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Hanoi (H N i; ), is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts,[1] 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction.[2] From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam. It was eclipsed by Hu during the Nguyen dynasty as the capital of Vietnam, but Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1954. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Vietnam.

The city is located on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi is located at north of Ho Chi Minh City.

October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of the city.



File:Th p R a 6.jpg|Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake, in central Hanoi File:T ng L Th i T 2.jpg|Emperor L Th i T made Th ng Long (Hanoi) his capital in the 11th century File:Hanoi rue Paul Bert.jpg|Colonial Hanoi File:Hanoi Skyline.jpg|Modern Hanoi Hanoi has been inhabited since at least 3000 BC. One of the first known permanent settlements is the Co Loa citadel (C Loa) 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 first as Long Bi n, then T ng B nh (, S ngp ng, "Song Peace") and Long (, L ngd , "Dragonbelly"). In 866, it was turned into a citadel and named i La (, D lu , "Big Net").

In 1010, Ly Thai To, the first ruler of the L Dynasty, moved the capital of i Vi t to the site of the i La Citadel. Claiming to have seen a dragon ascending the Red River, he renamed the site Th ng Long (, "Rising Dragon") - a name still used poetically to this day. Th ng Long remained the capital of i Vi t until 1397, when it was moved to Thanh H a, then known as T y (), the "Western Capital". Th ng Long then became ng (), the "Eastern Capital."

In 1408, the Chinese Ming Dynasty attacked and occupied Vietnam, changing ng 's name to "Eastern Gateway" (, D nggu n), ng Quan in Vietnamese. In 1428, the Vietnamese overthrew the Chinese under the leadership of L L i, who later founded the L Dynasty and renamed ng Quan ng Kinh (, "Eastern Capital") or Tonkin. Right after the end of the T y S n Dynasty, it was named B c Th nh (, "Northern Citadel").

In 1802, when the Nguy n Dynasty was established and moved the capital to Hu , the old name Th ng Long was modified to become Th ng Long (, "Ascending & Flourishing"). In 1831, the Nguy n emperor Minh M ng renamed it H N i (, "Between Rivers" or "River Interior"). Hanoi was occupied by the French in 1873 and passed to them ten years later. As Hano , it became the capital of French Indochina after 1887.

The city was occupied by the Japanese in 1940 and liberated in 1945, when it briefly became the seat of the Viet Minh government after Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independence of Vietnam. However, the French returned and reoccupied the city in 1946. After nine years of fighting between the French and Viet Minh forces, Hanoi became the capital of an independent North Vietnam in 1954.

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

On May 29, 2008, it was decided that Ha Tay Province, V nh Ph c's M Linh district and 4 communes of L ng S n District, Hoa Binh be merged into the metropolitan area of Hanoi from August 1, 2008.[3] Hanoi's total area then increased to 334,470 hectares in 29 subdivisions[4] with the new population being 6,232,940.,[4] effectively tripling its size. The Hanoi Capital Region (), a metropolitan area covering Hanoi and 6 surrounding provinces under its administration, will have an area of 13,436 square kilometers with a population of 15 million by 2020.[5]


Hanoi seen from Spot Satellite Hanoi features a warm humid subtropical climate (K ppen Cwa) with plentiful precipitation. The city experiences the typical climate of northern Vietnam, where summers are hot and humid, and winters are, by national standards, relatively cool and dry. Summers, lasting from May to September, are hot and humid, receiving the majority of the annual of rainfall. The winters are short, relatively dry, and mild, while spring can bring light rains.


Indochina Medical College in the early 20th century, today the Hanoi Medical University Hanoi University of Technology students wearing o d i Hanoi, as the capital of French Indochina, was home to the first Western-style universities in Indochina, including: Indochina Medical College (1902) - now Hanoi Medical University, Indochina University (1904) - now Hanoi National University, and cole Sup rieure des Beaux-Arts de L'Indochine (1925) - now Hanoi University of Fine Art.

After the Communist Party took control over Hanoi in 1954 with support from the Soviet Union, many new universities were built, among them, Hanoi University of Technology remains the largest technical university in Vietnam.

Hanoi is the largest centre of education in Vietnam. It is estimated that 62% of the scientists in the whole country are living and working in Hanoi.[6] Admissions to undergraduate study are through entrance examinations, which are conducted annually and open for everyone (who has successfully completed his/her secondary education) in the country. The majority of universities in Hanoi are public, although in recent years a number of private universities have started their operation. Th ng Long University, founded in 1988, by some Vietnamese mathematics professors in Hanoi and France[7] is the first private university in Vietnam.

