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Tips for Living in Hanoi

tips-for-living-in-hanoi Hanoi Train Street, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi

Moving to another city, especially those in foreign countries can be somewhat intimidating. The same case applies to Hanoi, Vietnam's Capital, a city embracing the hustle and the bustle. With all the distinctive traits and cultural differences, living here can be challenging. So to save you from any confusion, these are some of our tips for living in Hanoi!

Table of Contents

  • Tips for Living in Hanoi - Weather
  • Tips for Living in Hanoi - Housing
  • Tips for Living in Hanoi - Traffic
  • Tips for Living in Hanoi - Job Vacancies
  • Tips for Living in Hanoi - Banks, Money, and SIM Cards
  • Tips for Living in Hanoi - Lifestyles

Tips for Living in Hanoi - Weather

Hanoi is in the North of Vietnam, therefore, we have four seasons a year while the South only has two. This is some information about the weather in Hanoi that you should note down to adequately pack for your time living here:

tips for living in hanoi summer

The summer in Hanoi will quickly drain you out 

  • During the hot season (May to September): The temperature goes up to 38.5℃, it gets hot, humid, and sometimes, there are sudden downpours. So it is essential to put on sun protection when you head out (long-sleeves clothes; long, breathable pants; suncream; hats; etc) and bring along an umbrella.
  • During the cold season (November to February): The temperature goes down to 9℃, it is freezingly cold and dry; and also, our bodies can catch the flu more easily. Remember to pack wind-proofed items.
  • Sometimes, especially in March, Hanoi goes through a monsoon season called “Nom”, which makes everything feel damp and humid, and your clothes might not get dried. 

Tips for Living in Hanoi - Housing

Hanoi isn't just Vietnam's great political and cultural center, it's also a promising land for entrepreneurs and businessmen to settle down. Before you decide the location of your new home, consider some residential areas in Hanoi:

District  Pros Cons
 Tay Ho  
  • Vibrant expat community
  • High-standard amenities
  • Expansion of fine dining restaurants, pubs, bars, clubs, etc
  • Chill and quiet atmosphere
 
  • High cost of living
  • Not many selections for shared houses
 Ba Dinh  
  • The political center of Vietnam
  • Stable housing market
  • Quiet atmosphere
  • Spacious areas for outdoor exercising 
 
  • Populated residential areas
  • Possible traffic jams
 Hoan Kiem  
  • Various options in terms of sizes and amenities
  • Close to a multiple of tourist attraction
  • Dynamic nightlife 
  • Typical Hanoi's streetside culture
 
  • Hectic streets
  • Crowded
  • Dust and pollution
  • Not ideal for long term rentals
 Dong Da
  • Great for office workers 
  • Low cost of livings
  • Perfect for local experiences
  • Far from the city center
  • Crowded and polluted
  • Traffic jams are expected

 

tips for living in hanoi phu tay ho

“Phu Tay Ho” in Tay Ho District is a sacred place that attracts people to come and pray

tips for living in hanoi ho chi minh mausoleum

You should pay a visit to Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Ba Dinh District

Tips for Living in Hanoi - Traffic

Hanoi's traffic scene can sometimes get out of hands, even for the locals. Private vehicles are the dominant choice for the daily commute. Public transportation in Hanoi, such as buses, is quite popular but requires a lot of renovation and improvement. 

If you want to ride a motorbike, try to get a license first and always wear a helmet. In case you want to buy a motorbike while living in Hanoi, be sure to check out the precautions.

tips for living in Hanoi motorbike original

Always remember to wear a helmet when riding a motorbike!

Ride-hailing apps (Grab, GoViet, and Be) are a convenient alternative to the traditional cab or motorbike taxis. Just try to check the price carefully before hopping on, observe the kilometer clock, and pay attention to the banknotes.

If you're looking for a cheap way of getting around, check out our blog on Tips for Taking A Bus in Hanoi.

Tips for Living in Hanoi - Job Vacancies

It is actually not that hard to find a job in Hanoi! With the rise of urbanization, low cost of living, Hanoi has attracted many international enterprises, which opens up a ton of job opportunities. The most popular job choices for foreigners in Hanoi are: English Teacher, Graphic Designer, Web Development, Content Writer, Digital Marketing, and so on.

English Teacher in Vietnam is surprisingly well-paid. If you have solid certifications such as TEFL or CELTA, it is possible to be paid an absurd amount of money at English centers or international schools. To be more assured and protected, we suggest that you should get a business visa and a work permit.

Tips for Living in Hanoi - Banks, Money and SIM Cards

These are the three essentials when you want to lead a comfortable life in Hanoi. It is recommended that you have a national bank account for easier transactions. A labor contract is a must and you cannot deposit without a payslip to verify your payments. We suggest Techcombank and HSBC Vietnam since they are reputable for great policies and international support.

tips for living in hanoi hsbc

HSBC Vietnam is one of the most trusted banks for foreigners

tips for living in hanoi currency

Vietnamese banknotes

You should definitely purchase a Vietnamese SIM card while living in Hanoi. And a SIM card from an official outlet with a sufficient data plan will do you good. Viettel has the best network coverage with numerous promotion plans for you to consider. You can also buy top-up vouchers in small SIM card vendors all along the streets.

Related articles:

Vietnamese Currency

Vietnamese SIM Cards and Wifi

Money Exchange Spots in Hanoi

Where to Buy a SIM Card in Hanoi

Tips for Living in Hanoi - Lifestyles

Being a metropolitan with continuously on-going events, moving to Hanoi can be a little overwhelming at first. It's always a great idea to note some information before blending in:

Street Food

The streetside culture is Hanoi's signature and pride. Therefore, it'll be a total miss not to give it a try. Here is our recommendation for you:

local experiences in hanoi cha ca la vong

Cha ca La Vong” embodies the Hanoi's cuisine

local experiences in hanoi bun dau mam tom

Bun Dau Mam Tom is the locals' all-time favorite

tips for living in hanoi insect

Insects are the 21st-century superfood

More of Hanoi's delicacies

Drinking Culture

“Bia hoi” (Fresh beer) has always held a special place in Hanoi’s street culture. Check out our blogs on Where to Go Drinking in Hanoi and Drinking With a Vietnamese.

Exercising

Hanoians are really fond of exercising, and they often head out early in the morning at 5 AM or late afternoon from 5 to 6 PM for some fresh air and a good body stretch.

tips for living in hanoi outdoor meditation

The locals are practicing meditation right on the street

Shopping

Hanoi encompasses a dynamic shopping scene, ranging from the everyday traditional markets to luxurious shopping malls. The markets are great for cheap, fresh produce, while the shopping malls cater to high-end products.

Tips: Vinmart is a supermarket chain that appears in every neighborhood and also has the greatest expansion of products.

tips for living in Hanoi market

Head to the wet market and bargain for your ingredients!

Read more on Shopping in Hanoi

Conclusion on Tips for Living in Hanoi

There is a lot to adjust to when you move to such a busy city like Hanoi. Don’t feel flustered, cause even though you're in the process of familiarizing with Hanoi, the city's always open and welcoming towards foreigners. We truly hope our tips for living in Hanoi can lend you a helping hand and please tell us if you have more to share!

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© Written by Giang Le for itourvn.com

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