What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?
The Western (English-speaking) expat community is moderately sized and growing. There's one general community of backpacker/young English teacher/missionaries who congregate, and another tier of diplomats/NGO workers/international workers that exists as well. The Korean and Japanese communities are big and active but also stick to themselves for the most part unless you have a cultural/linguistic connection. There's also a small Spanish-speaking community which can be fun for those with EFMs from Latin America.
There are a few different organizations for diplomatic spouses that do social and volunteer activities. Because Hanoi doesn't have a huge Western expat community, we found that diplomats from other embassies are happy to meet and mingle with Americans (both families and singles). Morale is decently high, especially for those who are adventurous and don't mind the chaos and craziness of living in a Vietnamese city. Vietnam is an increasingly important player diplomatically and strategically and people have a sense that their work is meaningful. Vietnamese are also very pro-American and friendly, which is a huge bonus. The embassy community (especially among families) is pretty close-knit and people often hang out with others living in their specific apartment complex. - Dec 12, 2017
All over the place. Don't be fooled by the extension rate. Most have to extend within a month of arriving at post, and do so willingly after spending a year back at FSI learning VN. After about 6 months at post, many regret extending. Morale is medium. Those with health/air issues are counting the days. - May 4, 2016
Big. Morale is pretty good, but it helps to get out of Hanoi every so often. The craziness of a large, dirty, noisy, urban area can be exhausting at times. - Aug 14, 2015
Medium--good. Complain about the weather and abundance of open green space, but they know they have it good here. - Mar 13, 2015
Moderate. Few foreign business people in contrast to HCMC. Most expats are from foreign missions, NGOs, IOs, etc. - Aug 12, 2014
Quite big, from all over the world. - Dec 13, 2011
Very large - very diverse. - Aug 23, 2011
Not sure of the exact number, but I would say medium to large. - May 23, 2010
Quite large for such a relatively small city. - Feb 11, 2009
Small and mostly diplomatic. The international business community is centered in Ho Chi Minh City. - Sep 27, 2008
Large, Vietnam is the emerging Tiger economically and became a member of the WTO in 2006, there are many diplomatic missions here as well as a large contingent of business personnel. - May 17, 2008