5 best places to retire in Vietnam

best places to retire-in-vietnam

Vietnam is a small country but has a large number of amazing landscapes and seascapes that ranked high on many “top places to visit” lists globally. Vietnam has a rich culture, stunning scenery, delicious foods, lots of things to do, and most importantly, friendly people.

Vietnam is very diverse and each city and province has completely different things to offer. It’s a perfect place for retirement. 

So, what are the best places to retire in Vietnam?

Before we begin, we have another two articles specially written for retirees which are how to retire in Vietnam and healthcare in Vietnam, make sure to check it out!

Without further ado, here are our top 5 best places to retire in Vietnam.

Hanoi

Top 1 in our list of best places to retire in Vietnam is Hanoi.

Hanoi is the biggest city and also the capital of Vietnam. It offers French-colonial architecture, a rich food culture, many interesting cultural sites, in short, a marvelous place to explore.

Hanoi has a large community of expats, around 10,000 foreigners. Most expats choose to live in the West Lake District (Tay Ho), located in the northern part of Hanoi. West Lake is a high-end residential neighborhood with a diverse range of boutiques, restaurants, and bistros. Hoan Kiem district, which is the center of Hanoi, is a hot spot for foreigners as well.

Weather

Hanoi has four distinct seasons: Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter. Temperature-wise, Hanoi has five months of cool to cold weather, and seven months of warm and hot weather.

Attractions

Old Quarter: a perfect place for wandering around, includes 36 old commercial streets which are named after their original businesses dating back about 1,000 years.
Hoan Kiem Lake: a beautiful lake in the city center and is a historic heart of Hanoi.
Museums: Hoa Lo Prison Museum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Military Museum, Vietnam Fine Arts Museum, Vietnam Women’s Museum, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, etc.
Theaters: Hanoi Opera House, Vietnam National Tuong Theater, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater, etc.
Traditional craft villages: Bat Trang pottery village, Van Phuc silk village, Quat Dong embroidery village, etc
Others: Ba Vi National Park, Hanoi St. Joseph’s Cathedral, etc

Pros

Many traditional festivals year-round
Hanoi’s famous for its infusion of both local and international cuisine.
A gateway to other places: 8 highway routes, 6 railway lines, international and domestic airports

Cons

Relatively high cost of living compared to other places in Vietnam
Busy and crowded city
Pollution/Environmental issues
best places to retire-in-vietnam
Hoan Kiem Lake

Ho Chi Minh City

The second best place to retire in Vietnam is Ho Chi Minh City.

Ho Chi Minh City is an economic center of Vietnam, located in the South, and is commonly known as Saigon. Ho Chi Minh City is a modern and fast-paced city with many entertainment places. This city is full of French colonial mansions and offers the best shopping and nightlife entertainment.

Most expats who come to Vietnam live in Ho Chi Minh City. The expat community here is really strong, with more than 100,000 foreigners working and living in the city. The majority of expats in Ho Chi Minh City live in District 2, more specifically, the Thao Dien neighborhood. This expensive neighborhood is known for having tons of restaurants, cafes, shops, and bars.

Weather

Ho Chi Minh City has a warm tropical climate. The dry season will start from November to April, and the rainy season is from May to October. The temperature is usually around 21 degrees Celsius to 34 degrees Celsius. However, on the hottest day, the outside temperature can go up to over 40 Celsius degrees.

Attractions

Shopping centers: Vincom Center, Saigon Square, Takashimaya Vietnam, Diamond Plaza, etc
Tourist places: Notre Dame Cathedral, Ben Thanh Market, Ho Chi Minh City post office, Saigon Opera House, etc
Cultural places: Reunification Palace, Vietnam History Museum, Ho Chi Minh Museum, Nha Rong Wharf, Southern Women’s Museum, etc
Entertainments: Suoi Tien Park, Dam Sen Amusement Park, Bui Vien Street, Nguyen Hue Walking Street, Landmark 81, Nguyen Van Binh Book Street, etc

Pros

Strong expats community
A modern city with lots of conveniences

Cons

Has the most expensive living cost in Vietnam
Petty crime
Pollution
best places to retire-in-vietnam
Ho Chi Minh City

Da Nang

The next destination in the list of best places to retire in Vietnam is Da Nang.

Da Nang is the largest city in central Vietnam, located on the north-central coast. Da Nang – a city of bridges – is like two cities itself. The Han River runs right through the middle of it, dividing the city into two parts. On one side, you have a cosmopolitan city with shopping malls and a hustle, bustle lifestyle. On the other side of the river, on the east side, is a more laid-back lifestyle with the beach community.

Most retirees choose to live on the East side of Da Nang – the beachside (to find property/houses and apartments for rent in Da Nang, check out this website). The expat community in Da Nang may not be as strong as in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, but it is growing rapidly with lots of digital nomads.

Da Nang is perfect the best place to retire in Vietnam for someone who prefers a more laid-back lifestyle but still wants urban conveniences. Besides, it only takes around 40 mins drive to go to Hoi An ancient town, which is a World heritage recognized by UNESCO.

