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Hanoi

Vietnam

Hanoi is located on the left bank of the Da River and on both sides of the Red River Delta. The North borders Vinh Phuc and Thai Nguyen provinces, the South borders with Hoa Binh province, the eastern side borders with Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces, and the western borders with Vinh Phuc province. After being expanded, Hanoi is in the top 17 capital cities with the largest area in the world with 3,324.92 km2. With this advantageous geographic location, the city easily becomes an important economic, political, cultural, and scientific center of the country.

$ / month

Cost
60% Complete
Internet
20% Complete (info)
Safe
60% Complete (warning)
Rent
80% Complete (danger)

1. Why should I live in Hanoi?

The weather: The weather has a clear difference between hot and cold seasons. Although the weather is divided into two main seasons: the rainy season (from April to October) and the dry season (from November to March), Hanoi still enjoys four-season weather during the transition phases. The hot season starts from May to the end of August, the climate is hot and humid at the beginning of the season and the end of the rainy season is cool and dry in September and October. Between September and mid-November, Hanoi has autumn days with cool weather due to the reception of several weak cold breaths of air. However, due to the strong impact of monsoons, the beginning and ending time of each season is often uneven among years, the division of months is only relative.

Internet: The Internet speed is relatively strong (up to 30 Mbps). Believe it or not, it is much easier to find free wifi in Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City than the big cities in North America. In Hanoi, you can get free internet access in the coffee shops, fast food stores, or some convenience stores scattered around the city.

Safety: Hanoi is a hectic and lively city, in the literal sense of the term. Everyone has things to do, the streets are always full of people, Hanoi can be considered one of the safest places in Vietnam. The only matter you need to be aware of is the traffic congestion that is likely to happen in some routes within the city during rush hours.

Cost of living: You need around $600 for a month to live comfortably. In Vietnam, people use VND as their official currency, 1$= 23.000 VND. The price of local food is reasonable with around 40.000 Dong. Hanoi is a food mecca. There is several options from cheap street food to higher-end eats. On an average day, one will spend in total around $8 most of it is on food.

In the absence of metro and trams, the public transport system is based on old dusty buses, quite comfortable and above all inexpensive (around 7.000 VND). It is the easiest way to reach the different points of the city. Cars are quite rare in the city.

If you have a smartphone, Google Maps will be useful for locating bus lines and stops. Your sense of direction will be put to the test with all the sensory stimuli that Hanoi offers.

2. Where should I live in Hanoi?

Hanoi is subdivided into four large districts, but as is often the case in large cities, we recommend staying in the city center. The old town Hoan Kiem is one of the best options. 

Bordered by the Red River, the Hoan Kiem district can easily be visited on foot. It bears the name of the eponymous lake and is nicknamed the “36 streets and corporations” district because of the division of labor that took place in the streets of the city in the 20th century: the local economy was highly segmented there. Indeed, each street corresponds to a profession, for example, ironwork, textiles, footwear, furniture, or confectionery, and wedding gifts. This confusing anthill, at first sight, is the lung of the city and in our opinion the best neighborhood to stay in Hanoi!

You will find there most of the public organizations and the seats of the banks, with their skyscrapers which grow like mushrooms, as well as many tourist places such as the temple Ngoc Son, the Hanoi opera house, the Vietnamese national museum of History or the water puppet theater. And of course, many hotels where to sleep, craft shops to find your memories (silk and jewelry) and other bars and restaurants to have a good time. Be careful, the neighborhood is full of Western European, Australian, and American tourists. If you choose to stay in Hoan Kiem, you are challenged: try to cross the boulevards!

Ba Dinh can also be found on this list. It is one of the quietest and at the same time the most authentic districts of Hanoi. It is located south of Hô Tây Lake and Truc Bach Lake. You will meet there the Citadel district, that of the last ramparts of Hanoi. You will also come across the Presidential Palace, the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum as well as the headquarters of the Vietnamese Communist Party and many buildings from the French colonial era. If this is where you put your bags to stay in Hanoi, be sure to visit the botanical garden if you are looking for lush greenery and visit the many temples in the area.

Curious about where you can join your expatriate community in Hanoi? Ho Tay, or "West Lake", is one of the favorite neighborhoods for expatriates. The Hô Tây lake is emblematic of the city of Hanoi. It is a place of meeting and memories for many residents. This lake covers 500 hectares and measures over 14 kilometers in circumference, right in the middle of the city.

During your visits and walks, you cannot miss the Tran Quoc pagoda, built in the 6th century, - one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam, built according to Buddhist tradition -, the Van Nien pagoda and the Sai pagoda. If you want to find a place to stay in Hanoi that is not very touristy, you have come to the right place! By day, renting a pedal boat can be a good opportunity to visit the city from another point of view, that of water.

3. Where can I work in Hanoi?

At the co-working space:

At the coffee shop:

 

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