life in Hanoi

Life in Hanoi

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internships in Vietnam

Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, is located on the banks of the Red River. The city is known for its beautiful architecture and rich costumes and traditions that have been influenced by South East Asian, French and Chinese cultures.

Travellers will stumble upon colonial buildings, ancient pagodas and many tiny temples while exploring Hanoi. One of the best ways to do so is by foot, as you can come across delicious cuisines, silks and handcrafts. The city’s vibrant nightlife and multi-cultural communities makes the Vietnamese capital one of the most exciting places to explore.


capital of  Vietnam

Hanoi has a long history dating back thousands of years and has been inhabited since the Neolithic period.

Emperor Ly Thai decided to move his capital here in AD 1010, naming it Thang Long (City of the Soaring Dragon). Following this era, the decision by Emperor Gia Long, founder of the Nguyen dynasty in 1802, to rule from Hué transformed Hanoi to the status of a regional capital for a century.

Hanoi has been called by many names throughout its long history. Dong Kinh (Eastern Capital) was a name from which the Europeans derived the name they eventually applied to all of northern Vietnam – Tonkin. The city was later given the name by which it’s known today, Hanoi, by Emperor Tu Duc in 1831. From 1902 to 1953, Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina, but it wasn’t until 1945 after the August Revolution that Hanoi was proclaimed and recognised as the capital of Vietnam.


Work in Hanoi

finding an internship in HanoiThe majority of Vietnamese locals are employed in the agricultural sector, and for this reason Hanoi has a lack of skilled and trained workers in its surrounding areas. English education is on the rise across the country, and many English-speaking expats can easily find teaching positions in schools. Those fluent in French, Chinese or Japanese will find an abundance of full- and part-time positions available.

Vietnam is an emerging economy and a rising expat destination. For this reason, an increasing number of professional opportunities are becoming available in the capital, giving foreigners the chance to experience working in Vietnam. Most jobs in Hanoi are in the mineral and metallurgy, textile, pharmacy and banking, since the capital’s main economy driver is industrial production.

Hanoi is Vietnam’s centre of commerce, and it’s where most expats will find jobs. In recent years, there has been an explosion in the number of internship positions available to young foreign professionals looking to get ahead. With the finance, IT and business sectors on the rise, small local companies and large global firms are increasingly looking for international talent to work in their Hanoi offices. Popular internship sectors in Hanoi are IT, hospitality and PR and Marketing.


What to expect


working in Hanoi


When visiting Hanoi, you can expect to experience wet summers and mild, dry winters. Rainy seasons starts around March and ends in September. The weather differs greatly depending on what time of year you visit: 

  • Hot season / summer is in May, June, July, August, September and October.
  • Heavy rain (rainy season) falls in the months of: May, June, July, August, September and October.
  • Hanoi has dry periods in January and December.
  • On average, the warmest month is July.
  • On average, the coolest month is January.
  • August is the wettest month. This month should be avoided if you don't like the rain.
  • January is the driest month.



Getting around in Hanoi is very easy because most restaurants, attractions and shopping venues are close to each other, making this city enjoyable on foot. The city’s local population travels around the city in motorbikes but motorcycle taxis, buses, and private cars are available for when you want to visit other districts within Hanoi. There are specific districts in which travellers prefer to stay for convenience and cost. These districts include Hoan Kiem ( comprising of the Old Quarter and the French Quarter), Ba Dinh, Tay Ho (West Lake), and Hai Ba Trung. It’s easy to find a cheap taxi or hire car in these districts. living in Hanoi


Motorcycle Taxis (Xe Om)

Motorcycling around Hanoi is a great choice as its quick, inexpensive and available in most districts.

You can find one around hotels, shopping areas and tourist attractions. These vehicles do not have fitted meters so do remember to bargain fiercely! Most of these drivers do not speak English, so remember to write your destination address.



Taxis are always available around the city. These cars come with fitted meters. Taxi starting prices are typically between VND 10,000 and VND 12,000, with every subsequent kilometer priced from VND 4,000 to VND 6,500.



how to get around HanoiCyclos are also not expensive in Hanoi however they are not always the best solution.

Cyclos only fit one passenger, despite being a two-seated vehicle. You may find it challenging to navigate through traffic on the busy main roads, but it’s a good solution for touring the Old Quarter's narrow streets as a quaint experience rather than a viable transport option.




