Retire in Vietnam

Vietnam has transformed itself in ways few could have imagined. It may have taken 30 years, but then Vietnam was at war for more than 50 years with the French, the Japanese and then the Americans.

Vietnam is not yet a Malaysia or a Thailand. It lacks the infrastructure, systems and organization of its more developed neighbours. But it is one of the friendliest countries in Southeast Asia and drop dead gorgeous from the north to the south.

The country offers retirees a super cheap but quality lifestyle. Rent is 80 per cent cheaper in Vietnam than in Sydney or London or New York. You can go to a restaurant at a quarter of the cost and in very local restaurants have a meal for $3 and a beer for around $1.

The country offers cool mountain villages, big throbbing cities or laidback towns, like the beach town of Danang, and its famous China Beach or Hue, an ancient capital filled with palaces, pagodas and temples or Hoi An, an ancient port city near Danang.

The climate is warm, the people friendly and life is an adventure.

There are some downsides to Vietnam, all surmountable, but requiring consideration if you are thinking of a move. You need to pay attention to visa rules, property ownership restrictions and health care issues.


An elongated country on the edge of the Indochina Peninsula, Vietnam offers expats high living standards and a welcoming business environment.  The country will tantalise your senses, possibly overloading them at times. But if you embrace the experience, you’ll be rewarded with a good life in a land where natural beauty contrasts with bustling cities.


Population:  90 million

Capital city:  Hanoi

Largest city:  Ho Chi Minh (Saigon)

Political system:  Communist led, socialist market economy

Language:  Vietnamese

Main religion:  One of the least religious countries in Asia.  Officially atheist. There are still 24 million people affiliated with a religion.

Time:  GMT+7


The weather in Vietnam is hot and humid all year round, especially in central and southern areas. The north is slightly cooler – good news if you’re heading to Hanoi. Average temperatures across the country range from 22°C (72°F) to 27°C (81°F) with humidity levels above 80%. The monsoon season brings heavy rain between May and October with downpours usually happening in the afternoon.