Live on 1200 Month Hoi An Vietnam

–>Hoi An Vietnam Livability Factors
–>Hoi An Vietnam Cost of Living
–>Hoi An Best Area to Stay, Cheapest Flights
–>Hoi An Ancient City Walking Tour
–>Hoi An Beach Tour
–>Hoi An Favorite Markets
–>Hoi An Nightlife
–>Digital Nomads in Hoi An Life and Food
–>Hoi An Facts and History
Best Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha.  This is our Live on 1200 Month Hoi An Vietnam report.  If you are smart, I think you can do it.  

Old Town Hoi An is a walk back even before the 16th century when Europeans arrived in sailing vessels to trade with the far east.  

The architecture and foods reflect an integration of east meets west and the best of each rubbed off and called this home.  There are tree-lined two-lane streets with flowers hanging from second-floor balconies and open street markets overflowing with fresh flowers, fruits, and vegetables.  

Young Vietnamese entrepreneurs grab a spot of the sidewalk and barbeque octopus and frog legs on wood-fired grills while people from all over the world line up with money in hand.  People can try flavors that cost 5 times as much and are not as fresh at home.   

Old Town Hoi An is a UNESCO Heritage site now protected for future generations.  But you won’t believe how close and beautiful the beach is also.  

Today, we are talking about exciting and culturally rich Hoi An of Vietnam.

Hoi An Livability 

Walkability: High.  If you lived in the Old Town area of Hoi An, everything you need is within walking distance.  

Internet: High.  The Internet hasn’t been an issue for me in Vietnam.  Even on shared routers, I have been able to upload Youtube videos and have video calls on Skype.  

Food:  High. If you eat in the tourist restaurants you could pay $4 per meal or even more.  But if you eat in the locals’ restaurants, you will average under $2 per meal.  

Weather: Medium. The average temperature year-round is 29C/84F.  The hottest time is June to August when it can max out at 38C/100F from time to time.  The coolest time is November to January with an average temperature of 20C/68F. The weather is moderate and dry from February to May.  The rainy season is September to January when rains can even cause floods.  

Things to Do:   Medium. Kayak and boat rides.  Scooter and bicycle rentals. The Hoi An full moon festival takes place every full moon.  People exchange flowers, candles, and lanterns for good fortune. People float candles in small containers on the rivers.  A beautiful beach is just a 6km bicycle ride away. There are 4 museums in Hoi An and 10 art galleries. You can dance the night away and get up in the morning and go to yoga.  Grab the bus to Da Nang for $2 dollars or a minivan to a hill station called Da Lat for $11 USD. I have labeled Hoi An as a medium for things to do, but if you prefer a smaller town atmosphere, this has many things to do for a smaller town.  

Social Considerations:  Medium. There are many English speakers in Hoi An, but you will need to pick up some Vietnamese to really feel integrated here.  

Visa Requirements:  Low.  Vietnam has been making changes to its visa programs over the last few years, and it is not as friendly to Americans and other preferred nations as it used to be.  Currently, many passport holders are only being issued 30-day single-entry visas which must be obtained before entry to Vietnam.  So, unless the rules become more favorable to foreigners, it might not be the best choice for long stays or retirement.  But it is still one of my favorite countries in the world.   Additionally, more changes are likely to be coming soon as the Tourism sector in Vietnam is still struggling in these post-pandemic times.  At the time you read this, I suggest you view one of the websites that update the entry requirements every 30 days or so, or visit the Vietnam Embassy Webpage in your home country.   I am usually already in SE Asia when I am going to Vietnam.  The travel agents around SE Asia know how to get tourist visas with very little trouble.  But if you decide you want to stay longer than a month or two, you should talk to a visa agent.  I suggest using a visa agent recommended to you by ex-pats that are members of various Facebook Expat Groups.  

Expats:  High. For a town this size, the Expat community in Hoi An is fairly well organized.  For example, there are a number of Facebook pages that answer questions, have rental properties, tell where to find stuff, and answer questions about Visa runs.  Facebook 1Facebook 2Facebook 3Facebook 4.  

