Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam. Located in the North of vietnam. Hanoi is the center of activity and main point to start your exploration of Viewtnam. The estimated population of Hanoi is 3,145,300 (2005). Historically from 1010 until 1802, it was the political centre of an independent Vietnam with a few brief interruptions. It was eclipsed by Hue during the Nguyen Dynasty as the capital of Vietnam, but served as the capital of French Indochina from 1887 to 1954. From 1954 to 1976, after the victory of Viet Minh over France in the battle of Dien Bien Phu, it became the capital of North Vietnam.

Pre History

The area around modern Hanoi has been inhabited since at least 3000 BC. One of the first known permanent settlements is the Co Loa citadel founded around 200 BC.

Hanoi has had many names throughout history, all of them of Sino-Vietnamese origin. During the Chinese domination of Vietnam, it was known as Tống B́nh (宋平) and later Long Đe. In 866, it was turned into a citadel and was named Đai La (大羅).

In 1010, Lư Thái Tổ, the first ruler of the Lư Dynasty, moved the capital of Đại Việt (大越, the Great Viet, then the name of Vietnam) to the site of the Đại La Citadel. Claiming to have seen a dragon ascending the Red River, he renamed it Thăng Long (昇龍, Ascending dragon) - a name still used poetically to this day. It remained the capital of Vietnam until 1397, when the capital was moved to Thanh Hóa, also known as Tây Đô (西都, Western Capital). Thăng Long then became Đông Đô (東都, Eastern Capital).

In 1408, Vietnam was invaded by Chinese troops from the Ming Dynasty and Đông Đô was renamed Đông Quan (東關, Eastern Gateway) by the Chinese. In 1428, Vietnam was liberated from Chinese rule by Lê Lợi, the founder of the Le Dynasty and Đông Quan was renamed Đông Kinh (東京, Eastern Capital - the name known to Europeans as Tonkin; and evidently, the same characters used for Tokyo). During the Tây Sơn Dynasty, it was named Bắc Thành (北城, Northern Citadel). In 1802, when the Nguyễn Dynasty was established and then moved the capital down to present-day Huế, it was renamed Thăng Long (means "flying dragon"). However, the second syllable of the toponym is actually a homonym of the word long, and so, actually suggests “to flourish” as opposed to “dragon”. Therefore, the name would then have appeared as 昇隆, roughly to ascend and flourish. In 1831 the Nguyen Dynasty renamed it Hà Nội (河内, can be translated as Between Rivers or River Interior) . Hanoi was occupied by the French in 1873 and passed to them ten years later. It became the capital of French Indochina after 1887.

The city was occupied by the Japanese in 1940, and liberated in 1945, when it became the seat of Vietnam's government. From 1946 to 1954, it was the scene of heavy fighting between the French and Viet Minh forces. At that point, the city became the capital of an independent North Vietnam.

During the Vietnam War Hanoi's transportation facilities were disrupted by the bombing of bridges and railways, which were, however, promptly repaired. Following the end of the war, Hanoi became the capital of Vietnam when North and South Vietnam were reunited on July 2, 1976.

In 2004, a massive part of the 900 year old citadel was discovered in central Hanoi, near the site of Ba Dinh square.

Touring Hanoi

As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered to be the cultural centre of Vietnam, where every dynasty has left behind their imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike.

Hanoi hosts more cultural sites than any city in Vietnam, including over 600 pagodas and temples.[4] Historians liken the life-giving Red River with its banks crowded with green rice paddies and farms to the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; a cradle of civilization. Even when the nation's capital moved to Hue under the Nguyen dynasty in 1802, the city of Hanoi continued to flourish, especially after the French took control in 1888 and modeled the city's architecture to their tastes, lending an important aesthetic to the city's rich stylistic heritage. The city boasts more than 1,000 years of history, and that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.

Under French rule, as an administrative centre for the French colony of Indochina, the French colonial architecture style became dominant, many examples remain today: the tree-lined boulevards (e.g Phan Dinh Phung street), The Grand Opera House, The State Bank of Vietnam (formerly The Bank of Indochina), The Presidential Palace (formerly Place of The Governor-General of French Indochina), The cathédrale St-Joseph, Hanoi University (formerly University of Indochina), historic hotel Sofitel Metropole...

The Temple of Literature , main entrySome others prominent places are: The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu), site of the oldest university in Vietnam; One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột); Flag Tower of Hanoi (Cet ce Hà Nei); The Old Quarter and Hoàn Kiếm lake.

Hanoi is also home to a number of museums; including The Vietnamese National History Museum, The National Museum of Ethnology, The National Museum of Fine Arts and The Revolution Museum.

The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem lake, has the original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. At the beginning of the 20th century the city consisted of only about 36 streets, most of which are now part of the old quarter. Each street then comprised of merchants and households specialized in a particular trade, such as silk traders, jewelery, etc. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce. The area is famous for its small artisans and merchants, including many silk shops. Local cuisine specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here also. A night market (near Đồng Xuân market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.

West Lake (Hồ Tây) is a popular place for people to spend time. It is the largest lake in Hanoi and there are many temples in the area. There are small boats for hire and a floating restaurant.

The spectacular Ban Gioc Waterfall is 272 km north of Hanoi and is popular for tourists

Full day Hanoi Tour

visit Cham Museum; Marble Mountain and China Beach. Back to Hoian. Lunch at White Lanterns restaurant Discover the historic town which used to be a prosperous seaport city during the 16th to 18th centuries.  Its sizeable community of foreign merchants resulted in a unique architectural style with Vietnamese, Chinese and Japanese influences. Visit the Phuc Kien hall, Japanese covered bridge, Tan Ky old house and the workshop of traditional occupation of Hoi An ancient town.

Contact us to book this tour now.

 

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