Weather

Da Nang has a tropical monsoon climate, with mild temperatures throughout the year. The rainy season starts from September to March, and the dry season starts from April to August. Temperature year-round will be ranging from 18 degrees Celsius to 34 degrees Celsius.

Attractions

Beaches: My An Beach, My Khe Beach, Tien Sa Beach, Bai Bac Beach, Non Nuoc Beach, etc
Mountains: Marble Mountain, Son Tra (Monkey) Mountain
Tourist places: Dragon Bridge, Hai Van Pass, Cham Museum, Da Nang Cathedral, Lady Buddha, Golden Bridge, etc
Others: Hoi An, Ba Na Hills, golf courses, Bac My An Market, Con Market, etc

Pros

Beautiful beaches
Has both natural beauty and urban comforts
Great nightlife

Cons

Overcharge foreigners
Maybe too touristy in the summer
Hot and humid weather
best places to retire-in-vietnam
My Khe beach

Da Lat

When mentioning the best places to retire in Vietnam, Da Lat is always on the list.

Da Lat is the capital of Lam Dong Province and the largest city of the Central Highlands of Vietnam. Da Lat is a chilly city with French-influenced architecture. Even though it is an urban city and a tourist hot spot in Vietnam, Da Lat still has a lower, more relaxed pace of life.

Da Lat is famous for its fresh products like coffee, avocado, and all kinds of vegetables. Da Lat is like a city of love in Vietnam, with flowers everywhere. It is surrounded by mountains, waterfalls, and pine forests. The chill and romantic aura make it a perfect place to retire in Vietnam with your lovers. The Da Lat expats community is not so big but is still growing and the locals are very friendly toward foreigners. A large number of foreigners in Da Lat are French.

Weather

With the hilltop location, Da Lat enjoys a consistently mild and cool climate throughout the year. Da Lat also has two distinctive seasons: the dry season from November to March, and the rainy season from April to October.

However, there is a saying that you can experience all four seasons in one day in Da Lat. Early morning in Da Lat is chilly and sometimes has rain, the temperature will go up during the day and can get a little hot. The heat will then quickly fade away in the evening, and nights in Da Lat are cooler and chill. The temperature year-round is ranging from 20 degrees Celsius to 32 degrees Celsius.

Attractions

Natural spots: Datanla Waterfall, the Lake of Sighs, Xuan Huong Lake, Elephant Fall, Pongour Fall, Prenn Fall, Bidou Niu Ba National Park, etc
Tourist places: Da Lat Flower Gardens, Crazy House, Da Lat Train Station, French Quarter, Valley of Love, etc
Others: Da Lat market, Lat Village, Da Lat Cathedral, Lam Dong Museum, Truc Lam Pagoda, Linh Phuoc Pagoda, Lam Ty Ni Pagoda, Linh Son Pagoda, Thien Vuong Pagoda, etc

Pros

Lots of cool cafes
Stunning nature
Perfect for early birds

Cons

Minimal nightlife
Unpredictable and foggy weather
best places to retire-in-vietnam
Foggy weather in Da Lat

Phu Quoc

Lastly, Phu Quoc is one of the best places to retire in Vietnam.

Phu Quoc, located in the Gulf of Thailand, is the largest island in Vietnam. Phu Quoc is still a rustic area with only a few bars, a market, and some restaurants. If you want to enjoy a simple life, stay away from the big and bustling cities, lying on the beach all day then Phu Quoc is a perfect place for you to retire in Vietnam.

The expat community on Phu Quoc is only around 300 people and they mostly stay in Duong Dong. There are many smaller islands in the area that are perfect for snorkeling, diving, and kite surfing. Phu Quoc’s primary industries include fishing, agriculture, and tourism. Therefore, to some people, Phu Quoc may seem a bit touristy.

Weather

Phu Quoc also has only two seasons: dry and rainy seasons. The rainy season starts from April to November while the dry season lasts from December to March. The average temperature in Phu Quoc ranges between 22 degrees Celsius to 33 degrees Celsius across all seasons.

Attractions

Natural spots: Ganh Dau Beach, Ong Lang Beach, Rach Tram Beach, Rach Bem Beach, Sao Beach, Duong Dong Harbour, Ong Doi Cape, Bai Vong Bay, Ham Ninh Village, and Pier, National Park, Da Ban Spring, etc
Tourist places: Pearl Farms, Fish sauce factory, Night Market, Ham Ninh Fishing Village, Rach Vem Fishing Village, Safari Phu Quoc, Corona Casino, etc

Pros

Rustic feeling
Chill, slow pace of life
Beautiful beaches

Cons

Maybe too touristy
Lack of conveniences
Small expats community
best places to retire-in-vietnam
Phu Quoc beach

Conclusion

So, what do you think about these 5 best places to retire in Vietnam?

Vietnam offers many great places for retirees, depending on what you want. If you are the type who enjoys city life and modern comforts, then Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City are the way to go. On the other hand, if you want a more laid-back life and love nature, then Da Lat and Phu Quoc are very suitable. Last but not least, Da Nang can give you both a busy life and a simple life depending on where you choose to stay.

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