Retiring in Vietnam: A guide to Da Nang


danang vietnam retirement guide
Genia Jones
Content Specialist
Genia is a writer for FXcompared. She has over 15 years of experience working in the financial industry as a writer, analyst, marketer, and content strategist. She enjoys writing about emerging trends… Read more

With one of the nicest climates in Southeast Asia, a high quality of life, clean streets and a modern infrastructure, Da Nang is a popular option for people on a tight budget looking for a safe, pleasant place to retire in Vietnam. The number of people retiring in Vietnam continues to grow, with Ministry of Labour figures showing that more than 101,000 expats were living in the country in April 2021.

Today, Da Nang has approximately 4,200 foreigners living in the city or within the beachside communities nearby. Most cite the low cost of living, moderate temperatures, a laid-back culture and the beautiful beaches and scenery as primary reasons for choosing Da Nang. While the city is home to nearly a million people, it still has the calmer, more relaxed feel of a small town.

danang vietnam streets cosmopolitan living

Why is Da Nang a good place to retire? 

Vietnam is technically still a communist country, though it has been transitioning to a market-based, privatized economy since 1986.

Da Nang is at the leading edge of this transition. Considered quite different from many other parts of Vietnam and Southeast Asia, the city maintains an active recycling program, and today is one of the cleanest places in the region, or in the developing world.

Da Nang also has an upwardly mobile middle class, which is partly down to the local government’s efforts to crack down on corruption. The results of these efforts are an efficient, well-run local government that makes good decisions for the city and its inhabitants, and a well-employed local population.

The city is both pedestrian- and car-friendly, with wide, well-maintained roads and sidewalks. It has a vibrant, safe, and livable feel, with award-winning buildings, bridges, and one of the cleanest, safest, and most attractive stretches of public beach in Southeast Asia. The beach promenade runs the length of the city and provides walking and biking paths, playgrounds, and city parks open to the public.

What activities are there in the local area?

Da Nang’s beaches are some of the most beautiful in Vietnam. You can enjoy sunbathing, swimming, surfing and other water sports at beaches like My Khe, Non Nuoc, and Bac My An. 

The city is rich with historical attractions to visit, including the ancient Hindu ruins at My Son Sanctuary, the Imperial City of Hue and The Unesco-listed Hoi An Old Town. A selection of museums showcase the city’s art and culture, including the French-built Museum of Cham Sculpture, which houses hundreds of stone and terracotta sculptures. 

Foodies can dig deeper into Da Nang’s famous cuisine by taking a cooking clause, or go on a food tour to sample local specialties around the city. If you fancy an adventure, you can hike to the top of the Marble Mountains – a cluster of five marble and limestone hills south of Da Nang – for panoramic views of the city and sea. 

Meanwhile, adrenaline junkies can go bungee jumping, ziplining or go on a motorbike tour of the surrounding countryside. 

danang vietnam marketplace expats

What is the food and drink like? 

Unsurprisingly for a coastal city, fresh seafood is the star in Da Nang. The city is a growing and internationally acclaimed restaurant scene, with many venues offering cuisine that harks back to the country’s French influence while bringing unique flavors to the table. 

Noodles are a staple, and you’ll regularly come across Mi Quang, a fusion of thick noodles in a flavorsome broth with meat and seafood, topped with herbs and peanuts. Other specialties include Bun Cha Ca, a fish noodle soup that is a popular breakfast dish in Da Nang; Banh Xeo, a crispy pancake filled with shrimp, pork, bean sprouts, and herbs; and Nem Lui, which is meat marinated in lemongrass and served on a skewer with rice paper, herbs and a peanut dipping sauces.

Where are some of the best places to retire in Da Nang?

My Khe Beach is popular with expats in Da Nang. All year, waves of warm water lap against the beach’s soft white sand, which stretches for kilometers past cabanas and spectacular seafood restaurants. There’s a mix of high-rise apartments and low-rise villas on offer here, and the area is extremely convenient for getting into the city center. 

Hai Chau is Da Nang’s central district, buzzing with noodle shops and a bustling food market. When it comes to property, the area’s best feature is probably its easy access to amenities and the city’s beaches.

