Located on the banks of the Red River, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam as well as the second largest city by population. As Vietnam’s major metropolitan and political center, its population is constantly growing with people from all over the country coming to settle down in the city. Although it is a chaotic and busy city, it is also teeming with culture, history, and character. With well-preserved colonial buildings, pagodas, and museum, the city is known to be one of the most ancient capitals in the world.
Infrastructure in the city is continuously being upgraded, with new roads and enhanced public transportation system. Improving economy and growing development has helped Hanoi to be one of the fastest growing cities in the world. Both Industrial production and the real estate market is experiencing rapid growth, in addition, the city’s economic structure has undergone an important shift as banking, finance, and tourism now play a significant role. The services and agricultural sectors provide a vast opportunity for locals and expats. Most expats looking for a job in Hanoi tend to choose English teaching or volunteering.
Popular Areas in Hanoi
Hanoi is divided into several districts and the following are the most popular with expats.
Weather and Climate in Hanoi
Hanoi enjoys a warm humid subtropical climate with a lot of rain in the summer and a cold winter. Spring starts in February with a little bit of rain and a cold temperature. Summer starts at the end of April, characterized by intense sunshine and heat wave. The average temperature during this season is 27.5 °C but it can feel even hotter. Summer usually ends in late August. Autumn runs from September to November and it is known to have the best weather with blue sky, sunshine, and calm wind. There are some flower species blooming during this season, making the city even more beautiful. Winter starts from December to January and it has a lot of cold days, with an average temperature of around 17 °C and the temperature can drop as low as 7 °C, the city is usually cloudy and foggy during this season.
Getting Around in Hanoi
Noi Bai International Airport is the biggest airport in Vietnam in terms of total capacity. Consisting of two passenger terminals, the airport serves both domestic and international flights. Terminal 1 serves domestic flights to numerous cities in the country while Terminal 2 serves international flights to major cities in Europe and Asia. The most affordable option to get around the country by air is by flying with budget airlines such as Jetstar Pacific and VietJet Air.
A variety of transportation modes is available to get around Hanoi. Taxis can be hailed from the street or by phone and some of the most reliable taxi companies in the city are Taxi Cp, 52 Taxi, Hanoi Taxi, and Mai Linh Taxi. The starting fare costs between VND 10,000 to VND 12,000. Motorcycle taxis, known as Xe Om, is a quick and inexpensive way to get around. You can find motorcycle taxis in most parts of the city and there is no meter, so you would have to bargain and settle on a price, a journey within 2 kilometers generally costs around VND 20,000 to VND 30,000.
Cyclo (similar to trishaw) is another affordable option. It is suitable for short distance trips and an hour’s ride should cost around VND 20,000. Buses are also available and the bus is colored red, white, and yellow. There are various routes within the city and the bus usually stops near famous attractions. The ticket costs around VND 5,000 to VND 10,000 depending on the route. Grab Motorbike, an online hailing service similar to Uber is an easy way to get around Hanoi.
Work Visas in Hanoi
Vietnam only permits companies to recruit foreigners if there are no local who can meet the job requirements. To work in Hanoi, you would need a visa and work permit. The procedures can be confusing at first as there are three kinds of visa available: tourist visa, business visa, and diplomatic and official visas. Once you obtain a visa, apply for a work permit and residential card. The legislation can change regularly, so it’s best to always check the procedures before applying.