Hanoi is the capital and the second-largest city of Vietnam. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts and 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction.
From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political center of Vietnam.
It was eclipsed by Hue, the imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen Dynasty (1802–1945), but Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1954.
From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Vietnam, and it became the capital of a reunified Vietnam in 1976, after the Vietnam War.
The city lies on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi is 1,760 km (1,090 miles) north of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) and 102 km (64 miles) west of Hai Phong city.
As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, it is considered one of the main cultural centers of Vietnam. Where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint. The city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike.
Even when the capital moved to Hue under the Nguyen Dynasty in 1802, 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 and boasts more than 1,000 years of history. The past few hundred years have been well preserved.
Interesting Places in Hanoi
The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem Lake, has the original street layout and architecture of old Hanoi. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hanoi consisted of only about 36 streets most of which are now part of the old quarter. Each street then had merchants and households that specialized in a particular trading, such as silk traders, jewelry, etc.
The street names today still reflect these specializations. 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 Dong Xuan Market, opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs, and food.
Some other prominent places are The Temple of Literature which was the oldest university in Vietnam in 1059. One Pillar Pagoda. Presidential Palace. Flag Tower. Long Bien Bridge and the Citadel of Hanoi
Hanoi has rich food traditions and is home to many of Vietnam’s most famous dishes. Visitors can also find a variety of overseas food such as Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Western, Muslim, Indian etc.
Hanoi experiences the typical climate of northern Vietnam. Summer from May to August is hot and humid, receiving the majority of the annual 1,680 millimeters (66.1 in) of rainfall.
The winter from November to January is relatively mild, dry (in the first half) or humid (in the second half). Spring from February to April can bring light rains. Autumn (September and October) is the best time of year in term of weather.