Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam

Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam
Retirement Places Ranked in Vietnam
Three Different Rankings of Best Places
Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam for Cultural Explorers
Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam for Active Adventurers
Top 3 Places to Retire in Vietnam for Rural Self Reliance
Best Cheap Paradise Places in the World

Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam

This is Dan of Vagabond Awake, the Youtube Channel for Vagabond Buddha. This report ranks what I believe are the top 5 places to retire in Vietnam. We just spent the last year touring around SE Asia including Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, and Malaysia. We spent 3 months in Vietnam and I will rank the top 5 places next.

I have already ranked the Top Places to Retire in Malaysia and Thailand. In a few weeks, I will compare the best places to retire in Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. Next month, watch for my report on the best places to retire in the world for 2020. My best of the world report from 2019 is already posted.

Okay, let’s talk about Vietnam. I am going to show you videos and photos I took in Vietnam as I rank the best places to live here. But don’t write anything down. Everything I mention is in writing. Just click the link in the notes below this Youtube video for all of this information.

Your favorite place in Vietnam might be different from mine. What attracts me to one place may not be interesting to you. So along with my ranking of favorite places, I have included a link to my detailed report about each. If you know each report’s reasoning, you will be able to adjust my favorites more closely to your own unique style and needs.

Also, there are Youtube videos embedded in each report. In the videos, you will see me walking around each place and talking about what I like about each, or not.

I intend to give you enough information, so you can reorder my favorites based upon your needs, not mine. By bubbling the best ones to the top, you will be able to eliminate many from your shortlist. That will save you time and money when you come here to investigate further.

For example, I am more of a city guy that loves culture. I like museums, art galleries, live music, international foods, street art, youth culture, the university atmosphere, and public transportation. I prefer to live in areas where cultural experiences are walkable. I call someone like me a cultural explorer.

Other people prefer action sports like mountain/rock climbing, surfing, riding horses, and zip lines, snowboarding/skiing or skydiving. I call someone like that an action adventurer.

Other people enjoy growing their own food, living in rural areas with some distance from their nearest neighbor, and studying survivalist techniques. I call this rural self-reliance.

We are not all the same. So I am providing information to help you find your own best personal place in Vietnam.

Retirement Places Ranked in Vietnam

Here are the places we ranked for best retirement in Vietnam: Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hoi An, Phu Quoc, Hue, Mui Ne, Vung Tau, Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh, and Hanoi.

Okay, here are the places we visited on our retirement tour of Vietnam. These are the places we rank below for you. If we missed anywhere of interest to you, please let us know for future visits. We have broken the Vietnam Google Map into North and South. The Google Maps “Tours Feature” only takes 10 locations per map so we had no other choice. These maps are from our Retirement Tour of Vietnam report.

North Vietnam (Sa Pa, Hanoi, Halong Bay, Hue, Da Nang, Hoi An): Here is a link to the Google Map of our North Vietnam tour.

South Vietnam (Nha Trang, Dalat, Mui Ne, Vung Tau, Ho Chi Minh, Phu Quoc): Here is a link to the Google Map of our South Vietnam tour.

We started in the north and moved slowly to the south. It took 3 months to complete our research, reports, and videos of Vietnam.

Why do I go so slow you may ask? I save money by moving slowly on the ground across a country. I get the right Visa before I arrive, and I do not leave until I have seen everything I want in a country. Even after seeing everything I want within a country, I do not fly to another part of the world until I have seen everything I want in that region.

For example, after seeing everything we wanted in Vietnam, we crossed into Cambodia at the land border. By avoiding airports in our world travels, we reduce our carbon footprint and we save money on travel. I have written a book about how to tour the world for less than it costs to stay home.

So once you have shortlisted your best places to retire cheap in Vietnam, SE Asia, or other parts of the world, make sure to check out out touring reports. They will teach you the cheapest way to move around the world to doing site visits before you make a final decision of where you want to retire. For example, we grab ur how to tour Vietnam report to save money when touring Vietnam.

