As you know, I’ve been travelling the world looking for the best place to retire cheap. Thailand, Colombia and Ecuador, have all been explored LINK TO BEST PLACES TO RETIRE IN 2017. The biggest question I get all the time is, “Can I retire for $1000 USD a month in X city?” The answer is almost always a big resounding YES. You just need is the ability to live within your budget, no splurging .

And the second part to that answer is that, it’s also possible to not just live, but to live well for that budget. has a mission of finding a place where a $1000 CDN works. And it’s all about finding the best bang for the buck.

So, how does Saigon in Vietnam hold up? After being here two weeks, I can tell you it’s amazing.

With a $1000 CDN budget, I’ve actually been saving money.

Food is cheap, booze is cheap and entertainment is also cheap.

Here’s my daily routine

  • Get up, grab a coffee 17,600 Dong ($1 CDN)
  • Read some news, play on my Ipad
  • I’ve tried to give up smoking, but it’s been hard so I’ll usually have a smoke with my morning coffee. cigarettes are 25,500 Dong ($1.50 CDN) a pack.
  • I then head off to the gym 260,000 Dong ($15 CDN) a month.
  • On my way home I’ll usually grab a Vietnamese Sub, AKA Banh Mi, AKA delicious 15,000 Dong ($1 CDN). The funny thing about Banh Mi’s is that there are several stands all around my apartment. All of the Banh Mi’s are slightly different but they are all uniformly 15,000 Dong!
  • Then back to the apartment which I share with two other Expats. The apartment is 4.4 million Dong ($250 CDN ) a month for high speed internet (43 Mbps), a maid once a week, power, water etc.
  • Dinner will usually be a bowl of Pho 40,000 Dong ($2 CDN)


  • I subscribe to Kindle unlimited that costs me .32 CDN a day
  • Internet tv service .17 CDN a day
  • Movies are 75,000 Dong on Wednesdays ($4.25 CDN)
  • Grab taxi to District 1 (the fun area) 140,000 Dong ($8 CDN)
  • Grab Bike to District 1 (if you’re ok with riding on a motorbike) 40,000 Dong ($2.50)
  • Save up for my flight to my next destination $4 CDN a day (I’m saving $1000 CDN for flights every 6 months).
  • Beers are 17,000 Dong ($1 CDN)
  • Cheap Vodka 50,000 Dong ($4 CDN for 26 ounces)

My daily cost is $8 a day! So with a $1000 CDN budget, instead of the $33 a day that I’ve allocated, I’m saving around $20 CDN a day. That $20 is usually spent on days out where I go for fancy meals (400,000 Dong, $22 CDN), taxi around and drink at bars.

The article though is called why I love District 7. The way I’m getting this crazy price is that I’m living in the same area as the locals.

If you want to be an expat, living in the heart of the city with other expats, you’ll want to live in District 1. There rent will be about 10 million dong ($600 CDN) a month.

I live in District 7, not only because it’s super cheap, but I like living with the local feel.

There’s a farmers market around the corner that’s always open.

My gym isn’t fancy, but it works (a fancy boxing gym is 1 million dong a month, $60 CDN a month). Everywhere I go, it’s locals. (I pretty much see one or two foreigners a month.)

Everywhere I’ve stayed in the world, there are little enclaves of expats where the rent is insanely expensive compared to the local rates. (For example in Medellin, Colombia it’s Poblado)

But, if you don’t want to spend a crazy ton of money? Stay where the locals are, and just go to the expat areas, when you want a fun night out.

So far, I love Saigon, Vietnam and it’s one of the cheapest places I’ve ever lived. (Yes….seriously it is).

Hope you liked the article, and I’ll keep on writing if you all keep on reading!

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