COST OF LIVING IN VUNG TAU

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The world is going to look different as this crisis plays out. But we’ll be there lớn keep you current & show you the best-value escapes—the safe, warm, welcoming, low-cost havens where you can live large for less than it would cost you to stay trang chính.Each month in International Living magazine, we tóm tắt the actionable, on-the-ground guidance you need khổng lồ match the retirement dream you see in your mind with a real-world spot where you could make it your reality.

DISCOVER YOUR DREAM RETIREMENT


By Wendy Justice

The prosperous coastal thành phố of Vung Tau has been welcoming holidaymakers to its beaches since 1870. It’s close enough khổng lồ Ho Chi Minch City (HCMC) khổng lồ play host khổng lồ weekover visitors who come here lớn play on the beaches & enjoy the ocean breezes. Surfers come here to lớn take advantage of the waves, và joggers like the area for its year-round weather. Seafood aficionados love sầu the many outstanding restaurants, and everyone adores the laidbaông chồng, beach town vibe.

Vung Tau’s population of about 527,000 people includes several thousvà westerners who have made the đô thị their home. Americans & Australians 3D the bulk of expatriates. Though many of them are retired, a few expats have opened small restaurants, bars, and other businesses.

Retire in Vung Tau

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Vung Tau’s location on a small peninsula jutting out inkhổng lồ the South China Sea made it an ikhuyễn mãi giảm giá spot for European trading ships to anchor. Later, it became a retreat for Vietnam’s royalty and, eventually, an R&R spot for Australian và American soldiers during the Vietphái nam War. In 1981, large offshore oil deposits were discovered, turning Vietnam giới into lớn a major Southeast Asian oil producing country. The rush of oil money into Vung Tau made it the wealthiest province in Vietphái nam.

These days, Vung Tau has a decidedly middle-class feel khổng lồ it, and parts of the thành phố appear quite wealthy, with sedate residential neighborhoods, landscaped divided highways, & well-maintained parks and public spaces.

Vung Tau is only about a two-hour drive sầu on a VIPhường. bus—or a comfortable và scenic 90-minute hydrofoil boat ride—from HCMC, but there’s little hustle and bustle here, và you can find just about everything you need.

A rugged headl& on the southernmost tip of the peninsula, named Small Mountain, divides Vung Tau’s two beaches: Front Beach and Bachồng Beach. The coastline here is rocky & scenic. Tiny Hon Ba Islvà & its Buddhist pagodomain authority lie just off the coast. You can see this headland from miles away; the 105-foot Christ statue near the summit, erected by Vung Tau’s minority Catholic community, is the largest Christian statue in Asia. Elsewhere, exotic Buddhist temples & Daoist shrines dot the city’s streets.

Lotte is the most convenient supermarket in the city, with a good selection of local & imported groceries, household goods, & clothing. MM Mega—a supercenter similar to Costco—is about six miles northeast of downtown. For hard-to-find imported groceries, the Linch Phuong Supermarket has an extensive selection of goods.

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Raffles Medical—a joint venture between Vietnam giới and Singapore—provides general medical & emergency care. Consultations run around $90. A less expensive option is Le Loi General Hospital, which is adequate for basic care, though it’s best if you have sầu a Vietnamese speaker with you. If you have a serious concern, you’re better off going to HCMC, where you’ll find world-class healthcare at internationally accredited hospitals. Vung Tau’s dental clinics are clean, modern, and efficient. Prices for both medical và dental care average 10% of U.S. prices.

Many foreigners have sầu settled down in the quiet neighborhoods near Baông chồng Beach, on the eastern edge of the peninsula. Others live near Front Beach or around the downtown. Dozens of small guesthouses offer serviced apartments on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, with the greademo number around Bachồng Beach. Other than electriđô thị, utilities are generally included in the price, & many properties include housekeeping và laundry, too. Rents start at around $200 per month, while attractive homes with full ocean views rarely exceed $600. If you want lớn live sầu in style, you’ll have sầu your choice of luxurious villas with private pools và ocean views for $3,000 or less.

Many of Vung Tau’s expats get around with nothing more than a bicycle. It’s not a large đô thị, & with such a pleasant climate, walking or bicycling makes sense. The đô thị itself is quite cấp độ, though there are some rocky hills & headlands south & northwest of the thành phố center. If you want greater mobility, shops all over the thành phố rent small motorbikes for $60 or less per month. A xe taxi ride across town generally costs less than $3.

Lifestyle in Vung Tau

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Vung Tau is one of the sunniest places in Southeast Asia with an average of 2,400 hours of sunshine per year. It never gets too cold và it rarely gets too hot. The average annual temperature is a balmy 80 F. Most of the year’s rainfall comes between May and October. Coastal breezes moderate the heat và keep air pollution to lớn a minimum.

You’ll be hard pressed khổng lồ find a better place to lớn indulge in fresh seafood than Vung Tau. Dozens of fantastic seafood restaurants serve the bounty of the sea straight from the boat to your table. Meals for two at typical local restaurants usually cost less than $10. Street vendors dole outdelicious local dishes for just a dollar or two.

You’ll find more than enough to lớn keep busy here. Organized activities include runs with the Hash House Harriers, soccer games, motorcycling adventures, golfing networks, and charitable events. Baông chồng Beach’s soft sand & warm water is perfect for sunning, surfing, và swimming; there are about 150 good surfing days every year. The annual Kite Festival, the World Food Festival, and the Art Kite Festival draw visitors from all over Vietnam giới. An international-standard golf course, the Grvà Ho Tram Casino, & the wide, sandy beaches of Ho Tram & Ho Coc are only 30 miles away.

Front Beach, on the west side of the peninsula, is in a calm harbor cthua trận khổng lồ the city center. It has a nice park và large sculpture garden that runs alongside the coast. The promenade that runs past the harbor is perfect for a stroll; it’s a pleasant place lớn watch the bright blue boats of the fishing fleet as they move sầu through the harbor.

Cost of Living in Vung Tau

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Vung Tau offers a laidbachồng beach lifestyle, cthảm bại to the city but without the hustle & bustle. Two people can live comfortably on less than $1,500 per month.

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Here’s an example of a monthly budget for two people living comfortably in Vung Tau:

One-bedroom apartment (cable TV, internet, & water included)$350
Electrithành phố (air nhỏ every night, some days, và cooking gas)$62
Housekeeper (four hours a week)$50
Prepaid cell phone plan with unlimited data (X2):$6
Groceries$200
Transportation (motorbike rental, & gasoline):$80
Entertainment (eating out five sầu nights a week,including beer or soft drinks):$300
Sundry expenses (visa runs, health insurance, etc.):$300
Monthly total:$1,348

The Takeaway

It’s easy to see why Vung Tau attracts expats. Its beaches, scenic beauty, delicious food, và large expat community makes this one of the best low-cost retirement havens in Vietnam.