I have been living in Hanoi for about 1 year and a half. For me, Hanoi has treated me so well and I am in love with this beautiful city. I have lived in several different countries and Hanoi is my seventh city. Every city has its charms and uniqueness and Hanoi definitely is on top of my favourite places.
So here are the 7 reasons why and things I love about Hanoi and perhaps you can figure out if living in Hanoi is for you! The list is not in order of best to least favourite because I cannot rank them as they all have their own significances.
As a passionate foodie, I cannot imagine for a second living in a city without good food. Thus, I cannot miss out food as one of the top reasons why I love living in Hanoi. There’s really and quite literally endless variety of dishes to try if you keep searching. I have been actively searching for dishes to try since the first day and I must say I’m always surprised to find more new dishes I have not tried. If you’re someone who loves fresh green herbs and spices like coriander, Vietnamese cuisine is one of the best in the world!
In my Complete Hanoi Foodie Guide post, I have included everything I would recommend all travellers and expats to try. This list alone could stimulate all foodies around the world to want to be living in Hanoi. And as I said the list keeps expanding, so what good news!
Coffee & Cafes
Coffee, coffee and coffee! Vietnam is world-famous for its very special strong coffee. Coffee is one of the core aspects of Vietnamese culture and lives of local people. I find it incredible how many coffee shops there are in every corner of Hanoi and around the country. And I love it! I love the strong coffee with condensed milk, the most prominent and notorious Vietnamese coffee menu. And exploring cafes has been one of the most fascinating experiences of living in Hanoi.
I go to cafes very very often and I have found some really cool hidden gems where I can enjoy perfect serenity away from the hustle and bustle of the city. If you’re also a hidden gem lover, check out the Top 5 Hidden Gem Cafes in Hanoi.
Yes, it can be the coffee, the food or something else that makes me love living in Hanoi. But in the end, the most important of all is the people. I love Vietnamese people. I am very lucky to have a lovely group of close friends here in Hanoi. My friends are all locals and through them, I have learnt so much about the culture and people of Vietnam. Also, outside of my dear friends, I have met so many loveliest and sweetest people here. I am so thankful for the kindness, genuine hospitality and love they have shown me and others.
So along with all the other reasons why I love Hanoi, its people are definitely the most heartfelt reason making living in Hanoi so amazing.
I always think how amazing it is that Hanoi has so many lakes all around the city. For me, lakes are one of the havens for peaceful rest. From the most famous Hoan Kiem lake to many other smaller or bigger lakes in other areas of town, there are many places to enjoy the tranquil water and a nice stroll. There are many cafes and restaurants on or around lakes allowing fuller experiences of lakes and lake views.
One of my favourite cafes with lake view is Highlands Coffee on Truc Bach lake. It’s a floating cafe on the small beautiful lake and I highly recommend visiting the cafe for a good chilled afternoon. And if you’re living in Hanoi, you’ll have your local or favourite lake to go.
Ironically, despite the craziest and most hectic traffic life in Hanoi due to overwhelming number of motorbikes on road, it’s one of the reasons why I enjoy living in Hanoi. If you want to live in Hanoi or any other city in Vietnam, having a motorbike is so convenient and almost a necessity. Well, Vietnam has amazing motorbike taxi apps for anyone to move freely and easily. So it’s not an absolute must to drive one.
However, I have a motorbike here and I have been thoroughly enjoying my motorbike experience. At first, it was scary to dive into the chaotic scene of Hanoi’s traffic. But I got the hang of it and since then it has been a fun riding experience. So the tip is to just dive in, get to understand how this lawless movements of bikes actually do work, and go with the flow. Then you’ll be in for a unique biking life.
Cheap Living Cost
Living cost is a tricky thing to say since even in the cheapest place people can enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and thus the living cost can be just as high or even higher than in more expensive cities. But considering the average cost of local standard as well as moderately luxurious treats from time to time, Vietnam is one of the cheapest places to live. Local meals are fantastic and cost nothing. For instance, a good bowl of delectable pho is around 2 USD and a cup of Vietnamese coffee around 1 – 1.5 USD in many cafes. And even if you go to a nice rooftop bar or a restaurant for a decently fancy night, a cocktail costs around 5 – 10 USD on average.
Therefore, living in Hanoi is cheaper than many other countries and you can still enjoy a decent lifestyle with much less than you’d need else where.
Another thing I constantly praise about and appreciate in Hanoi is the greens. There are trees everywhere and I really love walking around or riding past the streets and roads filled with huge trees. On a sunny day, it is so heavenly to feel the breezy wind under the shades. Old Quarter of Hanoi is abundantly full of trees in every street. Also, I love the parks in Hanoi, especially Thong Nhat park, which is one of the Best Places for a Stroll in Hanoi. So in the midst of traffic congestion and hectic city life, these trees offer beautiful peace for everyone and makes living in Hanoi much more enjoyable.
Closing up, these are the seven reasons why and things that make living in Hanoi so wonderful for me. Yet, they are not limited to these seven. I am sure that others have other reasons why they love Hanoi as a home. If you’re considering about moving to Hanoi, you’ll have these seven and more to expect and enjoy!