Young people look down on a Saigon street from a drink shop. Photo by VnExpress/Quynh Tran
According to the Spatial Cost of Living Index compiled by the General Statistics Office (GSO), Saigon was approximately 1.5 percent more expensive to live in than Hanoi in 2018.
Following Saigon and Hanoi is the central city of Da Nang, which is about 2.2 percent cheaper to live in than the capital city.
The Mekong Delta province of Hau Giang in the south is the cheapest place to live in Vietnam, with its cost of living 9.5 percent cheaper than that Hanoi, according to the GSO.
A noticeable jump in position was observed in the central province of Thua Thien Hue, home to the former citadel Hue. It was ranked the 4th most expensive place to live in 2018, up from 13th rank in 2017.
The average monthly expenses for a single person excluding rent in Saigon is around $435 and Hanoi $447, according to user-contributed database Numbeo.