Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen Province to the north, Vinh Phuc and Ha Tay to the west and south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east and south-east.Hanoi means “the hinterland between the rivers” (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi’s territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.
Hanoi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.2ºC (73.7ºF) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.2ºC (62.9ºF), but can go down to 8ºC (46.4ºF). The average temperature in summer is 29.2ºC (84.6ºF, but can reach up to 39ºC (102.2ºF).
Hanoi is a sacred land of Vietnam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc). Hanoi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center. At different periods, Hanoi had been selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Northern domination.In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Hanoi and for the whole country in general.For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Hanoi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.
Tourism and Travel
Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Hanoi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum...
Hanoi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake..., which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy.
Many traditional handicrafts are also practiced in Hanoi including bronze molding, silver carving, lacquer, and embroidery. Hanoi has many famous traditional professional handicraft villages such as Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Yen Thai glossy silk...
What to see in Hanoi Capital?
The temple of Literature- Quoc Tu Giam in Hanoi capital
Temple of Literature-Quoc Tu Giam was the first university of Vietnam where many students
graduated with high flying colors. Some became doctors of philosophy. In 1482 King Le Thanh Tong ordered the erection of steles with inscription of all the names, birth dates and birth places of doctors, and other excellent graduates who took part in examinations since 1442. At present there remain 82 steles standing in the premises of Van Mieu. Aprt from its cultural value, each stele presents an artistic project of stone carving. Each stele is placed on the back of a turtle representing the nation's longevity.
Sword Restored Lake
The lake which is not as large as Ho Tay to the northwest is situated in the center of the city. Because of its unique location Sword Restored Lake is billed as a basket of lower placed in the middle of Hanoi. The name of Sword Restored Lake is derived from a legend which has it that King Le Thai To had a precious sword. The sword. The sword had always been on his side during the 10-year resistance against the Ming aggressors. After he won over the foreign aggression and returned to Thang Long Citadel. One day he went out and boarded a royal boat to cruise in the lake. Suddenly he saw a giant turtle emerging and coming towards him. The king withdrew his sword and pinpointed with the sword the direction of the coming turtle for his soldiers' attention. All of a sudden, the turtle caught the sword between its teeth from the king's hand and submerged. The king thought that it might have been that during the resistance war against the Minh aggression, the king was offered sword by genie to help him defeat the enemy. Now when peace has returned the genie appeared and took back the sword. With that thought in mind, King Le Thai To named the lake after episode as Ho Hoan Kiem (Lake of Restored Sword).
Ngoc Son Temple
Hoan Kiem lake
which had been considered the most beautiful lake in the city was in the 19th
century added with another object to make it more beautiful and famous. That
was the construction of a temple on the Ngoc (Jade) islet in the lake.
Initially the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda. Later it was renamed Ngoc Son
Temple because in the temple isdedicated to saints. Saint Van Suong was a
person considered the brightest star in Vietnam's literature and intellectual
circles. Tran Hung Dao was worshipped because he was the national hero who led
the Vietnamese people to a resounding victory over the Nguyen aggression. The
temple as it is seen today was attributable to the restoration afforts of
Nguyen Van Sieu in 1864. A great Hanoi literature writer, Nguyen Van Sieu
himself had a large pen-shaped tower (Thap But) built in at the entrance to the
temple. On the upper section of the Thap but there are three Chinese characters
Ta Thanh Thien which means literally that to write on the blue sky is to imply
the height of a genuine and righteous person's determination and will. Behind
Thap But is Dai Nghien (Ink Stand). The ink stand is carved from stone
resembling a peach, which is placed on the back of the three frogs on top of
the gate to the temple. Passing through Dai Nghien visitors are to tread on the
wooden bridge called The Huc. The Huc is literally understood as the place
where beams of morning sunshine are touching.
Quan Thanh Temple
ancient Chinese which are still seen today on the top of the entrance to the
temple means Tran Vu Quan. That is literally the temple which is dedicated to
Saint Tran Vu. A temple is a place for worshipping saints while a pagoda is
dedicated to Buddha and faithful disciplines.
Hai Ba Trung Temple
The temple is
also called Dong Nhan Temple because it is located in the area of Dong Nhan
village in Hai Ba Trung precinct. The temple was built in 1142 inder the reign
of King Ly Anh Tong. It is dedicated to the two Vietnamese heroines Trung Trac
and Trung Nhi. At the inner sanctum of the temple there are two statutes made
of fine clay dedicating the two ladies Trung. Flanking on either side of the
two statutes of Ladies Trung are statutes of 12 women generals who followed the
two Ladies leading their army to defeat the foreign aggressors. In the 5th and
6th day of the second lunar month there is a grand festival organized at the
site of the temple to commemorate the two national heroines.
