Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

What is the relative size of the expatriate community? How would you describe overall morale among expatriates?

Relatively large community, with niche interests like motorcycle riding, or other sports. Morale appears to be quite high and many people extend for a fourth year, but others are happy to be finished with their tour of duty here after three years and are ready to move on. It is not quite a love it or hate it city, but there are quite a few people who never find the magic here and are happy to move on. - Aug 2021

Large but changing. It is more of a corporate and English teacher crowd now than it was even 10 years ago, when there was a larger NGO/development presence. The faux English “teachers” love it here - it's like their undergrad days of partying and not going to class never ended! There are a lot of families and morale seems generally good as Hanoi is a very easy place to live, though those of us with kids really worry about pollution. - Dec 2019

US embassy has a large mission - around 150 USDH plus family members; it's a good-sized group. Hanoi itself has large expat community from all over the place. - Jul 2019

This is our first overseas experience, so I can’t compare it to much, but the expat community seems very large. A lot of Americans and Europeans. Australians. Plus a ton of tourists passing through. From what I can tell, most people enjoy their time here and morale is good. - Apr 2018

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 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 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 2015

Medium--good. Complain about the weather and abundance of open green space, but they know they have it good here. - Mar 2015

Moderate. Few foreign business people in contrast to HCMC. Most expats are from foreign missions, NGOs, IOs, etc. - Aug 2014

Quite big, from all over the world. - Dec 2011

Very large - very diverse. - Aug 2011

Not sure of the exact number, but I would say medium to large. - May 2010

Quite large for such a relatively small city. - Feb 2009

Small and mostly diplomatic. The international business community is centered in Ho Chi Minh City. - Sep 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 2008

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