Because many of Vietnam's major universities are located in Hanoi, students from other provinces (especially in the northern part of the country) wishing to enter university often travel to Hanoi for the annual entrance examination. Such events often take place in June and July, during which a large number of students and their families converge on the city for several weeks around this intense examination period. In recent years, these entrance exams have been centrally coordinated by the Ministry of Education, but passing marks are decided independently by each university.

Although there are state owned kindergartens, there are also many private ventures that serve both local and international needs. Pre-tertiary (elementary and secondary) schools in Hanoi are generally state run although there are some independent schools. Education is equivalent to the K 12 system in the US, with elementary school between grades 1 and 5, middle school (or junior high) between grades 6 and 9, and high school from grades 10 to 12.


North gate of Hanoi Citadel from inside (19th century) As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centres of Vietnam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left 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. Even when the nation's capital moved to Hu under the Nguy n 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 hosts more cultural sites than any city in Vietnam,[8] and boasts more than 1,000 years of history, and that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.[9]

Old Quarter

Main gate to the Temple of Literature Hoan Kiem lake by night 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 had merchants and households specialized in a particular trade, such as silk traders, jewellery, 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 ng Xu n market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.

Some others prominent places are: The Temple of Literature (V n Mi u), site of the oldest university in Vietnam 1010; One Pillar Pagoda (Ch a M t C t); Flag Tower of Hanoi (C t c H N i). In 2004, a massive part of the 900 year old Hanoi Citadel was discovered in central Hanoi, near the site of Ba Dinh Square.[10]


A city between the rivers, built from lowland, Hanoi has many scenic lakes and it is sometimes called "city of lakes". Among its lakes, the most famous are Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, Halais Lake (H Thi n Quang in Vietnamese), and Bay Mau Lake. Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is the historical and cultural center of Hanoi, and is linked to the legend of the magic sword. West Lake (H T y) 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.

Colonial Hanoi

Hotel Metropole in colonial Hanoi National Museum of Vietnamese History 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) and its many villas and mansions, Grand Opera House, State Bank of Vietnam (formerly The Bank of Indochina), Presidential Palace (formerly Palace of the Governor-General of French Indochina), Saint Joseph Cathedral, and the historic Hotel Metropole. Many of the colonial structures are an eclectic mixture of French and traditional Vietnamese architectural styles, such as the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts and the old Indochina Medical College.


Hanoi is also home to a number of museums:


According to TripIndex by TripAdvisor, for period June 1 to August 31, 2012 Hanoi will be the cheapest city in the world for two of a one-night stay in a four-star hotel, cocktails, a two-course dinner with a bottle of wine, and a taxi transport (two return journeys of about 3.2 kilometres each). It will cost of $141.12 or about 27 percent of the most expensive city, London with cost of $518.01.[11]


Performance of the water puppet theatre Th ng Long A variety of options for entertainment in Hanoi can be found throughout the city. Modern and traditional theaters, cinemas, karaoke bars, dance clubs, bowling alleys, and an abundance of opportunities for shopping provide leisure activity for both locals and tourists. Hanoi has been named as one of the top 10 cities for shopping in Asia by Smart Travel Asia.[12] The number of art galleries exhibiting Vietnamese art has dramatically increased in recent years, including galleries such as "Nhat Huy" of Huynh Thong Nhat.

A popular traditional form of entertainment is water puppetry, which is shown for example at the Th ng Long Water Puppet Theatre.


With its rapid growth and extremely high population density, several modern shopping centers have been built in Hanoi. Major centers include:


B nh cu n Thanh Tri dish Hanoi has rich food traditions and many of Vietnam's most famous dishes, such as ph , ch c , b nh cu n and c m are thought to come from Hanoi. Perhaps most widely known is Ph , a simple rice noodle soup often eaten as a breakfast dish in the home or at streetside cafes, but also served in restaurants as a meal. Two varieties dominate the Hanoi scene: Ph B , containing beef, and Ph G , containing chicken.

Hanoi has been selected as one of the top 10 cities for food in the world by Shermans Travel.[13] Vietnam's national dish Ph has been also named as one of the Top5 streetfood in the world by globalpost.[14]

Hanoi has a restaurant about the insect food, in Khuong Thuong village, Hanoi. The most special cuisines at his restaurant are those processed from ant-eggs, in the styles of Thai people or Muong and Tay ethnic people in Vietnam.


