Lady Buddha Statue in Son Tra, Da Nang
Lady Buddha Statue in Son Tra, Da Nang

Vietnam’s Top Places For Digital Nomads And Expats

Vietnam might just be the perfect choice for Digital Nomads. It’s affordable, and there’s plenty to do, no matter where you choose to locate yourself. You have the opportunity to live the big city life in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh or enjoy the laid-back beach vibe in the bigger cities like Da Nang and Nha Trang or smaller spots like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc island.
Vietnam might just be the perfect choice for Digital Nomads. It’s affordable, and there’s plenty to do, no matter where you choose to locate yourself. You have the opportunity to live the big city life in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh or enjoy the laid-back beach vibe in the bigger cities like Da Nang and Nha Trang or smaller spots like Mui Ne and Phu Quoc island.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents

We’re going to give you a simple list of the pros and cons of our recommended places for digital nomads in Vietnam, so you can choose what suits you the best.

Many digital nomads in Vietnam choose to move between the places listed below, as it allows them to experience a bit of the beach, the mountains, and the big cities.

We’ve used Hanoi as a base for six months, lived for two months each in Da Nang and Nha Trang, a month in Mui Ne, and two weeks in Phu Quoc.

Our top choice remains Da Nang, taking into account the food, people, beaches, nature, and accessibility.

Da Nang

Da Nang is home to a thriving digital nomad and ex-pat community, mainly concentrated in the newly built An Thuong area. Beautiful beaches and the proximity of mountains and national parks makes life here really enjoyable. We think Da Nang is also the most liveable city out of them all, as it offers a perfect amount of everything. Also, being in the central part of Vietnam means that the food here is fantastic!

Da Nang skyline from air

Pros

  • Modern, developed, active city
  • Incredible beaches
  • Water sports 
  • Big ex-pat community (includes Hoi An)
  • Excellent local food (central part of Vietnam has the best food)
  • Plenty of western restaurants (yes, many Vegan & Vegetarian)
  • Close to nature, easy to escape the hustle of the city
    • Son Tra Peninsula
    • Bach Ma National Park
    • Cham islands

Cons

  • Last few years, the monsoon period was horrible
  • Crowded beaches in the peaks

Co-working spaces

Hoi An

Hoi An is known as the most charming town of Vietnam, and rightfully so. Centuries of trade coming through its port means you can find a colorful blend of cultures here.

Hoi An from air

Pros

  • Chill, laid-back vibe
  • Proximity to the beach
  • Surrounded by incredible rice fields
  • Great to go around on a bicycle
  • Picturesque

Cons

Very, very, very crowded anywhere near the old town.

Co-working spaces

Hub Hoi An Coworking

Hanoi

Hano is the charming capital city of Vietnam, where you can find a big ex-pat and digital nomad community concentrated in the Tay Ho – West Lake area. There is plenty to do and see here, never to get bored of the city. It’s also the perfect place to use as a base to explore the incredible north of Vietnam. We used it as a base for 6 months.

Hanoi Long Bien Bridge from air

Pros

  • Huge ex-pat community & neighborhoods
  • The perfect base from which to explore the incredible north of Vietnam
  • Great selection of accommodation
  • Fantastic street food found on countless street stalls
  • Bia Hoi, the fresh and cheap beer of Hanoi
  • Many lakes giving it a unique vibe

Cons

Air pollution

Noise pollution
We got used to this unless it’s an ear-piercing karaoke show 🙂

Heavy traffic with more scooters than you can count zooming around everywhere
We also got used to it, but a lot of nervous sweating accompanied the city’s first bike rides.

Co-working spaces

Ho Chi Minh City

Being the modern capital of Vietnam and a financial hub, it brought a lot of money and development. Here is a completely different vibe compared to Hanoi, where things are more traditional. It also feels much more open/spacious.

Ho Chi Minh City from air

Pros

Modern, clean, and spacious
For some reason, we felt that HCMC was much more spacious than Hanoi, where we thought that it was crowded and always bustling.

Newly built neighborhoods
Districts 2 and 7 are where most foreigners live and work. D2 and Thao Dien especially are filled with international eateries and shops.

The economic powerhouse of Vietnam
It’s the financial hub of the country as such many international businesses set up their operations here.

