Finding housing in Vietnam sounded like a rather daunting task before I arrived. I remember having no idea how I would find somewhere to live. I was relieved to find how easy it is to figure out your living situation. This blog is aimed at giving insight on the best way to find housing and where to live in Hanoi.
Amslink, the company I work for in Hanoi, paid for my first month of accommodation in a hotel. The hotel itself was pretty basic and did not meet my needs. After one week living in the hotel I new I had to find new accommodation as quickly as possible. I did what pretty much anyone person might do in my shoes; I typed into the google search bar “Apartments in Hanoi”. I found a couple companies through my research and went on countless viewings. Nothing was really that intriguing until I viewed this insanely nice luxury apartment. It was almost double my intended budget for housing... but I thought to myself “why not I’m in Hanoi”. I pulled the trigger, signed the lease and was living in a deluxe apartment that would probably have costed $2,000-$3,000 per month on the East Coast. The apartment in Hanoi was $550 a month, which made my budget tight but was definitely within reason.
I stayed about 5 months living in my lavish apartment before realising it was more than I needed. I wasn’t able to afford to travel like I wanted so I terminated the lease and decided to downsize.
Teachers I work with recommended that I join a couple Facebook groups. “Hanoi Massive” and “Hanoi Housing Community” Not using Facebook much I was fairly skeptical about my potential prospects. However, I was totally blown away by all the options and found the groups to be extremely helpful. Instead of bouncing around from viewing to viewing with a realtor I could view everything as I scrolled through the group pages. A lot of housing posts were simply other teachers looking for subleases which was more attractive to me than going through a company. I found a nice studio apartment in “Hanoi Housing Community” and set up a viewing. At the time I had a kitten which made finding housing a little bit more complicated but after negotiating with my landlord I was able to move into a really nice studio apartment for $380 a month.
I stayed in my studio for 4 months before ultimately deciding on downsizing once again. A room opened up in a house down the street from my studio and I jumped on it. My landlord was very kind in letting me end my contract early and I helped her fill the space. The rent in my shared house is only $190. While it isn’t the nicest quality of living it does meet my basic needs. Compared to the luxury apartment I first moved into I’m now saving $360 a month!
What area to live in? Tay Ho District is by far where most the English teachers live. It’s a great area for those who want to be in a community of Westerners and live in a bit quieter area. It is farther out than other districts though and can make for longer commutes. Another area that is great for to live in is Ba Dinh. Ba Dinh is located on the opposite side of Lake Tay Ho and is a little closer to the the city center. Ba Dinh has a nice balance of Westerners and Vietnamese locals.
Where ever you plan on living make sure to do some research before you sign the lease. Often the shorter your lease is the more flexibility you’ll have if plans change. Whether it’s budget room or a luxury apartment you’ll be able to find whatever fits your needs in Hanoi.