Hanoian girls wearing traditional costume o d i during APEC Summit 2006

Hanoi's population is constantly growing (about 3.5% per year[15]), a reflection of the fact that the city is both a major metropolitan area of Northern Vietnam, and also the country's political centre. This population growth also puts a lot of pressure onto the infrastructure, some of which is antiquated and dates back from the early 20th century.

The number of Hanoians who settled down for more than three generations is likely to be very small as compared to the overall population of the city. Even in the Old Quarter, where commerce started hundreds years ago and was mostly a family business, many of the street-front stores nowadays are owned by merchants and retailers from other provinces. The original owner family may have either rented out the store and moved to live further inside the house, or just moved out of the neighbourhood altogether. The pace of change has especially escalated after the abandonment of central-planning economic policies, and relaxing of the district-based household registrar system.

Hanoi's telephone numbers have been increased to 8 digits to cope with demand (October 2008). Subscribers telephone numbers have been changed in a haphazard way.


Motor scooters dominate the roads in the Old Quarter (2007)

Hanoi is served by Noi Bai International Airport, located in the Soc Son District, approximately north of Hanoi. Noi Bai is the only international airport for the northern regions of Vietnam.

Hanoi will have additionally another international airport, which will cost $8 billion, being the highest foreign investment so far in the history of Vietnam.[16] The construction will be carried out in three stages,the first phase will start in 2011 until 2015.

There are two main highways linking the airport and city. The route to the city via Th ng Long Bridge is more direct than Highway 1, which runs along the outskirts of the city. The main highways are shared by cars, motor scooters, with separate lanes by the side for bicycles. Taxis are plentiful and usually have trip meters, although it is also common to agree on the trip price before taking a taxi from airport to the city centre. Tourists also sometimes tour the city on cyclos especially in the Old Quarter.

Hanoi is also the origin departure point for many Vietnam Railways train routes in the country. The Reunification Express (t u Th ng Nh t) runs from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City from Hanoi station (formerly Hang Co station), with stops at cities and provinces along the line. Trains also depart Hanoi frequently for Hai Phong and other northern cities.

The main means of transport within the city are motorbikes, buses, taxis, and bicycles. Motorbikes remain the most common way to move around the city. Public buses run on many routes and fare can be purchased on the bus, with very cheap prices (20 cents for a journey where a taxi might cost $10.)

Persons on their own or only as a pair, and wishing a fast trip (especially due to irregular time or route), often use "xe m" (literally, "hug vehicle") motorbikes, which are unofficial, unregulated taxi motorcycles are available where the passenger sits at the rear of a motorbike. Idle xe m riders often yell "xe m" at paedestrians that pass by, and signs saying "xe m" adorn many a tree, pole or post around the city (as with all Vietnamese cities, towns and villages,etc.) to advertise that a xe m vehicle and rider is often parked there.


Hanoi has the highest Human Development Index among the cities in Vietnam. According to a recent ranking by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanoi will be the fastest growing city in the world in term of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025.[17] Hanoi new urban zone - My Dinh Kim Ma Street Industrial production in the city has experienced a rapid boom since the 1990s, with average annual growth of 19.1 percent from 1991 95, 15.9 percent from 1996 2000, and 20.9 percent during 2001 2003. In addition to eight existing industrial parks, Hanoi is building five new large-scale industrial parks and 16 small- and medium-sized industrial clusters. The non-state economic sector is expanding fast, with more than 48,000 businesses currently operating under the Enterprise Law (as of 3/2007).[18]

Trade is another strong sector of the city. In 2003, Hanoi had 2,000 businesses engaged in foreign trade, having established ties with 161 countries and territories. The city's export value grew by an average 11.6 percent each year from 1996 2000 and 9.1 percent during 2001 2003. The economic structure also underwent important shifts, with tourism, finance, and banking now playing an increasingly important role.

Hanoi's business districts are traditionally Hoan Kiem and the neighborhood; and a newly developing Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh in the southwestern part.

Similar to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi enjoys a rapidly developing real estate market.[19] The metropolis's economy growth does not seem correlative to its infrastructure. Overloading population requires a much larger supply of accommodations, while the constructing celerities of both transport system and new urban areas are too low.[20] Not surprisingly, as an effect of this problem, the apartment and real estate fever occur severely during the time.[21] More widespread, the fever even influences Ha Tay, the neighboring province, considered the future development space of the capital.[22] The current most notable new urban areas are central Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh, My Dinh, the luxurious zones of The Manor and Ciputra.

