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Vietnam travel guide

Hanoi Capital city, Vietnam

Area: 3.324,92 sq. km

Population: 6,448,9 thousand habitants (April 2009).

Administrative divisions:

– 10 urban districts: Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung, Tay Ho, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Long Bien, Hoang Mai, Ha Dong.

–  1 city: Son Tay

–  18 rural districts: Dong Anh, Soc Son, Thanh Tri, Tu Liem, Gia Lam (Hanoi); Ba Vi, Chuong My, Dan Phuong, Hoai Duc, My Duc, Phu Xuyen, Phuc Tho, Quoc Oai, Thach That, Thanh Oai. Thuong Tin, Ung Hoa (former Ha Tay province) and Me Linh (a former district of Vinh Phuc province).

Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Muong, Tay, Dao…

Hanoi is known as the capital and also the second largest city of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. This city plays the important roles in culture, politics, economy and commerce of the entire Vietnam.

Located along the Red River Delta, Hanoi is the heart of North Vietnam. The city is surrounded by Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc Province to the North, Hoa Binh anh Ha Nam to the South, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen province to the East, Hoa Binh anh Phu Tho to the West.

The meaning of the name “Hanoi” is the combination of two separate names: Ha and Noi. Ha means river, Noi means interior. In summary, Hanoi means “the hinterland between the rivers”. Majority of Hanoi area is surrounded by the Red River and its branches with the length of approximately 40km. Besides, Hanoi has several other rivers which are flowing through its area such as Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.

Hanoi features a warm humid tropical climate with large amount of rainfall. The city experiences the typical climate of northern Vietnam, where summers are hot and humid, and winters are relatively cold and dry. The rainy season, lasting from May to September, are hot and humid. This season initially appears with the heavy rain and storms. The dry season, lasting from October to April, are relatively mild, dry and humid, while also bringing light rains to the city. About the average annual temperature, Hanoi has range of temperature of 23.2oC (73.7oF). In winter, Hanoi’s temperature range is from 17.2oC (62.9oF) to 8oC (46.6oF). However, in summer, the temperature is relatively high, about 29.2oC and can go to the peak of 39oC (102.2oF). About the average rainfall, annually, Hanoi has the high level of 1,800mm.

Hanoi is well-known as a main land that has the high spiritual and historical values for thousand years. In the 3rd century BC, the King of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc called An Duong Vuong made Co Loa, which is located in Dong Anh District nowadays, his kingdom’s capital. After periods, when the invaders from the North came to conquer the nation, Hanoi became the concrete base of many resistance movements fighting against the Northern forces. Surrounded by the Red River Delta, Hanoi has plenty of advantages in expanding its enormous area and populations and has been making itself a great city of Vietnam.

For many stages of time, especially in the Northern domination age, Hanoi has been chosen to be capital city of Vietnam. In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar year (1010), the first king of Ly Dynasty, Ly Thai To made a decision to move the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La and changed its name to Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). From that time on, the year of 1010 was officially chosen as the very important memorial date for Hanoi in specific and for the nationwide in general. The name Hanoi was formally used from 1831 up to now after several name-changing times known as Thang Long, Dong Do, Dong Kinh for about thousand years.

Although Hanoi has undergone lots of changes throughout a long history of thousand years included many destructions from wars and natural disasters, there are still many ancient architectural works preserved consisting of the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Of which are well-known sites such as the One Pillar Pagoda, which was built in 1049; the Temple of Literature built in 1070, Hanoi Citadel, Hanoi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum, etc.

Beside those famous architecture works, Hanoi naturally comprises a numerous lake system, which is popularly known as the city’s lungs, about 18 lakes located around its area including Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake…combined with lots of green parks and trees around the city. The great amount fresh air from those lakes and trees plays very important roles that make Hanoi a green city.

In addition, Hanoi is also the land of traditional handicrafts such as bronze molding, silver carving, and embroidery. There are a lot of famous villages in which the whole residents make handicrafts as their careers for living. Some of villages are well-known in nationwide including pottery in Bat Trang village, bronze casting in Ngu Xa village, glossy silk in Yen Thai village…

By bus: there are some core bus-line distances from Hanoi to large cities in Vietnam. Hanoi is about 93km from Ninh Binh, 102km from Hai Phong, 153km from Thanh Hoa, 151km from Halong, 474km from Dien Bien Phu, 658km from Hue, 763 from Danang, and 1,710 from Ho Chi Minh City.

By air: located about 35km from the Hanoi’s center, Noi Bai International Airport is known as one of three international airports in Vietnam. From this airport, travelers can take both domestic and international flights. For countrywide flights, passengers can fly to many popular cities in Vietnam including Danang, Dien Bien, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang. Besides, Noi Bai International Airport also has many international routes to lots of country all over the worlds.

By train: as the core railway station of Vietnam, Hanoi Railway Station has many railway routes connecting Hanoi and all of provinces in nationwide of Vietnam.

Please make sure you have Vietnam visa if you want to come to Hanoi city for travel. Please click here for Vietnam visa inquiry inquiry.


Bat Trang Pottery Village has strongly developed in some recent decades. Its vitality is clearly proved by the thousands of pottery-kiln on fire and night. During the era of 12th …

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Located in the area of Hoan Kiem District, the ancient quarter is well-known as one of most famous tourist and historical spots in Hanoi. With a huge area of about …

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