Retire on $1200 Month in Dalat Vietnam

–>Dalat Vietnam Cost of Living
–>Dalat Vietnam Livability Factors
–>Dalat Vietnam Best Area Stay, Cheapest Flights
–>Dalat Vietnam Walking Tour
–>Dalat Vietnam Tea Plantation and Temple Tour
–>Dalat Vietnam Nightlife Tour
–>Digital Nomads in Dalat Life and Food
–>Dalat Facts and History
Best Retire Cheap in Paradise Locations in the World

Dalat Vietnam Cost of Living  

This is Dan from Vagabond Buddha.  Can you retire on $1200 Month in Dalat Vietnam?  Not everyone can, but someone that is very frugal can.  This post also includes food, cost of living, things to do, tours, history, livability factors, and our general feelings about Dalat.  

I am from the USA but I left 12 years ago and started traveling the world.  I have lived in or visited 65 countries so far.  

Right now we are touring SE Asia, presently in Vietnam.  So far in Vietnam, we have reported on the costs of living in Hanoi, Hue, Danang, and Hoi An.  Today we are in Dalat.  

I have written 50+ Retire Cheap Reports so far.  I help people identify possible international locations where they can retire cheap.  I also teach people how to live their life as one big affordable world tour

Here is a table representing the three main costs of living for Dalat.   I got these numbers from my own experience on the ground here during my visit.  Don’t assume the prices will be the same when you get here. Time has a funny effect on prices called inflation.    

Dalat Vietnam Cost of Living Table (Rent, Food, Local Transp.) 

Expense Cost Low Medium High
Airbnb/per month rate $24.00 0 14 30
1 Br Apt w/lease $15.00 0 12 0
Hostel/per day $7.00 30 3 0
High-End Restaurant $10.00 1 4 8
Neighborhood Restaurant $3.00 30 44 48
Food Cart $1.50 30 12 4
Subway/Train/Metro $0.70 20 26 8
Bus $0.70 20 10 0
Taxi/Grab $3.00 6 10 20
Total Per Month $398.00 $777.20 $1,005.60
Total Per Day $13.27 $25.91 $33.52

If you don’t understand how the table works, click this link for an explanation, “How The Cost of Living Table Works.”  Basically, a really frugal person (like me) would pay the daily rate shown on the last line for rent, food, and local transportation.    

But you probably spend money on more than just rent, food, and local transportation at home, don’t you?  For a full understanding of what it would cost you to live here, visit Dalat and add any items you spend money on at home.  That would be your cost of living here.   

It is okay to use our reports and videos to create a shortlist of places to visit.  But never move anywhere until you have visited the place personally to verify what your actual living costs would be for your lifestyle and needs.   

Guest Star Larry

Larry the ex-pat in the above video explains how he Retired Early in Dalat Vietnam.  Here is the insurance contact information:,, 800-487-4722(inside U.S.), +1 401-773-9300 (outside U.S.)

Here is Larry’s monthly budget he discussed in our phone call. 

Dalat Livability Factors

You were born wherever you were born.  But you get to decide where you spend the rest of your life.  To design your ideal life, you probably have things that are important to you.  I call these my livability factors. Here are my livability factors.   

Walkability:  Medium. You can walk to most everything.  But the cheaper lifestyle is on the opposite side of the lake from the Big C.  That may not be walkable depending on how much time you have and your mobility.  But if you shop mostly near where you live and rarely go to Big C, you should be okay.      

Internet:  High. We had no trouble with our wifi at either hotel where we stayed.      

Food:  Medium.  The tourists here are mainly Vietnamese.  Dalat doesn’t get as many foreign tourists as other places in Vietnam.  For this reason, there doesn’t seem to be as many foreign food restaurants.  So the foreign food restaurants you do find seem to have less competition and their prices are higher.  If you like to cook at home or you love Vietnamese food this won’t affect your budget too much.  

Weather:  High. Average daily highs range seasonally from a low of  71F/C21 in December to a high of 76F/C25 in May. Average daily lows at night range seasonally from a low of 55F/13C in December to a high of 61F/16C in June. The rainy season is May through October when at least some rain falls in 18 or more days of the month. The strongest rains come in September when 11 inches of rain falls (282mm).  The sunniest months are December through April. This is much cooler weather than much of Vietnam. So if you are a cool-weather lover, and you love Vietnam, this is your place to live.  

