Capital City of Vietnam
Hanoi lies in the Red River Delta. It
borders the hilly provinces of Vinh Phu and Bac Thai to the north, the
provinces of Ha Bac and Hai Hung to the east, and the province of Ha Tay
to the south and the province of Ha Tay and Vinh Phu to the west.
city of Hanoi is situated from longitude 20o25' North and from
Latitude 105o15' to 106o03' East. It is situated in
a tropical area having a strong monsoon influence. Hanoi is endowed with
all the four seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. Climate in Hanoi
can be divided into two distinct seasons: the dry and the rainy seasons.
The dry season. The dry season starts from October to April. This is the
period characterized by spells of cold wind and drizzles. The rainy season
starts in May and ends in September, there are many torrential rains and
fierce sunshine in this period. The autumn season is in August, September
and October. Climate in Autumn in Hanoi is characterized by a clear, blue
sky and gentle spells of breeze. However at the close of the autumn in the
city there are short spells of little cold which are eventually followed
by long spells of severe cold and drizzles that make the sky gloomy all
day long. That is the beginning of the winter time.
Average temperature in winter time is registered at 17o 2C. The
lowest temperature at the same period is recorded at 5o C.
Average temperature in summer time is recorded at 29o2C. The
highest temperature at the same period is registered at 40oC.
Average temperature in a year is recorded at 23o 2C. Annual
average of rainfall is registered at 1,800 millimeters.
Hanoi is situated on an ancient soil area deposited from time immemorial
with layer after layer of alluvium carried down from the northern mountain
ranges by the Red River and its tributaries. That is the reason why Hanois
feel as closely connected to their Red River as children do towards their
mothers. In the old days the Red River has been given another common name:
Cai (Mother) River. The name of Hanoi (Exterior side of a river) has
derived from an ancient language which is literally known as a land area
located in the inner side the Red River. It is not that the city is inside
the river but rather it is embraced by about 100 kilometers of the Red
river dykes. The dyke portion in Hanoi accounts for about one fifth of the
total river dykes flanking on either side of the Red River that runs along
the Vietnamese territory on a stretch of more than 500 kilometers.
Other rivers that run through Hanoi include
the Duong, the Cau, the Ca Lo, the Day, the Nhue, the Tich, the To Lich
and the Kim Nguu rivers. The last two river, To Lich and Kim Nguu, have
been regarded as an inexhaustible sources of inspiration for many
Vietnamese literature writers and poems who lived in the capital city in
the old days. These two rivers were considered the most Poetic and
romantic bodies of water that flows through the city.
At present the two rivers, To Lich and Kim Nguu, are still partly seen in
the city. Theri former grandeur has long lost their literature charm
because they have to give way to urbanization development scheme.
Currently these rivers are regarded merely as the city's main open ditch
drainage system. However, the government has had in mind a massive
upgrading scheme to return the two historic rivers their original beauty
Hanoi has long been considered as the city of romantic lakes. Currintly
there are 18 lakes with water surface areas totaling more than 2,200
hectares. Those beautiful lakes which have come down into Vietnam's
history of prose and verse literature include Ho Hoan Kiem (Sabre Restored
Lake), Ho Tay (West Lake), Ho Truc Bach (White Bamboo Lake), Thien Quang
Lake, Ho Bay Mau (Bay Mau Lake), Ho Thu Le (Thu Le Lake), and Ho Giang Vo
(Martial Art Training Lake). These lakes are considered the giant lungs of
the city which is covered with parks and shade trees grown along main
boulevards to make the city more close to nature.
Hanoi has four inner precincts: Hoan Kiem,
Ba Dinh, Hai Ba Trung and Dong Da.
Hoan Kiem Precinct:
This is regarded as the business district,
the central administrative part of the city. Hoan Kiem precinct is the
place where are located the city council locally known as the Municipal
People's Committee, big trade centers, and the city's ancient trade and
occupation area regionally reputed as the "ancient Hanoi with 36 guild
Ba Dinh Precinct:
This is the area where are located most of
the government offices. Ba Dinh Precinct is also famous for the location
of the Mausoleum of the late President Ho Chi Minh, next to the historic
Ba Dinh Square and many historic and cultural sites of the capital city.