West Lake and Youth Road
The Youth Road
can be compared to a beautiful bridge spanning across the two large bodies of
water - West Lake to the northwest and Truc Bach Lake to the southeast. This
992-metre-long road has been made into two-lane road with a line of big trees
grown in between the lanes. On either side of the road is grown with flamboyant
trees, weeping willow trees and Bang Lang trees. In summer the road looks
colorful with the many flamboyant trees in blossom and Bang Lang trees with
Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum
After two years
of construction, the mausoleum of President Ho Chi Minh was officially
inaugurated on August 29,1975. The facade of the mausoleum faces the historic
Ba Dinh Square.
The Ho Chi Minh Museum
The museum displays relics about the life and work of President Ho Chi Minh, a cultural figure and hero of the national liberation movement (1890-1969). The museum was inaugurated on May 19,1990, the anniversary of the Centenary Birthday of President Ho Chi Minh. Address:3 Ngoc Ha St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8263752 or 8255435
One Pillar Pagoda
The original name of the pagoda was Dien Huu pagoda
which literally means long lasting happiness and and good luck. The pagoda is
situated in the western part of the city. It was first built in 1049 in the
reign of King Ly Thai Tong. legend has it that at time King Ly Thai Tong was
very old and had no sons of his own. One night he had a dream that he was
granted a private audience with Buddha with a male baby on his hands. Buddha
seating on a lotus
flower in a square-shaped lotus pond in the western side of Thang Long Citadel,
gave the king the baby. Month later the queen got pregnant and she gave birth
to a male. To repay the gift from Buddha, the king ordered the construction of
a pagoda with was supported by only one pillar resembling a lotus seat on which
Buddha had been seated. The pagoda was dedicated to Buddha.
The History Museum
The museum is a national museum. It was founded in 1926
and named "Ecole d'Etreme Orient." In 1958 it was restored and
renamed the Vietnam History Museum. On display are rich collection of
archaeological findings of great scientific and artistic value, illustrating
the development of the nation and the State of Vietnam from the dawn of its
history to the period prior of the coming into being of the Vietnam Communist
The Revolution Museum
The museum is a national museum. It was founded in
January 1959, It exhibits relics from various phases of the Vietnamese people's
patriotic and revolutionary struggle from the founding of the Vietnam Communist
Party up to the present day. Address: 25 Tong Dan St, Hanoi. Tel:(84-4) 8253766
and 8254151 or 8254323
The Army Museum
The museum is a national museum which was established in
June 1959. War relics and trophies reminisce great periods of the armed
struggle of the Vietnamese people. Evolutions of the
two recent great historic battles: the Dien Bien Phu battle in 1945 and the Ho
Chi Minh Campaign in 1975 are unfolded again on miniature models. Address: 28A
Dien Bien Phu St, Hanoi. Tel: (84-4) 8234264
The Fine Arts Museum
This is a national museum founded in June 1966. It
displays art works and objects of the various nationalities living in Vietnam
in every period. Prominent are collections of painting of great values by such
famous contemporary artists as To Ngoc Van, Nguyen Phan Chanh, Tran Van Can and
Bui Xuan Phai, etc,. Address: 66 Nguyen Thai Hoc St, Hanoi. Tel: (84-4) 265801
Hanoi Opera House
Location: The Hanoi Opera House is situated on Le Thanh
Tong St., Hanoi; near the Red River and several hundreds meters east of Hoan
Kiem Lake. Characteristics: It is an old theatre with French architecture and
typical Gothic and Mosaic characters reflected on the door domes and the
glassed room respectively.
The old quarter Hanoi
Hanoi’s Old Quarter; with over a thousand years of history; remains one of Vietnam`s most lively and unusual places. The city`s commercial quarter evolved alongside the Red River and the smaller To Lich River; which once flowed through the city centre in an intricate network of canals and waterways teeming with boats. As the waters could rise as high as 8m during the monsoon; dikes; which can still be seen along Tran Quang Khai; were constructed to protect the city.
In the l3th
century; Hanoi`s 36 guilds established themselves here with each taking a
different street; hence the original name 36 Streets; although there are around
50 streets in today`s Old Quarter. Hang means “merchandise” and is usually followed
by the name of the product that was traditionally sold in that street. Thus;
Pho Hang Gai translates as silk Street; these days the street name may not
indicate what`s sold there.
For more information on The History of Hanoi's Old Quarter (by Queencafe)
Hanoi Flag Tower
Location: Flag Tower is
on Dien Bien Phu Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi; near Ba Dinh Square.
Characteristic: Hanoi Flag Tower, also called Cot Co, is one of the rare
architectural works in Hanoi that was fortunate enough to not be destroyed by
the French administration between 1894 and 1897.