Agriculture, previously a pillar in Hanoi's economy, has striven to reform itself, introducing new high-yield plant varieties and livestock, and applying modern farming techniques.

Together with economic growth, Hanoi's appearance has also changed significantly, especially in recent years. Infrastructure is constantly being upgraded, with new roads and an improved public transportation system.

Sport centers

My Dinh National Stadium There are several gymnasiums and stadiums throughout the city of Ha Noi. The biggest ones are My Dinh National Stadium (Le Duc Tho Boulevard), Quan Ngua Sporting Palace (Van Cao Avenue), Hanoi Water Sport Complex and My Dinh Indoor Athletics Gymnasium. The others include Ha Noi stadium (as known as Hang Day stadium). The third Asian Indoor Games was held at Hanoi in 2009.

Health care and other facilities

Some medical facilities in Hanoi:


Hanoi is divided into 10 inner districts, 1 town and 18 outer districts.[23] ( H ng has been transform to an inner district, and S n T y has been degraded to a town)


Subdivisions of Hanoi
Provincial Cities/Districts[23] Wards[23] Area (km2)[23] Population[23]
1 town
S n T y 15 113.474 181,831
10 Urban Districts (Qu n)
Ba nh 14 9.224 228,352
C u Gi y 8 12.04 147,000
ng a 21 9.96 352,000
Hai B Tr ng 20 14.6 378,000
H ng 17 47.917 198,687
Ho n Ki m 18 5.29 178,073
Ho ng Mai 14 41.04 216,277
Long Bi n 14 60.38 170,706
T y H (West Lake) 8 24 115,163
Thanh Xu n 11 9.11 185,000
Subtotal 145 233.56 2,178,258
18 Rural Districts (Huy n)
Ba V 31 + 1 town 428.0 242,600 (1999)
Ch ng M 30 + 2 towns 232.9 261,000 (1999)
an Ph ng 15 + 1 town 76.8 124,900
ng Anh 23 + 1 town 182.3 276,750
Gia L m 20 + 2 towns 114.0 205,275
Ho i c 19 + 1 town 95.3 188,800
M Linh 16 + 2 towns 141.26 187,536 (2008)
M c 21 + 1 town 230.0 167,700 (1999)
Ph Xuy n 26 + 2 towns 171.1 181,500
Ph c Th 25 + 1 town 113.2 154,800 (2001)
Qu c Oai 20 + 1 town 136.0 (2001) 146,700 (2001)
S c S n 25 + 1 town 306.51 254,000
Th ch Th t 22 + 1 town 128.1 149,000 (2003)
Thanh Oai 20 + 1 town 129.6 142,600 (1999)
Thanh Tr (Green Ponds) 15 + 1 town 98.22 241,000
Th ng T n 28 + 1 town 127.7 208,000
T Li m 15 + 1 town 75.32 240,000
ng H a 28 + 1 town 183.72 193,731 (2005)
Subtotal 399 + 22 towns 3,266.186 3,872,851
Total 559 + 22 towns 3,344.47 6,232,940

International relations

Twin towns and sister cities

Hanoi is twinned with:


File:Pen Tower in Hanoi.jpg|Th p B t (Pen Tower) with a phrase "T thanh thi n" (meaning "Write on the sky") next to Ho n Ki m Lake (2007) File:Presidential Palace Hanoi 388606781 40a24f0ceb.jpg|Presidential Palace, Hanoi (formerly Place of The Governor-General of French Indochina) image:vietnam national convention center.jpg|Vietnam National Convention Center on Pham Hung Boulevard image: Bacbophu.jpg|State Guest House image:CathedraleSTJosephHanoi.jpg|The cathedral St-Joseph image:bao_tang_my_thuat.jpg|National Museum of Fine Art image:ha_noi_from_nikko.jpg|Park of Reunification (former Vladimir Lenin park) image:Hanoi Skyline.JPG|Hanoi skyline image:Hanoi Skyline panorama.JPG|Hanoi Skyline panorama File:LongBienBridgeHanoi1.jpg|Long Bi n Bridge seen from a rural island looking towards the city centre File:Hanoi_cho_dong_xuan.jpg|Dong Xuan Market File:Hanoi_chua_tran_quoc_1.jpg|Tran Quoc pagoda

See also


External links

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