Dong Da Precinct:
This area is mostly marked for residential
areas and universities. In the last two or three decades, there have
emerged several big residential areas. They are government-built apartment
buildings locating in Trung Tu, Giang Vo, Thanh Xuan, Yen Lang areas. Most
of the tenants are government employees. Along Nguyen Trai Road leading to
National Highway 6 to the southwest of the city are located several major
universities and colleges. This area, about seven kilometers from the
city's center, houses the Hanoi Foreign Languages Institute, the institute
of Architecture, the National University formerly known as the Hanoi
University, and several others.
Hai Ba Trung
This is also an area mostly used for
residential and educational projects. Many projects have been built along
the National Highway 1A. There has been some sort of infrastructure for
the forming of a national university village on the southern approach to
the city. Currently there are the head office of the Vietnam's Ministry of
Education and Training, The National Polytechnics Institute, the Institute
of Construction and the National Institute of Economics.
There are five
Tu Liem, Thanh Tri, Gia Lam, Dong Anh and
Soc Son. The current construction site of the Nghi Tam tourist resort
center on the bank of Ho Tay is in Tu Liem district.
From the time when the first state of
ancient Vietnam was established Hanoi (formerly Thang Long) has been
considered a sacred and typical part of Vietnam. 23 centuries ago Co Loa
in the present-day district of Dong Anh was the capital of the ancient Au
Lac country reigned by Thuc An Duong Vuong (King Thuc An Duong.) In the
subsequent period of more than 1,000 years Hanoi had witnessed brilliant
feats of arms in a long resistance war against the northern mighty
invaders. The subsequent dynasties sometimes moved their capital to other
regions. But as always Hanoi emerged eventually as their final and best
choice for the seat of their courts.
Now Hanoi is
nearing its date for celebrations marking the city's 1000 birthday
anniversary (Hanoi-Dong Do-Thang Long 1010-2010). Lets trace back to the
year of 1010-the date when ancient Hanoi was formed. It was in the Autumn
of the year of Canh Tuat (1010) that Ly Cong Uan, also known as Ly Thai To
- the founder of the Ly dynasty - removed the court from Hoa Lu in
present-day of Ninh Binh to the Dai la citadel (1) which was
later renamed Thang Long citadel.
As soon as the royal fleet with King Ly
Thai To aboard cast anchors at the landing wharf in the Nhi River (the
present-day Red River) there ascended a golden dragon. Thinking that it
was a good omen for his trip King Ly Thai To had the name of Dai La
Citadel renamed Thang Long (Ascending Dragon) Citadel. He also had his
former capital at Hoa Lu renamed Truong Yen Citadel. The Truong Yen
citadel is located in present-day province of Ninh Binh.
To the capital city of Hanoi the year 1010
has become the year of great historical events. The removal of the Ly
Dynasty court to Hanoi, the renaming of Dai La Citadel into Thang Long
Citadel, and finally the issue of the King's order to move the capital to
the ancient Thang Long. The order was considered the first wonderful prose
describing a high appreciation of the Ly Dynasty of the value the land
people of the ancient citadel to be chosen as the new capital of the
country. 1397 was the year that marked an end to the decline of the Le
Dynasty. It was the time when the Le king was completely indulged him self
in food, drink and entertainment. Ho Qui Ly, a high-ranking court officer,
overthrew the king and self proclaimed himself the king of a new dynasty -
the Ho Dynasty. The Ho Dynasty moved the court to Tay Do (the Western
Capital) Citadel in Thanh Hoa province, some 200 kilometers south of Thang
Long. Thang Long was then renamed Dong Do (the eastern capital).
In 1407 the Ching aggression army
defeated the army of the Ho Dynasty. They rushed to Dong Do (Thang Long)
Citadel which was completely abandoned by the Ho army. They rename Dong Do
Citadel as Dong Quan Citadel.
1418, a farmer whose name was Le Loi grouped an insurrection army in Lam
Son district in Thanh Hoa Province. He self proclaimed himself as Binh
Dinh Vuong (the pacification King) and led the resistance against the
foreign aggressors for 10 years and regained national independence. He
entered the then Dong Quan Citadel and the next year he renamed the
citadel as Dong King (the Eastern Court city).
