The Vietnam Friendship Village is located about 11 kilometers southwest of central Hanoi in Van Canh Commune, Ha Tay Province, which was formally incorporated into greater Hanoi in 2008. Despite intense urban sprawl, it is a relatively easy commute from the central tourist district to the Friendship Village, via taxi.
Timing your visit
Visiting the Friendship Village is possible most times of year, except during two or three weeks surrounding Vietnam’s annual celebration of Tet Nguyen Dan (Lunar New Year), which usually falls in late January or early February. Most of the residents are absent from the village during this time, spending the holiday at home with their families.
The best time to visit the village is on weekdays in the late afternoon or on weekends, when school is out.
As a courtesy, and to ensure your visit is scheduled at a time that is most convenient for the Friendship Village, please communicate your intention to visit by sending an email message to Mrs. Nguyen Ngoc Ha, Foreign Visitor Manager, well in advance, at [friendshipvillage18398 (at) hn.vnn.vn].
Once in Vietnam, or if you want to arrange a visit at short notice, you are advised to call the village directly to confirm plans and get directions. It may be helpful to ask a Vietnamese-speaking friend, hotel clerk, tour guide or driver to call on your behalf. (Many hotels in Hanoi double as tour agencies and staff should be happy to help with transportation arrangements.) Here is the main office number, plus the mobile numbers for a few of the directors for backup:
- Friendship Village Office: 04 3837 4527
- Director Dung: 09 1334 8513
- Vice Director Tuyen: 09 8900 0889
- Vice Director Mam: 09 7766 5688
Many of the children really enjoy interacting with visitors with whatever English or other language vocabulary they have picked up, supplemented with sign language. You may have a chance to interact with some of the veterans as well. However, if you wish to converse in any depth with Friendship Village residents or staff, it is advisable to hire a Vietnamese interpreter to accompany you on your visit.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click here to download Volunteer Inquiries about the Vietnam Friendship Village, the PDF version of a brochure authored by volunteer Jenni Nguyen, which answers some of the questions frequently asked by volunteers and visitors.