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Excited about Hanoi, Advice Appreciated!

Hello everyone. This November I'll be in Hanoi for a couple of weeks before starting out on a SE Asia tour and would love some advice on parts of town to stay/hang out. It would be great to meet some new folks, especially since I plan to circle back to Hanoi at the end of the tour.

I'm equally interested in grabbing a beer and trading stories with expats and Vietnamese alike, and making new friends. 

Glad to be a part of these forums and thanks in advance for your advice!

Hi outandaboutnw,
Welcome on board :)

I think the expat community in Hanoi is well spread out across the city these days.
IMO, for the first couple of weeks you better stay in the West Lake (Ho Tay) area. It's a very expat friendly area and you can easily connect with many resident expats.

The Old Quarters (around Hoan Kiem lake) is a tourist hotspot. The streets around Hoan Kiem are now for pedestrians only. Take an evening stroll to explore the alleyways in that area.
Don't forget to do a bit of friendly haggling if you want to buy some souvenirs etc.

Wherever you go there is always a Bia Hoi just around the corner. These places are always crowded in the evening with locals and expats. Good place to meet people and socialize.

As you plan to travel around SE Asia, I'd suggest you carry with you some good quality face-masks. Air pollution in Hanoi (and in many other cities in SE Asia) is high.
While in Hanoi, just try to avoid congested areas in rush hours. You'll be fine.

Please take your time to browse through all the threads on our Hanoi forum to know more about life in Hanoi.

Welcome to Vietnam!   :top:
Cheers!

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