Okay, now that you know where we visited in Vietnam, I will rank the top 5 places according to my dominant archetype, cultural explorer.

Three Different Rankings of Best Places

So I have made three separate lists of the best places to retire cheap in Vietnam according to three archetypes–cultural explorer, action adventurer, and rural self-reliance.

If you have multiple archetypes, then look for a place that ranks well on both lists that reflect your dominant archetypes. Also, please share any ideas you have with me about how to improve my ranking system or my archetypes. What is important to you that I can add to my future updates.

As I mentioned, my dominant archetype is cultural exploration, so I will start my ranking with that. I do enjoy action sports from time to time. However, that is more for isolated experiences than a continuing lifestyle choice. I rarely select where to live or travel based upon action sports. I do visit rural destinations sporadically, but it is more for temporary experiences, such as jungles, mountains, skiing, skydiving, wine country, etc.

Okay, here are my favorites in Vietnam based upon my dominant archetype, Cultural Explorer.

Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam for Cultural Explorers

(#1) Nha Trang Vietnam (Retire Cheap Report): Nha Trang is the most cosmopolitan city in Vietnam if you consider international food choices, clean parks and beaches, neighborhoods that still feel like Vietnam (despite international tourism), and less visible pollution in the air (it is a city on the ocean). It doesn’t have the breadth of historical culture you will see in Hanoi or Hue, but it makes up for that with modern cultural amenities that cultural explores expect. You will read that some people do not like Nha Trang because it has a large tourist industry near the beach. But I wouldn’t live in tourist areas if I moved there. I would live in a beautiful neighborhood that I showcase in my retire cheap report. What surprised me the most about Nha Trang, was how cheap it was to live there once you get to know where the locals shop and eat.

(#2) Hoi An (Retire Cheap Report): My second choice as a cultural explorer would probably be Hoi An. Hoi An is recognized as one of the most culturally interesting places in Vietnam. The Cham people controlled the spice trade in this area dating back to the 7th century AD. By the 16th century, Hoi An was influenced culturally by almost constant trade with the Chinese, Portuguese, Dutch, and Japanese. It was one of the earliest truly multicultural cities in Vietnam. For that reason, international tourism comes to see this beautiful little ancient culturally rich city. The restaurants and shop keepers have learned how to attract international buying power and tickle the international food palette. The prices have escalated as a result. For that reason, I think I may live either a little outside the walkable old town, or I would live just a few kilometers away at the beautiful nearby beach. Read the report for details.

(#3) Da Lat (Retire Cheap Report): Because of the high elevation, this beautiful mountain hill station developed during the French colonial period, has grown into a respite from the heat of summer for the Vietnamese. It is only about 3 hours from Nha Trang, so I could see myself summering here if I decided to retire in Nha Trang. There are ex-pats living there that call it home year-round because it has a cooler climate during the winter but never really gets cold in the winter. Plus, it is surrounded by amazing green rolling hills where you can enjoy rolling hills with tea plantations and grapes used to make Vietnamese wine.

(#4) Hue Vietnam (Hue Retire Cheap Report): In terms of just ancient UNESCO cultural sites within or only a short distance from the city, Hue ranks number one for ancient cultural buildings and history. It was the capital of the Trong Dynasty from 1738 to 1775 and the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. It is packed with memorial burial sites of former Emperors and the partially destroyed (during the Vietnam War) Hue Palace. So there is a rich history for cultural explorers in Hue. It would be ranked number one for cultural explorers if it also had the comforts of more modern culture such as (more) international food choices, museums, and a larger diversity of nightlife and live cultural arts that many cultural explorers will want in their home city.

(#5) Da Nang (Retire Cheap Report): Although Da Nang is a favorite of many Americans, I felt very little connection to Da Nang myself. It is just too new historically to be of much interest to cultural explorers and the few blocks of land between central Da Nang and the beach felt blighted. Luckily, on our last few days there, we heard about an Expat beach community about 15 minutes south of central in Da Nang, that was quite charming. Next time we head back to Vietnam we will stay in this neighborhood and re-evaluate Da Nang from this location. It is worth mentioning that Da Nang is in between two of my favorite (culturally rich) cities in Vietnam, Hue (2 hours) and Hoi An (34 minutes).

