Life in Hanoi: Students share tips and tricks for embracing Hanoi culture!

Hanoi can be equally intimidating for UNIS students who have lived here their whole lives and for those who have just arrived. Knowing some valuable advice about how to embrace its culture could help.

Three high school students from different countries offered recommendations to new students.

Hanoi is often characterized by its variety of diverse foods and tastes. Grade 9 student Jun Ha Hwang, who has lived in Hanoi for 4 years, thinks that even though Hanoi has considerably developed over the past years, it still hasn’t lost its traditional touch that is indicated through the traffic, street food, and landmarks. Jun Ha also talked about Quán Ăn Ngon, a traditional food restaurant, as a place that reflects Hanoi’s past and culture through cuisine.

“It was quite revolutionary,” Jun Ha said when describing how Quán Ăn Ngon affected his taste in food.

The Old Quarter and Tràng Tiền street, recommended by Grade 9 student Nhat Vy Hoang, are other great places to find time-honored dishes. Seeing different types of restaurants here shaped Hoang’s idea of Hanoi because the restaurants “represent the culture here in Vietnam” since they are “very modern but still have their own unique traditional touches.”

Not only does food play a large role in this city’s distinct way of life, so do the surrounding landmarks and historical sites, which tell stories of the city’s past. Hoang recommended visiting the Vietnamese Women’s Museum and the National Museum of Vietnamese history as significant cultural places to visit in Hanoi since it is “just [what you need to know about] Hanoi [shown] in a small place”.

Hwang also said that popular attractions like the Temple of Literature and National University are interesting places to visit. They hold detailed information about Vietnam’s education in one place with 1,000 years of history, since they were Vietnam’s first ever university and hold so much meaning to the country’s history of education.

It is important to remember that when walking around even the most popular tourist attractions, traffic in Hanoi is very busy and dangerous. Grade 9 student Emma Husted, who has lived in Hanoi for 14 years said that the traffic is symbolic of Vietnam’s way of life but any new student should be careful on the road, as traffic signs are not as developed as other countries.

We all have different opinions about living in Hanoi and we gain new experiences every day. Even if at times the city of Hanoi might feel intimidating, going out and exploring would potentially help countless UNIS students to feel more comfortable with the city and its lifestyle. Have fun and chúc may mắn!