exchange rates as of 19/11/2021

What kind of budget in Ho Chi Minh City is right for me?

Your individual lifestyle is the main factor that will determine your budget. It will vary depending on what transportation you decide to take, personal dining preferences, nightlife and more.


Below, we have put together some budget estimates of your expenses in daily life during your time on your internship. In general, you can live on a low budget and still be able to live quite well. For those looking to spend a little more, there are also medium and high budget estimates. See which budget is right for you!

Getting around Ho Chi Minh City is a fairly easy task. Luckily, their public transit is affordable and reliable around the city, but always keep your phone tucked away. Travelling via the cyclo is a tourists’ favourite way of getting around costing 15,000. But there are plenty of other options with motorcycle taxis, buses and private taxis to take you to the city centre.

(For food, all apartments will have kitchens, so you will have the option to cook your own meals.) Food at supermarkets are affordable, but you may find that some discount shops such as AEON and Lotte Mart will make your money last.

Low Budget

For those looking to save money while still having fun and trying new things.


 Expense TypeCost per weekDescription
 Transport145,150₫Transport using scooters/bikes (15,000₫ per trip)
 Food1,520,000Shop at local marts (1,430,000); Lunch out (45,000); Dinner out (45,000)
 Treats425,150One night out with a few drinks and taxi
 Extras155,000₫Going to museums/cinema
 Avg weekly2,245,300₫ 
 Avg monthly11,981,200₫ 

Medium Budget

For those who go to the gym, eat out more or spend more in other ways.


 Expense TypeCost per weekDescription
 Transport345,150₫Transport using scooters/bikes and taxi
 Food1,630,000₫Shop at local marts (1,430,000); Lunch and dinner with mix of Asian and Western food (200,000)
 Treats1,189,850₫Couple nights out with drinks and taxi
 Extras500,000₫Going to museums/cinema/gym
 Avg weekly3,665,000₫ 
 Avg monthly14,660,000₫ 

High Budget

For those who would like to spend more on cocktail bars, taxis or shopping. 

 Expense TypeCost per weekDescription
 Transport850,000₫Using cars and taxis everywhere
 Food1,730,000₫Shop at local marts (1,430,000); Lunch and dinner with Western food (300,000)
 Treats1,300,000₫Nights out at classy clubs with drinks and taxi/clothes shopping
 Extras700,000₫Going to museums/cinema/gym/individual travel
 Avg weekly4,580,000₫ 
 Travel2,000,000₫Going on a weekend trip
 Avg monthly20,320,000 

As you can see, you don’t need too much money to enjoy life in Ho Chi Minh City. Be careful when you have a craving to buy a western coffee or give into temptation of using private taxis to get to work instead of taking scooters. Not everything is cheaper in Vietnam, and all the little costs can quite quickly add up. So it’s important to find the right budget for you.

For international payments, we always recommend using TransferWise. They’re cheaper than the banks, because they always use the real exchange rate – which you can check out on Google – and charge a very small fee. They’re also safe and trusted by over 2 million people around the world. You can sign up here. (