If you are looking for something quieter, Son Tra is a beautiful peninsular to the north of Da Nang with plenty of parks, beaches, and mountain trails to explore. Ngu Hanh Son, located to the south of Da Nang, is a bit more secluded but still worth a look thanks to its beautiful natural attractions and peaceful atmosphere.

How much does a property cost?

Like most cities, location and the kind of property you buy will change the cost considerably, but houses in Da Nang remain more affordable than similar locations in other countries. According to research from Dot Property, a Vietnamese real estate property portal, median house prices in Da Nang in January 2023 were around đ‎4.295 billion (around £150,000). Prices have risen over the years as the city has developed and received more investment. 

If a beach house or luxury villa is beyond your budget, you may want to consider a condo. New housing projects have been popping up all over the city in recent years, including the Ocean Suites complex, the Hiyori Garden Tower and the Son Tra Ocean View Condo. If you want more info about buying a property abroad, head to our separate guide here. 

What are the healthcare facilities like in Da Nang?

Da Nang’s hospitals and medical facilities offer a wide range of services, including general check-ups, specialist consultations, diagnostic tests and emergency care. One of the biggest hospitals in the area is Vinmec Danang, which has been open since 2017 and is capable of serving thousands of patients annually. There are also several private hospitals that have advanced facilities but provide affordable healthcare services, including Danang Family Hospital and Hoan My Danang Hospital. 

There are also several international clinics in Da Nang that cater to expats and tourists. Many of the clinics and hospitals in the city have staff who speak English and will be able to cater to foreigners. However, be aware that medical procedures and practices may be different – one example is that tests (i.e. blood tests) regardless of your ailment are much more common when visiting a clinic in Vietnam than in the west. 

How far will GBP, USD or Euro go in Da Nang?  

Retirees on a small budget need to find the best value for their money, and this might be where Da Nang is able to distinguish itself from the competition. The city offers retirees on a budget a culturally vibrant, safe, and modern locale. Cost of living Vietnam estimates for a retired couple show that they could live comfortably in Da Nang for as little as USD $1,200 a month.

To finance living in Da Nang, you’ll need to transfer you home currency into Vietnam’s official currency, the dong, to make mortgage or rental payments, and pay for everyday expenses like food and transportation. The dong is loosely pegged to the US dollar in a relationship called a crawling peg. The dong is represented by the symbol ₫ and contains two subunits, the xu, which is worth 1/100th of a dong, and the hào, which is worth 1/10th of a dong. However, the hào is worth so little at this point that the State Bank of Vietnam no longer issues it.

Over the past ten years, the dong’s exchange rate has fluctuated against the US dollar. Speaking with an FX broker experienced with the Vietnamese currency markets could help determine the best course of action for transferring money into the country, and help retirees time their transactions to take advantage of favorable currency movements.

Financing your retirement in Da Nang, Vietnam

Vietnam’s banks and financial institutions are managed by Vietnam’s central bank, the State Bank of Vietnam, which oversees all fund transfers into and out of the country and ensures all transactions meet official guidelines. Vietnam also adheres to international financial regulatory standards for international money transfers, and generally it is quite safe and easy for foreigners to send money into the country.

If you plan to retire to Da Nang, then you’ll need to figure out how best to access your money while there. Many retirees keep accounts in their home country and arrange to transfer funds to Vietnam on a regular schedule, or simply as they need it. Based on your own circumstances, you may need to send a large lump sum (to pay for property, perhaps), or you may want to establish regular transfers.

Your first step to figuring out the right plan of action for your situation is to begin researching where you’ll be living, as well as how you’ll handle your finances. Using our comparison tool or reading through the property guides can help you estimate not only what you can expect to spend on real estate, but also the cost of sending money to Vietnam and currency specialists available to assist you.

Working with a currency specialist can help you figure out the best course of action for your unique situation, help you to save on fees, and protect you from fluctuating exchange rates, all while freeing you up to enjoy your retirement. If you’re hoping to retire in Da Nang, Vietnam, figuring out how you’ll finance it is the best way to make it happen.

Parts of this article have been written with the assistance of ChatGPT. Contributions and edits have been added by an in-house editor.

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