Why Should British Residents Move to Vietnam?

Linh Pham

September 10, 2020


Why Should British Residents Move to Vietnam?

Linh Pham

September 10, 2020

The United Kingdom (UK) lifestyle would be different from Vietnam, a Southeast Asia country. The UK life pace is generally rush and people are hurried to take the underground to go for work while the slower life pace in Vietnam would bring you the feeling of tranquility. Despite differences in lifestyle or culture of European and Asia countries, Vietnam should be on the top list of an ideal destination for the British to invest, study, work or settle down. With a view to providing concise evidence to investors, this article will walk through lifestyle aspects and comparisons between the UK and Vietnam so that the British can approach a new outlook of moving to Vietnam. 

The article will provide analysis and comparison based on major cities in Hong Kong Vietnam namely Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh city and target audiences including students, professional workers, and entrepreneurs. 


Regarding eating-out behavior, Vietnamese residents, in general, are keen on street food culture, in particular, the fresh, light, and gluten-and dairy-free ones are considered as one of the healthiest cuisines in the world. Three major categories usually listed in the top list of eating out of Vietnamese people are (1) food truck, (2) bistro, and (3) fine dining. 

Food truck in Vietnam usually refers to a mobile vehicle serving foods for on-the-go customers, not only in the truck but also in carts, bikes, and motorbikes. Bistro is a small restaurant serving moderately priced simple meals in a modest setting with alcohol. Meanwhile, fine dining serves customers with a unique menu and provides professional service. 

In Vietnam, a typical meal at either food trucks or bistros in two major cities generally charges $3.79, however, the UK records the five-times-higher price of $17.78. Besides, a three-course meal in fine dining restaurants in Vietnam is much cheaper than in the UK, with $17.48 and $58 respectively. 

Sports and Leisure

Generally, Vietnamese citizens spend less on sports and recreation activities than British residents. For instance, a typical fitness subscription in Hanoi or HCM City is priced around $21.74 but the price is much larger than that in UK with $40.12.


The British have to cover the basic utilities including electricity, heating, cooling, water, and garbage, which are three times higher than Vietnamese residents have to. $202 is the monthly cost of standard utilities in the UK whilst Vietnamese residents pay $68 – $70 on average. 

Holiday destinations

It can be said that Vietnam and the UK have its own naturally gorgeous beauty. Both countries are endowed with stunning and marvelous landscapes. It can be said that tourism in Vietnam and the UK has contributed a large part in the economic growth and becomes one of the most luring sectors for foreign investors to invest in. 

Vietnam is an attractive tourist destination which has over 18 UNESCO recognized World Heritage sites, including 2 natural heritages (Ha Long Bay, Phong Nha – Ke Bang National Park); 5 cultural heritages (Thang Long Imperial Citadel, Hanoi Citadel, Hue Imperial Citadel, Hoi An Ancient Town, My Son Temple); a mixed heritage (Trang An Complex) and other intangible cultural heritage. 

destination in Vietnam


In Hanoi

Vietnamese students prefer renting apartments that have a reasonable price and are convenient for them in terms of the distance from their location to their universities. Vietnamese students are open to sharing their departments to reduce the rental cost. Generally, the rental cost in Hong Kong for students is more expensive than that in Hanoi.

An apartment of one or three bedrooms in Hong Kong may cost 804.6$ to 1,281$ meanwhile the rental price in Hanoi fall into the range from $235 to $489 for outskirt districts namely Bac Tu Liem, Cau Giay, Ha Dong, Thanh Xuan, Hoang Mai, Nam Tu Liem. For Vietnamese central districts, the price of renting is higher recording from $357 to $751. 

Regarding professional workers and entrepreneurs who have the intention of working a long period in Vietnam, these groups might opt for owning apartments, either to live or to invest. Based on recent research of Savill’s 2020 market brief, the future supply of housing in Hanoi is predicted to expand in the Western-ward districts of Hanoi such as Cau Giay, Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem, Thanh Xuan, and Ha Dong.

The average price for purchase is $1,460/m2, which is 60 times lower than that in the UK, especially in London. Moreover, renting offices in Vietnam is also much more affordable with the average monthly rent of $20/m2. In addition, the serviced apartment market in Hanoi is also a potential one, with a significant increase in vacancy lately. When it comes to serviced apartments, some locations are listed for professionals and businessmen including Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem, and Hoang Mai districts. 

On the other hand, the rental price or property cost London is much more expensive than in Hanoi. The rising rental cost is an on-going issue that is viewed as a burden of youngsters from 22 to 29 years old. It is the high rental cost that prevents Londoners from settling down and leads to a shortage of key workers such as nurses, doctors, and teachers.

In Ho Chi Minh City

Generally, the rental price of an apartment in Ho Chi Minh (HCM) city is more costly than in Hanoi. Students in HCM city usually have to pay from $392 to $1,194 monthly for renting an apartment of one bedroom or three bedrooms. The fee will vary based on the location, whether it is in the central district or outside the city center. 

If professional workers and entrepreneurs would like to settle in HCM, the rental price will be around $1,460/m2 and the office lease is about $32/m2 per month. The average rate of a serviced apartment in HCM is $23/m2 per month. With the current situation of the pandemic, vacant units of serviced apartments have increased to 2400 units in the Q1/2020. One key reason that drives demand for serviced apartments is that HCM is an attractive FDI destination, bringing an influx of expats to the city. 


Motorbike remains the most popular vehicle in the two major cities as over 58.5% of the city’s population opts for private motorbike. The purchase price varies from $300 to $3000, depending on the modal, engine capacity, manual and auto. Besides motorbikes, foreign students and investors can consider using some other popular types of transportation in Vietnam consisting of buses, taxis and bikes (e-bikes). 


The insurance system in Vietnam nowadays has brought a lot of benefits to the insurance subscribers, either Vietnamese residents or foreign citizens. Both Vietnam and Hong Kong offer health insurance, social insurance, and life insurance. 

Health insurance in the UK is well-known for the first health care system funded by general taxation, which provides free care at the point of use. Most UK residents are eligible to free healthcare from the NHS. This health insurance tends to cover all medical expenses or some medical bills if it is treated privately. Furthermore, residents can also buy private health insurance. The average health insurance cost is around $1875 for an adult in his/her 30s. In the aspect of national insurance, the rate of contribution is 12% of weekly earnings between $238 and $1256 and 2% for income above $1256.  

In Vietnam, regarding social insurance, foreigners working in Vietnam under indefinite and definite term labor contracts are eligible for participating in subscribing social insurance. The Vietnamese social insurance covers five aspects consisting of maternity, illness, retirement, labor accidents and occupational diseases, and survivorship. The updated rate of contribution to compulsory social insurance for foreign employees will be the same as those for Vietnamese employees: 8% for employees and 17.5% for employers. 


In terms of life insurance, Vietnam requires a lower rate of contribution to life insurance of $30 than the global average of $595. 

All in all, Vietnam is a favorable destination for abroad students, professionals, especially UK residents. Vietnam offers a much more reasonable price with regard to recreational activities, accommodation, transportation, and insurance. Moreover, the process of acquiring a visa, temporary resident card in Vietnam has become easier to encourage foreigners to study, work, and invest in the country. In spite of differences in cultures between the West and East, Vietnamese youngsters are open and ready to share experience and knowledge for foreign residents when they visit Vietnam. 

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