Living Exotically in Hanoi

Authentic Vietnamese soul and tradition awaits those ready to explore into the depths of Vietnam and its capital, Hanoi. While there are plenty of tourist destinations throughout Vietnam, Hanoi offers a real view into daily Vietnamese life, at a very affordable price. To enrich your experience, you may want to learn some basic greetings such as ‘hello’ or ‘xin chào’ and ‘thanks’ or ‘cảm ơn’ as you begin to find your way around the city.

By Takeaway (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Step up your language skills and you will be rewarded with delicious, fresh and affordable street food. There’s too many places and types of food to name, but for $1-5 you are guaranteed to eat well and gain a new cultural appreciation for the art of street fare. For some tips and information on the types of street food Hanoi has to offer, check out this article from The Culture Trip Hanoi.

The Old Quarter of Hanoi is called the Hoàn Kiếm District and is home to both important businesses and tourist attractions. Get ready to be surrounded by people and traffic – this area of the city may be more suited to you as a pedestrian while you familiarize with the local driving chaos. As you become more comfortable with navigating Hanoi, you can easily rent a motorbike for about $30 USD per month. Driving a motorbike in Vietnam is sure to be a little intimidating at first, but is the most efficient way to travel through the city and can be great fun. If you can’t beat them, join them in the traffic!

Old Quarter, Hanoi by yeowatzup from Katlenburg-Lindau, Germany  [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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As you wander through the streets of Hanoi and decide on where to stay, you will notice that the city is very busy, offering little peace and quiet. Everywhere is energized with people, traffic and obscure shops and street stalls in close proximity. This is all part of the charm and immersive experience when you work from anywhere in the world.

By Rolf Müller (User:Rolfmueller) (Own work) [GFDL, CC-BY-SA-3.0 or via Wikimedia Commons

At first you may feel a bit of culture shock. Expect some pollution, as air quality can deteriorate with traffic. Evenings tend to be better and people go out to places such as Hoàn Kiếm Lake for some exercise.

In a place with so much movement it can be somewhat challenging to connect with others, but this will not be a problem with a bit of research and effort. Hanoi is home to many newcomers looking to make connections with other digital nomads and world travelers.

Groups such as Hanoi Massive on Facebook offer a variety of forums to connect about housing, jobs and social events. Get involved and connected online to fully embrace your new journey and learn about your surroundings.

By Diane Selwyn (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Once you’ve finished a busy day, you’ll be happy to head back to your apartment to relax. And you can rest well, knowing that you haven’t stretched your budget too far for your new nomadic lifestyle. A popular area for foreigners to live is the Tay Ho District, with beautiful furnished apartments renting for $500-900 USD per month. Tô Ngọc Vân Street is most notable in this area and, for this reason, has everything you could need close by including the ClickSpace Coworking & Spacebar Café

If you’re looking for something out of the ordinary but still with decent internet, you can’t go wrong with Hanoi!



Photo cred: Featured image by Rungbachduong (Own work) [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons  



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