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Hanoi, Hanoi Vietnam, Hanoi Travel Guide, Tours, Map, Photos

Hanoi is northern Vietnam’s capital. The city is situated on the right side of the Red River and is 1,760km far from Ho Chi Minh City. Hanoi has a tropical climate which makes weather warm, humid, and rainy. Hanoi is one of the cultural hubs of Vietnam, where a majority of the Vietnamese dynasties left an indelible mark.


In 1902, Hanoi was built by the French and was made the capital of the Indochina Federation. After two wars, Hanoi remains the capital of North Vietnam. Based on a 2009 census, Hanoi’s population was around 2.6 million residents for the urban districts and 6.5 million for the metropolitan areas. From 1010 till 1802, Hanoi was the political hub of Vietnam.

Hanoi is situated between 105044’ to 106002’ east longitude and 20053’ to 21023’ north latitude. The city covers an area of 3,324.92 square kilometers. Hanoi is home to a variety of ancient rivers, lakes, and beautiful landscapes. The inner city contains the West Lake with an area of around 500 ha, and is crucial to the urban landscape. Nowadays, the lake is flanked by numerous villas and hotels.

Hanoi is located on top of ancient soil that was slowly formed since time immemorial. The layers of the soil were carried from the northern mountains by the Red River. This is the reason why many Hanoi natives share a deep connection with the Red River the same way children feel connected to their birth mothers. In ancient times, the Red River had another name, which was ‘Cai’, meaning mother, River. The name of the city Hanoi was derived from the ancient language which means land situated near the Red River. The city is not inside the river literally but it is surrounded by around 100km of Red River dykes.  Hanoi’s dyke portion accounts for a fifth of the total river dykes surrounding both sides of the Red River that runs through Vietnam for about 500km.

Aside from the Red River, there are other well-known rivers that run through Hanoi such as Nhue, Kim Nguu, Tich, To Lich, Duong, Day, Cau, and Ca Lo rivers. The Lich and Kim Nguu rivers have served as an inexhaustible well of creative inspiration for several Vietnamese writers and poets. The Vietnamese writers and poets have written countless works of art just watching the rivers flow. The Kim Nguu and Lich rivers are regarded as the most romantic bodies of water that flows through the heart of Hanoi.

The To Lich and Kim Nguu rivers are still seen in Hanoi. The rivers’ former literary gravitas has faded because of the need to urbanize Hanoi. Nowadays, poets and writers no longer rely on the rivers for inspiration. The two rivers are now mainly used as Hanoi’s main drainage system. Despite the mass urbanization, the government aims to upgrade the area and help the two historic rivers regain their former allure and glory.

Hanoi offers visitors with a tropical climate that is warm and humid with plenty of rainfall. Hanoi is like any other province in Northern Vietnam. The typical weather in Northern Vietnam is characterized by hot and humid summers, and winters that are dry and cool. Summer lasts from May to September, and these are also the same months wherein most of the annual rainfall takes place. Winters are short lived, dry, cool, and mild; while spring is generally pleasant but with light rains.

When ancient Vietnam established its first state in Hanoi, formerly Thang Long, the city was regarded as sacred ground by the Vietnamese. Twenty three centuries ago, Co Loa (presently Dong Anh district) was the former capital of Au Lac which was governed by King Thuc An Duong. For more than a thousand years, Hanoi has experienced many wars against the northern invaders. After many wars, the following dynasties often moved their capitals to other provinces in ancient Vietnam.

During the mid-20th century, Hanoi suffered from the complicated events that took place in Vietnam’s history. When Japan attacked Indochina in 1940, Vietnam was put under the control of the Japanese and French administrations. The Vietnamese managed to win a crucial battle in one of their skirmishes. In September 2, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Vietnam’s Independence at Ba Dinh, and established the Democratic Republic of Vietnam with Hanoi as its capital. In 1945, when Dien Bien Phu was victorious, Vietnam regained the north and Hanoi continued as the capital of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

Hanoi is regarded as one of the major cultural hubs of Vietnam because of its status as a capital for a thousand years. A majority of Vietnam’s dynasties have left their mark during their reign in Hanoi. Despite the loss of important relics because of wars and time, Hanoi still holds interesting monuments and cultural icons for tourists and residents alike. Hanoi was named as the ‘City for Peace’ on June 17, 1999. On October 4, 2000, President Tran Duc Luong honored the city as ‘Capital Hero’. In 2010, the city celebrated its 1000th anniversary which took place from October 1 to 10 after many years of preparation. 

Hanoi is a bustling city with historical and cultural significance which has plenty of attractions for tourists. You can discover Vietnam’s past and French colonial influences by day touring the Old Quarter. Tourists can relax and take it slow by visiting West Lake or Hoan Kiem Lake. Visitors can also shop till they drop by visiting the trade villages in Hanoi. The city also offers all sorts of tastes and flavors for the adventurous foodie. Get a taste of scrumptious local dishes such as Pho, Bun Cha, Banh Cuon, Cha Ca La Vong, and Bun Thang. Experience Hanoi’s many sights, tastes, and culture.

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Hanoi Top Attractions

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Hanoi Ancient Citadel

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Top Hanoi Tours

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