(#6) Hanoi (Retire Cheap Report): Once Hanoi gets a better handle on air and other environmental pollution it will be in contention for the first position for cultural explorers. The walkable life available to citizens of Hanoi (especially around Kiem Lake) will be unmatched in Vietnam once you can breathe comfortably there.

Okay, here is how I believe someone with the dominant archetype of Active Adventurer would order the top 5 places in Vietnam.

Top 5 Places to Retire in Vietnam for Active Adventurers

I picked where to tour in Vietnam based upon my interest in cultural exploration. So to find out the relevance of each place with respect to popular adventure sports, I did some research.

Here are the results of my research.

Thus, here are the best places in Vietnam for Active Adventurers based upon the above table:

(#1) Nha Trang Vietnam (Retire Cheap Report): This is on the ocean and has been developing activities for tourists for several decades, so no surprise there are adventurous things for people to do in Nha Trang. This was also the number one place for cultural explorers.

(#2) Da Nang (Retire Cheap Report): It is worth noting that this is only 34 minutes from Hoi An. Combined Hoi An and Da Nang would have 6 active sports rivaling Nha Trang. This puts Da Nang-Hoi An in second place for active adventurers.

(#3) Phu Quoc (Retire Cheap Report): I am picking Phu Quoc for third because it is an island and there is a good likelihood the scuba might be better there. In fact, there are 20 islands around it and the water looks bluer to me and the sand is more white.

(#4) Da Lat (Retire Cheap Report): Da Lat is in the mountains so the views are amazing and the weather is cooler year-round. So you may be willing to be outdoors all year due to the cooler weather. If you are more a beach person than a mountain person, this should be moved to the bottom.

(#5) Mui Ne (Retire Cheap Report): Not many active adventurers will be willing to put up with the air pollution in Hanoi to be near these activities. So I am picking Mui Ne for the fifth spot since it is an internationally known kite surfing place with surfing on the beach.

Top 3 Places to Retire in Vietnam for Rural Self Reliance

(#1) Sa Pa: Amazing soil, very few people, and large distances from neighbors once you get outside of town. This is mountain terrain so it is cooler year-round than most of Vietnam. We have no report for you on this one. We just did a day tour from Hanoi and did some trekking around here.

(#2) Da Lat (Retire Cheap Report): Amazing soil, very few people, and large distances from neighbors (once you get outside of town). This is a high elevation with rolling hills, so it is cool year-round. There is also a city here with many English speakers if you want to go into town and meet people from time to time.

(#3) Phu Quoc (Retire Cheap Report): There are smaller communities on the east side of the island. There are also some rolling hills. You could likely find some distance from your neighbors, but you would need to test for groundwater if you wanted to grow your own food. If you are a fisherman, this could be a way to survive also.

Here are all the retire cheap reports we created for Vietnam: Nha Trang, Da Nang, Hoi An, Phu Quoc, Hue, Mui Ne, Vung Tau, Da Lat, Ho Chi Minh, and Hanoi. You can use these to save money as you tour Vietnam, even if they are not for retirement consideration.

Final Thoughts

There is another thing that might be different about me. I presently live outside my home country (USA) 11+ months of the year. Additionally, I intend to keep traveling the world for 6 months of the year even after I pick my international living home base.

You may not want to travel so much once you have found your new home. Also, I have not reached retirement age yet. I make money using my computer no matter where I am in the world. Jump on my email list if you are interested in learning more. My emails explain how to create this life.

Subscribe to Vagabond Buddha or our Youtube channel to receive future posts about the best places to live or retire cheap all over the world.

If you want to know how I was able to travel the world for 13 years, watch this Youtube video.

This is Dan of Vagabond Buddha. Thank you for stopping by. The world is your home. What time will you be home for dinner?

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