Freelancers in Vietnam are more and more common today, thanks to the strong Internet connection and low cost of living.
Digital nomads often need only their laptops to work. For coders, marketers and designers, all they need is an Internet connection and they can work from anywhere in the world. You’ll see a lot of these freelancers in Vietnam.
Freelancers are in love with Vietnam. They enjoy their work, environment, and the advantage of living in a dynamic developing country. There several factors that make Vietnam an ideal place for digital nomads.
Vietnam has one of the fastest Internet connections in Southeast Asia. The speed of the Internet is fast enough for freelancers to be able efficiently and competently do their work. There are times when the Internet is quite slow, or just does not work. However, most of the time, it works well enough and often enough for freelancers to not have their work or productivity compromised by it.
There is Internet access everywhere in Vietnam. It is available in all of the cities, government offices, private businesses, dining establishments, public shopping areas, and bars.
There has been a huge growth in coworking spaces around Vietnam. They offer quality internet services, space to spread out and work, and generally, offer basic office services. For the budget conscious digital nomad, they offer free tea, coffee, and water. Also, there is usually a kitchen there to heat up your food, a refrigerator to store your food, and drinks. Some coworking spaces have social hours, sponsored presentations, sleep spaces, meeting rooms, and telephone booths for private calls and conferences.
The coworking spaces differ in character, services, and prices. It is best to visit multiple places and decide on the one best for you. Generally, a seat in a coworking space costs $60 USD/month. If you want a private office, designated space or a designated booth (space with dividers on 2-3 sides) then the monthly fee will be higher.
Other benefits to the coworking space are networking opportunities with other freelancers and small businesses. They are also part of a growing entrepreneurial community that is attracting more and more expats to Vietnam. So, you can meet a future customer, business partner, or service provider in your coworking space.
Vietnam has a coffee and café culture. The Vietnamese love to sit in cafés and talk for hours. There is usually some food available and a variety of drinks. There are different kinds of cafes that cater to every budget and taste. Freelancers can sample a different café every day in Saigon and still not go to the same café in a year.
The quality of Internet services at cafés differs. However, you can usually stay connected while you are there. There may also be cultural events at the cafes and notices about community events posted on the café bulletin board. Once you find the cafes you like, you can burrow in and work. The local cafe owners are friendly, social, helpful, and sometimes talkative.
Low cost of living
Low-cost high-quality accommodations
Your most pressing problem when you arrive in Vietnam will be finding lodging. Fortunately, wherever you go you will be able to find accommodations. The quality of accommodations will vary based on city size and population, but in general, all of them meet western standards of acceptability for habitation.
If you are willing to live in a serviced room that is 19m2 you can pay $230USD/month in rent. The services will include daily room cleaning, dishwashing, clothes washing, and you might get free bottled water too.
For those who want apartments, serviced apartments can be found for $350USD/month in Saigon. These kinds of apartments can be found all over the city, so you are not restricted to certain areas of Saigon.
Do you want to live in the swank, newly built, glamorous apartment complex? Renting a one-bedroom apartment in those sky-scraping towers will not cost more than $1,200USD/month.
Low-cost delicious food
For all you freelancers in Vietnam, your main interest may be in finding cheap, quality, tasty food on a daily basis. If that is your objective, Vietnam is your solution. Wherever you are in the city, you can find traditional restaurants and small shops that cater to the local people and charge low prices for their food. You can find local food and western style food at budget-friendly prices. In fact, the food here is so cheap that many freelancers don’t cook while they’re here. They dine out every day.
If you’re thrifty and do not want to dine out every day, you can buy your own food and prepare it yourself. There are fruit and vegetable carts all over the city. You can also find a mix of local and foreign food in the convenience stores and supermarkets.
For food items that local people may not like or be willing to pay for, there are specialty food retailers who import food from all over the world, like Nam An Market (21 Thao Dien Street, Thao Dien Ward, District 2, Saigon). These specialty shops charge premium prices. However, if you really want your favorite German muesli, it’s likely there’s only one shop that carries it. When your craving for German muesli is strong enough, you’ll pay for the privilege of being able to eat it – at least on occasion.
The low cost of living here does not only include cheap accommodations, food, and workspaces. It also refers to the low-cost trips you can take here.
Before you burn out from work or become lost in an expat bubble, explore the culture and natural environment of Vietnam. The trips are regularly scheduled and are cheap. Also, if you are an adventurous sort of person, you can travel to different parts of Vietnam by yourself or with a group of friends and explore the country without a guide. Ultimately, this is a place where your finances will not limit your quality of life and opportunities to explore your adopted home.
Wrap-up . . .
Freelancers in Vietnam find freedom, opportunity and friendly faces. You are welcome to come here and be one of them.