Volunteer in Vietnam with Friends for Asia

Hanoi – A Gastronomic Garden of Eden

If you’re an adventurous food lover, you’ve come to the right place and with a fusion of cuisines, all unique in their own indescribable way, eating in Hanoi is an experience you will never forget and your taste buds will be working overtime. Vietnamese food is world famous and there’s no better place to explore the wonders of this unique Asian cuisine than Hanoi, with quaint noodle stalls and dusty old colonial buildings that house eateries.

As with most Asian countries, the Vietnamese eat just about everything, including bugs and eel soup which is particularly interesting and can come in many forms. Rice can be served in so many different ways and you will find many desserts that are rice based with infusions of fruits, herbs and spices.

Bun Rieu Cua Nuoc - Ly Quoc Su VND20000

Experience Pho

This soup is made with finely sliced beef in rice noodles and a healthy amount of beansprouts and greens added to make a very delicious meal. Condiments are abound and there are many different versions of Pho, many of which you will get to sample and whatever your particular taste in food, there will be a Pho dish for you. When working on a Hanoi based project, you will spend many enjoyable hours in local Pho eateries, where you can sample the many varieties of this versatile Vietnamese dish.

Slow Simmering

Everywhere you go in Hanoi, you will see huge stainless steel urns simmering away, each containing Pho that has been cooking for a few days already and it is this slow and gradual process, with ingredients added as and when needed, that makes for a unique taste. Broths and soups reign supreme in Hanoi and there’s always something on the stove in a Hanoi kitchen and with a diverse selection of fruits, vegetables and herbs, be prepared for a gastronomic experience like no other.

Cha Cha Thang Long (Grilled fish)

This is another famous Hanoi dish that never fails to impress, with local herbs that give it a unique flavour, and the fish and sauce are grilled at your table with a small charcoal driven griddle that is easy to serve from. Like the Thais, the Vietnamese make good use of table space, with many unique condiments always at hand and if you are the adventurous type, you can random dip and taste all day long.

Cultural Insight

Foreign tourists might get to see and experience the street life, but as a volunteer, you get to live and work with the local population and that gives you a unique opportunity to experience their way of life. The Vietnamese people are very hygienic and their hospitality is up there with the best and the feeling you get from helping these happy go lucky people makes the Hanoi volunteer experience one that is not to be missed.

Community Projects

At Friends For Asia, we have been involved in progressive community projects that provide tangible assistance to the local people. Teaching Vietnamese students English is a very popular choice and armed only with your native language knowledge and a whole lot of enthusiasm, you can make a positive contribution in a fun way. Much like Thai children, the Vietnamese kids are very curious and respectful and with a sound knowledge of English Grammar, they lack the opportunity to practice their speaking and listening, which is where you come in. Our experienced coordinators are always on hand to advise on any aspect of your volunteer experience and if you prefer to assist teach for a while until you get the hang of it, that’s fine with us. Our preferred method of teaching is using game based activities that are centered around the English language and with lots of resources, there’s no limit to what you can do with your students.

NGO Volunteer Project

NGO involvement puts you right on the front line, helping with things like English translations and editing proposals, and we are associated with sustainable development projects in and around Hanoi where your skills can be put to good use. If you would like to apply to volunteer in an NGO project, you can be sure the experience will be remembered forever, and the personal development you receive while helping others makes it a worthy experience in many ways.

Children’s Hospital Volunteer

If you really want to make a difference in sick children’s lives, spending some time in a Hanoi children’s hospital is the ideal way to spend a few months. The staff are amazing and to be a part of such a team gives you the opportunity to shine and develop your personal skills. There are many ways you can be of help in a children’s hospital and for many of our volunteers, this is the highlight of their gap year and definitely something to be repeated.

The Hanoi way of life is addictive and many of our volunteers opt for a Hanoi based project and often extend this or return after a few months to continue the experience. If you would like to see Hanoi through a grassroots perspective, while doing something positive to help, enrol in a Vietnam volunteer project with Friends For Asia and get ready for the experience of a lifetime.