Things to Do:  Medium. If you love mother nature you should be fine.  There are not as many cultural opportunities here, as you would expect for a town of this size in the mountains.  People come here mainly to relax and cool off.       

Expats: Medium.  Many retirees give Dalat extra consideration because it is 4500 feet above sea level.  This elevation means that the temperature remains relatively cool all year compared to the rest of Vietnam.  Elevation was the airconditioning of the colonial era. Because some retirees enjoy cooler weather, they are here on the Expat ages.  They can answer many of your questions and provide a source of a potential society. One of the things I learned living as an Expat in New Delhi India, is that Expats love to socialize and share their ideas about how to overcome challenges they face in a new country.  Facebook 1, Facebook 2.    

Real Estate:  High. I don’t recommend buying real estate in Dalat, because it is so cheap to rent.  If you feel real estate will give you some protection from inflation, then buy in your home country and have a property manager rent it out to get income for you.  The rents are too low in Vietnam as compared to the sales price when compared to many other jurisdictions. You should be able to rent a 1 bedroom in Dalat for around $500 USD per month.  Then, if you ever decide to move to another location, you can just hand the landlord the keys and walk away.  

Medical:  Low. If you search on the word “doctor” in the above Expat Facebook pages, you will see a low level of confidence in the medical care in Dalat.  You will find standard care but very little for difficult diagnoses. There is an international hospital in Ho Chi Minh called FV Hospital.  I have been there before and I recommend going there for diagnosing anything that persists or for your regular checkups.  The bus ride is about 7 hours and the flight is one hour for about $39 USD (each way) on the day I checked.  There are two hospitals in Dalat. My Hoan seems to have better reviews than Lam Dong

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.  

Pollution:  High. The air quality in Dalat seemed amazing to us.  I was surprised to learn that it ranges from high quality to merely moderate.  Air Quality of Dalat.      

Dalat Desirability Score:  Medium. This would be high if you like smaller mountain towns with cooler weather and lots of nature around you.  Personally, I would prefer to live near the beach in Hoi An, Danang, or Nha Trang and just visit Dalat for a few of the hottest months of the year.  In that case, we suggest you visit and determine if you can retire on $1200 Month in Dalat Vietnam. 

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Best Area to Stay in Dalat Vietnam

Try to stay in the area shown in red.  Everything is within walking distance of here except for the Big C Mall, which is on the other side of the lake.  

Windy House:  We stayed here for 4 nights.  There is a video of the inside on the below life and food video at 1:54.  

Mr Rot’s Secret Hotel:  We stayed here for 3 nights.  There is a video of the inside on the below life and food video at 8:29

Hostel:  Location and ratings!

Airbnb: If we went back for a month in the hot season, we would want our own kitchen.  If you are new to Airbnb use this code at checkout to get a big discount. 

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Dalat Cheapest Flights 

We almost always get our cheapest flights on this Skyscanner.  They have a web crawler that is constantly looking for the cheapest prices all over the world.  As usual, we found the cheapest flight to Vietnam on Skyscanner.   

We are touring Vietnam for 3 months right now.  We came here to Dalat from Nha Trang in a mini-van we booked here.  To see the mini-van watch the below Digital Nomads video on this web page. 

Dalat Vietnam Walking Tour

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

Dalat Flower Gardens

Pedagogical College of Dalat (Lycee Yersin): This college was built in 1927 by the French, is where the children of French colonists and wealthy Vietnamese educated their children.  

Dalat Railway Station: Built in 1938, in Art Deco style by French architects.  The inspiration fro the three gables is the Normandy train station.  

Central Dalat Market:  Normally I recommend visiting the largest markets so you get a feel for how the locals live, eat, and buy goods and services.  But based on the prices and the presentation of the products here, I would recommend shopping elsewhere. We were quoted double the prices we have spent elsewhere in Vietnam in this market.  Look for a smaller, more typical, neighborhood wet market, if you live or retire in Dalat. Just come here for people watching.   

If you decide to break this tour into two parts, this is the natural ending of the first half.  

Eiffel Tower:  During the French Colonization of Vietnam, the French spent summers in Dalat to get away from the hottest part of the year.  Since the French governor created the city themselves, they decided to make it feel like home. So the built a mini-Eiffel Tower.  

