Vietnam idyll paid for by Australian rent

PUBLISHED: 30 AUG 2014 02:49:00 | UPDATED: 30 AUG 2014 04:57:56

Daily life in Hoi An, Vietnam, is considerably cheaper than in Australia.  Photo: Travelasia

Daily life in Hoi An, Vietnam, is considerably cheaper than in Australia.  Photo: Travelasia

STEPHEN WYATT AND COLLEEN RYAN

When Kevin and Jean sold their business in Australia, they were in their mid 50s and decided that a better, more exciting and cheaper life was available in Vietnam.

They now live in Hoi An, an old port town on the coast near Danang, about halfway between Saigon and Hanoi, for nine months of the year.

“Our move to Vietnam is pretty selfish, really,” Jean says without apology. “Basically it’s a lifestyle choice.”

They still own property in Australia and the rent from this easily covers the bulk of their expenses in Hoi An. After all, they pay just $275 a month for a modern house on the river and that includes electricity and Wi-Fi.

Kevin adds: “The nine months that we live here costs us $30,000 and that includes a holiday to a different south-east Asian country every year as well as an annual visit to Cambodia. This year we went to Laos. Last year we went to Thailand. Every year we visit Cambodia for a couple of weeks. And believe me, we live extremely well and we don’t miss out on anything.

“Most mornings Jean and I walk down to the beach, about two kilometres away and I swim about two kilometres, then we walk back. Sometimes we have breakfast on the way back. Sometimes we have it at home. The beaches here are good. The sea is fairly placid. There are also resorts about and we can use facilities there.”

That is a very different life to the one they would have had if they remained in expensive Australia.

In Vietnam, rent is about 80 per cent lower than in Sydney, restaurants 75 per cent cheaper and groceries 63 per cent less. According to the cost survey group numbeo.com, a meal in a mid-priced restaurant for two will cost a little more than $15 (for two) and in an inexpensive local restaurant $3 while a beer costs less than $1.