Real Estate: High.  We do not recommend buying in Vietnam until you have lived here at least three years.   There was a small 2 bedroom house for sale in a great area of Hoi An today for 4 Billion Dong, which is $45,000 USD.  See the picture below. Rents for a 1 bedroom apartment start at around $350 USD near the city center with utilities included on a one year lease. 

Medical: Low.   Historically, wealthier Vietnamese would often travel to Bangkok, Kuala  Lumpur, or Singapore for significant healthcare challenges. Source.  But over the last decade, Vietnam has slowly been raising their game medically.  Source.  If you get sick in Hoi An, here is a doctor a few people recommended online.  If something serious happens or you need a specialist, take a taxi to Da Nang and visit the hospital we recommend there.   Read our Da Nang post if you want to know why we recommend this hospital.  

Pollution: High.  The air was great when we were in Hoi An.  This web page shows the air as moderate.  Today it has about the same air quality as San Francisco.  

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Okay, let’s see if the numbers support the idea that someone can live on 1200 Month Hoi An Vietnam?

Hoi An Cost of Living

Expense Cost Low Medium High
Airbnb/per month rate $14.00 0 14 30
1 Br Apt w/lease $12.00 0 12 0
Hostel/per day $9.00 30 3 0
High-End Restaurant $10.00 1 4 8
Neighborhood Restaurant $2.50 30 44 48
Food Cart $1.80 30 12 4
Subway/Train/Metro $0.00 20 26 8
Bus $0.40 20 10 0
Taxi/Grab $3.00 6 10 20
Total Per Month $435.00 $572.60 $687.20
Total Per Day $14.50 $19.09 $22.91

Now do you see why I say it may be possible for you to live on 1200 Month Hoi An Vietnam? 

This estimated cost of living for one month, for one person as a temporary visitor. It only includes rent, 2 meals per day, and local transportation. I usually have oatmeal for breakfast in my room, so I don’t count that. For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, visit Hoi An and add any items you spend money on.

Never move anywhere until you have visited first personally to verify the living costs for your lifestyle and needs. 

I am not guaranteeing these prices. These are just my notes and estimates from the time of my visit and this post. Your costs will likely be drastically different depending on lifestyle and the time since this post.

The above numbers are for one person and do not include alcohol, tours, or extras. Here is a free report explaining, “How The Cost of Living Table Works.”

If you buy anything using our links such as flights, tours, or accommodations, you will pay nothing extra, but we will earn a small commission. Your kindness will encourage us to keep making these travel guides and videos.

Best Area to Stay in Hoi An

Here are a few suggestions:

High-End Pricey and Amazing Hotel:  This on the river a short walk from Hoi An Old Town.  It was on my running path so I found this link for you.  

Mid-range Still Stellar:  Pool and great secluded location. 

Great Location and price with breakfast includedThis is where we stayed.  

Well rated cheap Hostel: 0.7 Km from ground zero.  

Airbnb: Here is an Airbnb apartment we may stay next time for a month.  When we stay longer than a few days, we like to have a kitchen so we can cook.  If you are new to Airbnb use this link at checkout to get a big discount.

Cheapest Flights (or Bus) to Hoi An

We almost always get our cheapest flights on Skyscanner. They have a web crawler that is constantly looking for the cheapest prices all over the world. 

However, we got to Hoi An from Da Nang by bus.  The bus costs 30k Dong ($1.35 USD) and takes about 40 minutes with stops along the way.  We caught the bus in Da Nang at this stop.  But you can catch it at any bus stop along the route to Hoi An.  Just open Google Maps on your smartphone and put Hoi An as your destination and click the bus icon.  Google will lead you to the nearest stop.  

Hoi An Ancient City Walking Tour

If the above video looks fun, click ==>this link<== or the below Google Map and start walking.  

