How Much Money Should I Bring to HCMC?

by David
(Seoul, S.Korea)

Hello hello,

I am a US citizen currently living and working in Seoul.

I am strongly considering jumping ship and heading to HCMC (I fell in love with it's gritty charm a few years back on holiday).

I'm wondering how much USD I should have tucked away -after the flight cost -in order to ensure a relatively comfortable transition?

I assume it could take up to a month to secure a teaching position ~if one is being 'picky' (?)

Should I find a flat ASAP (if so, what is the rent/deposit usually like?) or crash in a cheap hotel until I find a job?

FYI, my qualifications: 27 yr old white male (that seems so wrong to list in 'qualifications', but its a perk in Korea for sure) American BA in International Studies, 2 years classroom experience in Korea, 4 years tutoring ESL students in and out of Asia, NO teaching certificate unfortunately -but I'm sure I'll ROCK any class-demo they toss my way ;)

This is a FANTASTIC site, btw. ~Thanks stranger.


Reply from

Call me Phil, Seoul Man.

Rock a Demo class and you can get work in Vietnam with 2 heads and no ears.

How much money you'll need depends on how quickly you'll be getting paid.

70% of schools pay per month but they pay all previous month's work by the 5th of the following month.

Start work on the 15th and you can expect a paycheck by the 5th of the following month. It will be a small check (As you only worked 2 weeks) but it is cash in your hand within 14 days.

You need to have enough cash to make it through at least 2 weeks. 1 month or $1000USD is Ideal. $1000USD is an amount that would get you through even if you are uglier than me, have no qualifications and drool occasionally.

But are motivated to find work as soon as possible. I warn you that the beer is cold and the women can be beautiful (And as Ugly as Buck).

You may have to crash in a cheap budget hotel until you can find a reasonable landlord. The problem is that landlords like to ask for 3-4 months rent in advance so a $300USD flat will be $1200USD on the first day you arrive.

I'll never sway from paying only a 30 day Damage Deposit. It is notoriously difficult to get your money back and you can find a decent hotel for $7USD a night or $210USD a month.

Get a paycheck before you start looking for a more permanent Pad.

Best to find a group of guys that already have a huge mansion that they split 4 ways. People come to Vietnam quickly but return from where they came just as quickly.

Don't burn your bridges in Korea before you leave. I have personally had 8 friends come to 'Gritty' Vietnam and be on a plane back to Korea within 6 months.

You will enjoy the change greatly, though. You really have no reasons to have any worries. You are well qualified and know the drill.

Money sounds good in Vietnam but the hardest part is landing a job that will guarantee you enough hours to make that high hourly pay add up to a 2-3,000USD month.

It took me 5 months before I was getting a stable wage and finally found a flat I liked where I wasn't getting ripped off on water and electricity bills. That's where they always get you.

There were thin and fat months in-between my first day and that 5th month. You'd be crazy to land in Vietnam with less that $1000USD.

$2000USD is ideal.

Take care, Seoul Man.


Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Teaching English in Vietnam.

subscribe to our free monthly newsletter

The Most Recent Articles

  1. A Phnom Penh Cambodia Tour Guide to all that Makes This City Unique

    Jun 04, 20 04:09 AM

    The attraction to Phnom Penh has always been the freedom, the 50 cent beers, the warm weather, the beaches and the low cost of living

    Continue Reading

  2. Every Cambodia Embassy on the Planet with Location and Contact Info

    May 29, 20 11:07 PM

    The location and contact information for every Cambodia Embassy or Consulate on The Planet

    Continue Reading

  3. The Location of Every Vietnam Embassy Worldwide with Contact Info

    May 28, 20 10:38 PM

    A List of each Vietnam Embassy in the World and How to contact them

    Continue Reading

  4. The Cu Chi Tunnels and the 'Tunnels Rats'

    May 28, 20 08:22 PM

    We visit the Cu Chi Tunnels, just outside Saigon, to marvel at the engineered home to the Viet Cong during the Vietnam war

    Continue Reading

  5. The Best Vietnam Beaches known to Humans

    May 17, 20 03:29 PM

    Many Vietnam Beaches are fishing villages. We visit every beach from South to North Vietnam

    Continue Reading

  6. The Vietnam Train Stations and the Vietnam Train Schedules

    May 17, 20 04:55 AM

    Vietnam Train Stations; their locations, and their schedules

    Continue Reading

  7. The Most Complete Vietnam Travel Guide on the Web

    May 16, 20 04:17 PM

    Our Vietnam travel page offers more insider secrets than anywhere else with regular updates for people planning to visit and those planning to live there

    Continue Reading

  8. Victory Beach in Sihanoukville, Cambodia is a Good Choice

    May 16, 20 11:59 AM

    Victory Beach does not have the most stunning beaches or Waters, but it is a Gem of Variety and Peace of Mind

    Continue Reading

  9. How Big is Angkor Wat Gets Answered

    May 10, 20 12:00 PM

    How big is Angkor Wat is a good question with an answer that will shock you

    Continue Reading

  10. The Shanghai Subway and Shanghai Metro System

    May 09, 20 10:48 AM

    The Shanghai Subway system is the only way to get around Shanghai

    Continue Reading