Monthly Cost of Living in Saigon-Vietnam, Bangkok- Thailand and Beijing-China

For those who are planning on living in foreign countries such as Saigon, Bangkok or Beijing, the cost of living is surprisingly inexpensive to most people as compared to higher cost of living places such as North America and Europe. The key to living in these areas is to know the exchange rate for currency and what the prices are of housing, food and transportation.


The currency that is present in Saigon, Vietnam are called “dongs”or VND. To every one US dollar there are 17,500 dongs. There are currently notes available for dongs in the amount of 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, and 10,000 and so on. Coins are also readily available and often used to purchase smaller items like food or drinks.  To give an idea of the cost of a can of soda found in any typical market in Saigon, the cost is around 6,000 dong.  In Vietnam, food grows in a large quantity, so much so that they have to export food to neighboring countries. For that reason, food prices in Saigon are low as well.

Housing in Saigon offers higher quality of places to live at affordable living prices. Since the housing and real estates have been set up around Saigon, Vietnam more, many foreigners and companies set up businesses in the country and homes in the area. There have been some homes available for renting for as little as 500 US dollars which will equal roughly around 10,250,000 in Vietnamese dong.

For most of the housing in Vietnam especially in the ever growing Saigon, pricing for apartments or condominiums are lower than they used to be years ago. Apartments are selling very quickly and are in high demand from foreigners and expats who live in Saigon. Transportation in Saigon as with most Asian countries, allow for people living in the area to save money by not spending on gas for cars. The best way to get around in Saigon is by motorbike or bicycle. A brand new motorbike is around 800 US dollars to purchase or 16,400,000 VND.

Learn how to get motorcycle driving license in Vietnam here, complete step-by-step guide with video clips.


The price of living in Bangkok, Thailand is one of the reasons why many foreigners choose to live in the area. The affordable housing and food in Bangkok helps people to live in the city. Bankok is considered among the top 20 most expensive cities in the entire world and the cost of living in Bangkok allows people to live in a diverse standard of living.

The current exchange rate per US dollar in Bangkok to Baht’s is approximately 35 but the rates change frequently as economic changes occur in the country. Cost for can of soda in Bangkok on any given day would usually cost around 15 Baht.

Housing expenses in Bangkok ranges depending on the location around the city and type of housing wanted. Since there is a variety of accommodations in Bangkok, housing is able to fit almost every taste and around any budget. The lowest cost of housing in Bangkok is usually apartments such as studio apartments. Some of these studios have amenities include in the base price and some even include a telephone, water, air conditioning, cable and can be furnished. The cost for a studio apartment is around 5,000 to 10,000 baht.


The official currency in Beijing China is the Renminbi or RMB. Just like the American dollar can be converted to other units of money like coins such as pennies, nickels, dimes, and also higher bills, the renminbi has other units. The basic type of currency is called the yuan which will equal about 10 jiao. There is also fen and paper currency that comes in units of 1.2 , 5, 10, 50 and 100 notes. One US dollar is around 6 to 6.5 in Chinese renminbi.

The good thing about the cost of living in Beijing is that it is relatively inexpensive when compared to living in the United States or Europe. The reason for the low cost of living in China especially in Beijing is due to the amount of housing that has become available. Renters or people who wish to own a home can have a good time searching through the variety of places to live.

In an apartment setting, the cost to pay for utilities is also at a low because of Chinese governments and their subsidies. Apartments, such as a two bedroom, one bathroom with other amenities such as a kitchen will be around 4,500 RMB per month. People can expect to pay as little as 300 RMB in utilities. Food prices in Beijing, China are also slightly lower. The cost of a can of soda at a Beijing market or grocery store is about 2 RMB to 3 RMB.




About the author

More posts by



  1. Tony Tai says:

    It seems that your info about Vietnam is not updated. It has been changed a lot.

    Tony Tai

Leave a Comment