You can also travel by bus around Hanoi and easily reach areas such as Hoan Kiem Lake, The Old Quarter, Hanoi Train Station, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, and The Literature Temple. Depending on the destination, a standard ticket is priced between VND 5,000 and VND 10,000. You can only pay in cash, so make sure you carry smaller bills if you’re planning on travelling by bus.

If you're looking to explore other places in Vietnam, there are great transport links from Hanoi ranging in price and duration. 



Vietnamese cuisine varies by region, and each city tends to have its own speciality. Owing to its proximity to the Chinese border, northern Vietnamese cuisine contains Chinese influences. The cooler climate in the north means that seafood and freshwater fish are extremely popular in dishes. The classic Vietnamese noodle soup Pho originates from the region, so be sure to try an authentic steamy bowl in Hanoi!

Hanoi is very famous for its street food. The best food experiences in Hanoi are made on sidewalks with locals and not in restaurants. 


traditional vietnamese food

n ch

The dish consists of grilled pork strips and balls or ch served over a bed of rice vermicelli noodles or bún. It typically comes with a plate of fresh Vietnamese herbs and a bowl of dipping sauce.  Pickled vegetables, like cabbage, carrots, onion or green papaya served with additional meatballs on the side.




Nem Cua Be – Crab Spring Rolls

These are fresh and lightly fried rolls with sea crab as a filling and vermicelli noodles.

These crab spring rolls are sold by the roll, where one roll is cut into three smaller pieces. They are typically eaten as an appetizer while waiting for the bún chả meal or dipped into the savory bún chả soup.


vietnamese fish dish

Ch Cá – Grilled Fish with Dill and Tumeric

The special ingredient in Chả Cá is grilled fish, typically mudfish or snake-head fish.

Fresh herbs, vermicelli rice noodles, a bowl of roasted peanuts and a dipping fish sauce with sliced chilies will be served with it. In the pot is the fish grilling with mounds of dill and turmeric. 


vietnamese noudle soup


Bún CFish Noodle Soup

It is a light broth made from fish bones with golden fresh white fish lightly fried. At the bottom of the soup, is a bed of rice vermicelli noodles. On the top covering the broth, is a delicate combination of spring onions and bean sprouts mixed with dill herbs.






Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

sights to see in HanoiThe ancient site was the political centre of the country for 13 consecutive centuries and served as the capital of Vietnam for eight centuries. A notable attraction in the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long was the Hanoi Flag Tower, a renovated 40-metre-tall stone fortress offering expansive views of Ba Dinh Square and Hanoi City Centre. Located in Ba Dinh District, entrance to the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is priced at VND 30,000 and it is open from 08:00 to 17:00 every day except Monday. This prominent site is also within a 15-minute walk from attractions such as Quan Thanh Temple, Vietnam Military History Museum and Cua Bac Church.



things to see in HanoiThai Long water puppet theatre.

Thang Long water puppet theatre in Hanoi is world famous and dates back to the 11th century. The tradition of water puppet theatre comes from a time when rice paddy fields were flooded, and the villagers would look for ways of entertainment by standing by deep waters with puppets performing over the water.

The puppets are supported by using large rods and it appears as if the puppets are moving across the water. 



The Perfume Pagoda

The Perfume Pagoda is believed to be the first temple built in the 15th century. A legend states that the site was discovered by a Buddhist monk who was meditating in the surrounding area over 2,000 years ago.

The Perfume Pagoda, known as Chua Huong or ‘inner temple’, is at the centre of a very sacred site featuring a maze of Buddhist temples built into the limestone cliffs of Huong Tich.

The mountain foothills are an area of spiritual beauty and is filled with tropical plants and temples. The Perfume Pagoda attracts pilgrims and tourists seeking good luck from the stalagmites and stalactites inside the cave which have been 

named according to the individual blessing they can bestow. Dun Tien offers prosperity and Nui Co offers the chance of giving birth to a girl whilst Dun Gao translates as a ‘rice stack’ to those hoping for a bountiful harvest.

nightlife in Hanoi


Life in Hanoi

Hanoi is a fascinating destination that has so much to offer in the way of beauty, spirituality, diversity, cuisine and culture. Its growing economy is opening up a number of exciting opportunities to young professionals and expats looking to advance their careers and explore one of South East Asia’s most up and coming cities. Not to mention, there is no end to the exciting destinations


If you’re interested in experiencing Hanoi from a unique perspective, get in touch with Vietnam internship experts AIP today. Not sure Hanoi is for you? Take a look at our other destinations and let us help you find the right one for you. 

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