According to a report announced recently by the General Statistics Office of Vietnam, Hanoi was the country’s most expensive locality to live in last year and was followed by Ho Chi Minh City as a close second. On the other end of the spectrum, Hau Giang Province in the Mekong Delta region received the nod as Vietnam’s most budget-friendly locality.

The Spatial Cost of Living Index was compiled by the GSO on the basis of comprehensive data on prices in 63 provinces and cities across Vietnam in 2020. For ranking purposes, Hanoi was set as a benchmark at 100 percent, with living expenses in different regions and communities calculated against the costs of living in the nation’s capital. 

Hanoi skyline at twilight by Vinh Dao.

None of the localities exceeded the mark but Ho Chi Minh City clocked in right behind Hanoi at 99.05 percent. The report found that while Saigon was the more expensive of the two cities as regards housing expenses and school tuition fees, it was cheaper than Hanoi with respect to transportation, entertainment, medicine and food.

Rounding up the top five most costly localities were Hai Phong, Da Nang and Lao Cai Province – home to the popular mountain resort of Sa Pa. As for Vietnam’s most affordable places, it follows from the report that a number of them are located in the Mekong Delta – including the cheapest of them all at 89.68 percent, Hau Giang Province.

2020 saw prices soaring across the board for Vietnam’s most expensive localities, especially regarding housing, entertainment and tourism. Cheaper towns and provinces, on the other hand, managed to keep these prices in relative check and also enjoyed much lower price tags on food products, clothing items and educational services.