Japanese Covered Bridge:  This 16th-century bridge build in the Japanese quarter of Hoi An represents the unique heritage of the Hoi An people.  This is the most famous symbol of Hoi An. The Japanese Bridge was built in the 1590s by the Japanese merchants that lived in Hoi An.  The Japanese citizens of Hoi An were later asked to return Japan during the Sakoku Edict of 1635. Japan had become concerned about the influence of the west and Christianity and issued an edict that all Japanese must return to and live in Japan under penalty of death and Europeans were expelled from Japan.  Christian missionaries and 17 Japanese Christian converts were executed on the cross to show Japanese resolve for the edict.  

Quảng Triệu Assembly Hall: This assembly hall assembled here in 1885.  The various parts of the building were created in China paid for by the Cantonese merchants living here in Hoi An.  The most famous of the art pieces in this temple is the Dragon Fountain but many more will delight you.  

Old House of Tan Ky:  This is the most well-preserved example of an 18th-century merchants’ home in Hoi An.  All through the economic decline of Hoi An due to silting up of the river leading to a loss in economic status of Hoi An, and years of floods, seven generations of this family preserved this merchant home for future generations to enjoy.  The triple beam structure stands for earth, humans, and heaven. The five elements of Oriental philosophy are metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. The vertical panel has parallel sentences with each movement in writing representing a bird.  

Museum of Trade Ceramics 80 Tran Phu Street.  Ceramics collected locally from China, India, Persia, and Thailand proving the importance of Hoi An in centuries of trade.  

Phuc Kien Assembly Hall:  Originally, this was a pagoda, built by Viet people of Hoi An in 1692, dedicated to Buddha.  In 1759 the pagoda was sold to rich Phuoc Kien traders from China who had the money to restore it.  All of the animals shown in the temple are a tribute to various gods. The fish is a symbol of achievement, the turtle is endurance, the dragon is power, the phoenix represents nobility, and the unicorn represents knowledge.  

Museum of History and Culture:  13 Nguyen Hue St. A pagoda built in the 17th century contains relics from Sa Huynh, Champa, Dai Vet, and Dai Nam, thereby tracing history from earliest settlers through the French colonial times. 

Museum of Sa Huynh:  Collection of artifacts from the first settlers of Hoi An area dating back as far as 2000 years old. 

Precious Heritage Museum:  Photograph and artifacts collected during Rehahn’s (French photographer) 5-year exploration of Vietnam. 

Hoi An Vietnam Beach Tour (An Bang) 

You can reach An Bang Beach from Hoi An Old Town in about 12 minutes by Taxi for about 87k Dong ($3.75 USD).  It is an amazing way to spend an afternoon. The beach is clean and you can get a free thatched palm umbrella plus beach-lounger for free so long as you order food or drinks from the adjacent restaurant.  

When we were in An Bang Beach the beers were 25k Dong ($1.10 USD) and meals ranged from about 70k to 130k Dong ($3 to $6 USD).  Some try to charge so make it clear before you sit down and order. Move along until someone is able to communicate clearly the terms to you.  

We just walked out of our hotel and flagged down a taxi.   If the above video looks fun, click ==>this link<== or the below map to take the self-guided tour on your smartphone.  

With entertainment spending at these levels can you see why I say it is possible to live on 1200 Month Hoi An Vietnam?

Hoi An Favorite Markets

This video is of my favorite markets in Hoi An.  There is a Google Map for this walking tour. Some are night markets, some are day markets, and some are both.  You are doing to have to learn how to shop cheap in local markets and cook at home if you expect to live on 1200 Month in Hoi An Vietnam. 

Here is the Google Map for my favorite markets.

Fruit and Vegetables Market: Day and Night.

Food, Clothes, Restaurants, Non-perishable: Central Large Day Market 

Food Stalls: Night

Food Carts and Souvenirs: Night 

Hoi An Nightlife Walking Tour

If the above video looks fun, just click ==>this link<== or the below map and get started on this walking tour.  Then stop here for cheap beer or drinks. 