Hang Nga (Crazy House): (60k Dong, $2.60 USD) Is a crazy fantasy wonderland guesthouse with designs and imaginations from artists and visionaries like Salvador Dali, Antoni Gaudi, and Walt Disney.  The artist behind Crazy House is Hang Nga who acknowledges Gaudi as his inspiration.  

Bao Dai Summer Palace:  Built-in 1933, it was the residence of Emperor Bao Dai and his family.  This mansion is open to the public. It is a look back in time at Queen Nam Phuong’s life at the end of the 143-year rule of the Nguyễn dynasty.

These videos are intended to help you see if you are interested in determining whether or not you can retire on $1200 Month in Dalat Vietnam. 

Dalat Vietnam Tea Plantation and Temple Tour

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

Cau Dat Tea Hill:  Take a walk through a tea plantation and have tea or coffee at the summit.  

Linh Phuoc Pagoda: The Linh Phuoc Pagoda was constructed in 1952.  It has mosaic reliefs featuring the history of Buddha and the Lotus Sutras.  In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha teaches that Buddhas are to use skillful means to adapt his teachings according to the capacities of their audience.  He teaches that the ultimate purpose of the Buddhas that have obtained the insight of the Buddha is to cause sentient beings to obtain the insight of the Buddha.  Ways and Means.   The 37-meter tower is the highest temple bell tower in Vietnam.

Truc Lam Temple:  The objective of this temple is to recreate the spirit of Zen Buddhism during the Trần Dynasty that ruled Vietnam from 1225 to 1400. The Truc Lam Zen Tradition was started by the Emperor of the Tran Dynasty who abdicated power to his son to become a Buddhist monk.  He integrated the three major sects of Zen Buddhism in China into the Truc Lam tradition. The Trúc Lâm Zen tradition emphasizes the habit of applying Buddhist practice into each moment of your life, whether sanga or with laypeople. Once awake, we are to live enlightened in all circumstances and challenges.  

Dalat Vietnam Nightlife Tour

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

Digital Nomads in Dalat Life and Food

Quán Cơm chay An Lạc Tâm (Spicy Tofu): $, lunch for 2 with soup and tea is $3USD.  

O Mẹt (Cod Fish Noodle): 35k Dong, $1.50 USD (Nice view out back). 

Bun Rieu Food Cart (Crab Ball Pho): 20k Dong, $0.90 USD.  The food cart is not on the map so this link is the store it was in front of.   

Chả Ram Bắp Tân Long (Grab Delivered to Hotel) $, 35k Dong plus 20k Dong delivery, total $2.39 USD delivered.  

Central Market:  $$, Overpriced tourist market pretending to be the local market.  

Big C Grocery Store in Mall: $$$  The supermarket called Big C is in the basement of this mall.  This is a western-style grocery store. 

Dalat Facts and History

Here are some interesting facts about Dalat Vietnam.   

Dalat has about 450,000 people living here.  

Dalat sits at 4907 feet (1500 meters) above sea level.  Because of Dalat’s elevation, it remains cool almost all year.  That is why it is often referred to as the city of eternal spring.  This stands in contrast to the rest of Vietnam which is much warmer. 

Tourists from all over the world come to Dalat for its natural beauty.  The Vietnamese love natural beauty but also come here to cool off. That makes the hottest part of the year in Vietnam, the high season for Dalat.  

The year-round temperate weather provides ideal agriculture opportunities.  That is why you will find such a rich diversity of fruits and vegetables in the markets.  You will also see local selling fresh berries on almost every street corner. Dalat is famous for strawberries and local wine.  

In the late 19th century, when Vietnam was a French Colony called Cochinchina, the French governor created a highland resort called Dalat.  In 1907, the first hotel was built in Dalat for the French and the wealthy Vietnamese. They would spend cool summers here. 

Modeled after European hill stations, the French gave Dalat its green spaces, golf courses, and Swiss nuances in architecture.  

During World War II, Dalat was the capital of the French Colony.  

During the Vietnam War, battles between the north and south raged in Dalat during the Tet Offensive for about 10 days in 1968, during which hundreds of people died.  

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha.  Thank you for reading retire on $1200 Month in Dalat Vietnam.  The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?  

2 thoughts on “Retire on $1200 Month in Dalat Vietnam”

  1. In this case we didn’t rent an Airbnb apartment with a kitchen. We stayed in hotels because they were so cheap and the restaurants were so cheap we just ate out at every meal.

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