Hanoi - Post Report Question and Answers

What are some typical ways to socialize, either with local people or with other expatriates? Are there groups or clubs that you can recommend?

The embassy has many communities. There are many WhatsApp groups for various activities, and if you talk to the right person at a cafe in Tay Ho you can generally get in with these groups. - Aug 2021

Various - many Facebook and other groups exist to find one's niche. Plus bars, restaurants, clubs, etc. - Dec 2019

Embassy has typical events like Halloween, Christmas, Easter. The CLO is active with excursions and cultural events and HIWC offers a lot of activities. - Jul 2019

There are definitely expat clubs and groups (hash house harriers, sports clubs for rugby and soccer, international women's club, etc.) and vibrant expat church communities as well. There are lots of private NGOs working in Vietnam so there are lots of volunteer opportunities which will help you meet new expat friends, as well. Vietnam's food and bar scene is fun, reasonably priced, and always evolving. - Dec 2017

Go the Hanoi Opera House, sit an an outdoor cafe, dinner parties, go to a brewery, drink a coffee with a view overlooking a lake, hang at the American Club. - Mar 2015

It is what you make of it. - Dec 2011

People go to restaurants or entertain at home. Lots of expat get-togethers. - Aug 2011

Visiting with friends, meeting at restaurants, etc. - May 2010

Outstanding. Most places are forced to close by 11. But "underground" bars will stay open later. Check your Lonely Planet for details. - Feb 2009

Social life is limited. There are enough restaurants to avoid monotony and new ones are opening quite often. However, you will frequently find yourself going to the same old favorites. People also entertain at home as an alternative to visiting the same locations every weekend. That said parties are often attended by the same crowd as the community is small. Local Vietnamese restaurants are endless but quality (noisy, crowded, no A/C, poor food, smells) and sanitaton often deter people from dining in these establishments. There are about a dozen small but decent bars/nightclubs available but they close at midnight. Actually midnight is when the staff goes home so last call is usually 11 pm. There are one or two underground locations that remain open past 12 but they are not open on a regular basis. There are only one or two real discos. Local coffee shop bars, karaoke lounges catering to Korean/Japanese/Vietnamese are abundant but seedy. There is a dingy bolwing alley and electronic casinos (slots and electronic blackjack) in some major hotels but only foreigners can enter. There is one movie theater that shows recent movies in English, but pirated DVD's from China are plentiful so most watch movies at home. There are seedy karaoke bars that cater to Korean and Japanese businessmen and small roadside coffee/tea/beer shops frequented by Vietnamese. - Sep 2008

Some entertaining within the embassy community, bbq's, limited clubbing, the city shuts down at 11:30 pm. Major hotels all have night clubs, etc., but are extremely expensive. Oh yeah, did I mention karaoke? - May 2008

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