Shamrock:  1960s Top 40 Cover Band

Tiger Bar: Current Top 40

Golden Kite: Dance Club, Current Top 40

Madam Kieu Vietnamese Restaurant: Acoustic, Coffee House, Jazz, 

Moe’s Tavern Reggae

Mr. Bean: Boom boom music, Hip-hop, 

Funky Monkey:  Mix of music … mostly funky, but some monkey.  

Along River:  The last stop on the video is a place along the river where locals drink and talk.  They are too smart to pay bar prices, so they sit across from a market that has 15k Dong Beers ($0.75 USD).  

You will need to spend more like a local if you expect to live on 1200 Month Hoi An Vietnam.

Digital Nomads in Hoi An–Food and Life  

Click the above map or ==>this link<== to see if these restaurants are near you.  This video helps prove my assertion that some people will be able to live on 1200 Month in Hoi An Vietnam and possibly even cheaper.  

Hoi Banh My Chay (Bread Food Stall) (This intersection):  $

Quan Chay Dam (Buffet):  $ Ask to see a menu and point to how many Dong you want to spend.  We had 30k Dong ($1.30 USD) and it was enough for one person.  

Karma Waters: $$  

Nhat Da:  $

Am Vegetarian: $$

Noodle House:  Happy Hour.  2 for 1 Beer. (2 for $1.50 USD)

An Hy Vegetarian Restaurant (Near Main Market): $1.30 for Pho

BBQ Octopus (Near here): 150k Dong, $6.50 USD

Vagabond Buddha’s Kitchen: We were only in Hoi An for 5 days.  So we decided to eat every meal out so we would have enough restaurants to share with you.  Our accommodations included breakfast. They served us breakfast every morning on our balcony.  The room was $18 per night. Check it out in the Digital Nomad Video.  

Here is where I run along the river when I am in Hoi An.    

Grab a free copy of my Ebook. You will learn how living internationally for less than it costs to live at home.  

Hoi An Facts and History

Here are some interesting facts about Hoi An Vietnam according to Wikipedia. 

The Cham people controlled this area of Vietnam between the 7th and 10th centuries when their wealth accumulated from the spice trade. 

By the 16th century, Hoi An had become an international trading post for Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese.  

Hoi An was divided by the Japanese Bridge with the Japanese living in a settlement one side.  

The Cham Empire stretched from Hue to Nha Trang.  The spiritual capital of the Cham was My Son, Tra Kieu was the political capital, and Hoi An was the commercial capital.      

By the 14th century, the Cham had started moving further south towards Nha Trang.  

The Cham used waterways to trade with Laos and Thailand.  

In 1535, the Portuguese Explorer Antonio de Faria tried to establish trading with Hoi An (then known as Faifo).  

But Hoi An was officially established as a trading port by Lord Nguyen Hoang in about 1595.  

The Nguyen Lords had more interest in international trade than did the Trinh Lords of Northern Vietnam.  

By the 18th century, Hoi An was considered the greatest trading port in all of SE Asia by Chinese and Japanese merchants.  

Asian ceramics from Hoi An were discovered in ancient shipwrecks in Egypt and Sinai.  

The trading capital of Vietnam was moved from Hoi An to Da Nang when the mouth of the harbor became full of silt from years of heavy rain.  

In the 19th century, Emperor Gia Long repaid his French allies for helping him reunite all of Vietnam by giving them exclusive rights to international trade.  

After the international trade ended, Hoi An became largely lost to international history for about 200 years.

Hoi An was revived in part by a polish architect (Kazimierz Kwiatkowski) that was instrumental in saving Vietnam’s cultural heritage in the post-war years from 1980 until his death in 1997.  

The polish architect was also credited for his work saving Hoi An, Hue, and My Son.  His work included clearing land mines before monument recovery.  

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This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for reading our live on 1200 Month in Hoi An Vietnam information.  The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?