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Hanoi, HCMC among Asia’s more expensive cities, survey finds

By Nguyen Quy   September 17, 2019 | 09:05 pm PT
Hanoi, HCMC among Asia’s more expensive cities, survey finds
Foreign tourists enjoy a city tour by cyclos in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. Photo by AFP/Hoang Dinh Nam.
Hanoi ranks 40th and Saigon 43rd in the list of Asia’s most expensive cities, according to Numbeo, a global database on cities and countries.

A person spends on average $451 in Hanoi exclusive of rent, and the figure is $1,596 for a four-member family, the Cost of Living Index from Numbeo, whose database is user-contributed, shows.

In Ho Chi Minh City, the average monthly expense is $430 and $1,543 respectively.

Numbeo measured the cost of restaurants, groceries and local purchasing power to come up with the index comprising 92 Asian cities.

Japan's capital Tokyo was the most expensive costing a single person $1,108 a month without rent, followed by Seoul in South Korea, Tel Aviv-Yafo in Israel, Osaka in Japan, and Singapore.

Several Southeast Asian cities also appeared in the top half of the list, including Thailand’s Bangkok (19th), Pattaya (22nd) and Phuket (25th); Cambodia's Phnom Penh (29th); Indonesia’s Jakarta (33rd); and Malaysia’s Penang (37th).

Recent global surveys, however, touted the country as a good place for expatriates. Around 82,000 foreigners live and work in Vietnam, mainly in its two largest cities. 

Vietnam has climbed eight places to 10th in the list of best countries for expats to work and live, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey 2019 released earlier this year, which polled 18,059 overseas workers from 163 countries and territories.

The respondents were invited to share their opinions on the country they were currently living in, in terms of their satisfaction with quality of urban living, political stability, work-life balance, disposable income, career progression and economic stability.

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