Easy to reach other places

  • Mekong Delta
  • Phu Quoc
  • Vung Tau
  • Mui Ne
  • Da Lat

Cons

Air pollution

Noise pollution
Same as in Hanoi.

Heavy traffic with more scooters than you can count zooming around everywhere
Same as for being more spacious, we think the traffic is much more chill, even though the traffic jams can get crazy. It just couldn’t compare to Hanoi at all.

Co-working spaces

Nha Trang

Nha Trang is a literal beach vacation town swarmed by tourists, mostly from Russia. It offers great water sports and activities as well as island hopping and waterfall explorations. It’s smaller and more laid-back than Da Nang.

Nha Trang City from air

Pros

  • Long, swimmable, sandy beach
  • Close to nature, waterfalls, jungle
  • Water sports
  • Island hopping
  • Small city, but offers everything you need

Cons

Huge Russian influence – you might feel out of place

This is not necessarily a con, but keep in mind that Nha Trang is predominately a Russian vacation destination, with its airport in Cam Ranh receiving regular direct flights from Russia.

Along with Vietnamese, you might pick up some Russian words here, too, as you will surely be talked to in Russian on many occasions. 🙂

Co-working spaces

If coworking spaces are what you need, Nha Trang might not be the ideal choice. Even though the cafes offer a great working environment, there is a lack of dedicated spaces.

(Coming soon) Toong

Phu Quoc

Phu Quoc is a Vietnamese island situated closer to Cambodia than Vietnam itself. It’s an unusual destination in Vietnam, as you do not need a visa to visit for up to 30 days. This is also perfect for all the resort towns, villages, and complexes built all over it.

Starfish beach in Phu Quoc from air

Pros

  • A small island, easy to navigate
  • Great beaches (when clean)
  • Possible to do some short hikes

NO VISA REQUIRED: Phu Quoc is unique because of its visa exemption, as you can stay without a visa for a maximum of 30 days.

Cons

Pollution and trash
Because of the immense amount of construction going on all over the island, it’s become a real problem, and you can see it everywhere.

It’s getting completely built out – literally.
There are newly created tourist/resort villages popping up all along the west coast.

Lack of co-working spaces and community

Co-working spaces

Same as Nha Trang, Phu Quoc lacks dedicated co-working spaces, and your best bet is working at one of the cafes.

Da Lat

Da Lat is a relatively new city, only 100 years old, with a strong European influence, as it was created as a mountain getaway for the rich in the French colonial times.

Da Lat from air

Pros

  • All-year-round spring – fantastic weather
  • Beautiful scenery and architecture
  • Surrounded by lush forests
  • Many rewarding hikes to be had
  • Cute cafes and bars

Cons

No beach
But you can reach Mui Ne/Nha Trang pretty fast for a beach vacation.

More upscale, elite city
If you want an Asian experience, this might not be the best place to be, as it resembles a European city the most.

It can get COLD
It’s situated on a plateau 1500m above sea level, so bring some warm clothes as it can get quite chilly in the mornings and evenings.

Co-working spaces

Mui Ne

Mui Ne is the perfect place for a beach getaway even from Ho Chi Minh City, as it’s only about 4 half hours away by bus/van/train. This is the Vietnamese capital of kitesurfing and surfing, and many come here to train/teach and enjoy the chilled-out vibe. It’s affordable and offers great food.

Little Buddha Surfing Spot in Mui Ne

Pros

  • Surfing and kitesurfing year-round
  • Warm weather year-round
  • A chilled, laid-back vibe
  • Though small, it still offers many international restaurants
  • Easy to reach Da Lat for some mountain vibes

Cons

Power cuts going on for years
Most places have generators, though, so they power them up when it happens.

It’s super windy, that’s why kitesurfing is so great here.

Co-working spaces

Mui Ne also lacks co-working spaces, but it has some excellent cafes and beach bars that offer a good working space.

Vegan or vegetarian?

You HAVE to read this! You will be surprised.
Vegan and Vegetarian Guide to Vietnam.

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Arijana & Matej

Thank you for reading!

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Arijana & Matej

Thank you for reading!

We hope you like what we do!

If you would like to support our work, you can now buy us a coffee.

Buy Us a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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