In 1527 When a new dynasty-the Mac dynasty-
Was in the control of the country the citadel resumed its former name of
In 1802 King Gia Long established the first
court of the Nguyen Dynasty in Phu Xuan in the central coastal city of
Hue. Thang Long was then served as the regional capital exercising
influence on 11 northern citadels. But the word Long which was literally
meant Rong (Dragon) was changed to the word Long which was understood as
In 1831 King Minh Mang established
the province of Hanoi which includes the ancient Thang Long Citadel and
the districts of Tu Liem, Ung Hoa, Thuong Tin and Ly Nhan. Since then name
of Hanoi was known nationally.
In 1888 the defeated Nguyen Dynasty surrendered Hanoi Citadel to the
French colonialists. Hanoi became a colonial city in the course of 66
years until 1954, (1888-1954).
September 2,1945, during a grand mass meeting organized at the historic Ba
Dinh Square, President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence
and formally established the first government of the young republic - the
Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Hanoi was then formally declared the
capital of Vietnam.
capital city Hanoi was liberated from the French colonialists on October
the complete victory in April 30, 1975 and the reunification of the
country the next year, Hanoi was officially recognized as the capital city
of Vietnam. It was made known as the capital city of the Socialist
Republic of Vietnam by the National Assembly, 6th legislature, which
convened in Hanoi on April 25,1976.
remains a folk poem in a collection of folk songs and poetry on Hanoi that
describes all the names of the 36 guild streets. The 14-line poem runs as
Lets roam around Thang Long
36 guild streets there are in all
Hang Bo, Hang Bac, Hang Gai
Hang Buom, Hang Thiec, Hang Bai, Hang Khay
Ma Vi, Hang Dieu, Hang Giay
Hang Lo, Hang Cot, Hang May, Hang Dan
Pho Moi, Phuc Kien, Hang Than
Hang Ma, Hang Mam, Hang Ngang, Hang Dong
Hang Muoi, Hang Non, Cau Dong
Hang Hom, Hang Dau, Hang Bong, Hang Be
Hang Thung, Hang Bat, Hang Tre
Hang Voi, Hang Giay, Hang The, Hang Ga
Tunrn around and you are in Hang Da
A trip like that makes one feel wonderful.
In the old days almost all the names of
these streets were closely associated with a certain kind of trade and
occupation of those inhabitants who lived in the street. Even nowadays
there remain several streets the trades and occupation in which are
typical jobs of local dwellers. Once you go pass Hang Thiec street you
cannot fai to listen to the continuous tapping of hammer against metal and
tin. Local makers spend their busy day on the pavement or inside their
houses cutting, shaping and welding sheet of metal or tin into containers,
bottles and other kitchen and household utensils. If you are interested in
seeing how Buddhism-Taoism- and Confucianism-minded Vietnamese people are
you are invited to a street where all kinds of volatile papers are on
sale. The colorful volatile paper products are of all shapes and sizes. It
is Hang Ma street. The most crowded time for Hang Ma street is several
weeks before the mid-Autumn Festival. Children often accompanied by their
parents are thronged the street the pavements of which are full with stack
after stack of color papers and toy stands offering diversified kinds of
paper toys such as lion heads, rabbit heads and star-shaped lanterns. The
street looks more beautiful when hundreds of candles are lit to give
little customers more fancy-looking chances to choose their toys. A bit
different from the traditional sales can be seen in Hang dao ang Hang
Ngang streets. Traditionally these streets were exclusive for silk and
woolen fabrics sales but now traders have more fancy to add to their stock
many different kind of modern more expensive commodities to cater foreign
streets which had formerly been considered dormant territories have become
more bustling with the opening of many shops catering sundry goods and
food stalls. That is contributed to the new government open-door police to
let private businesses prosper and have more foreign investors coming in
to do business in Vietnam. Doggedly following the examples of the city's
original guild streets have their particular trades or sales such as
construction material streets, and the like. Tempo of private housing
construction boosted markedly that make many old streets almost forgotten
of their old look and several new streets have not got their own official
names. Now the city has total of 381 streets representing a tenfold
increase as compared with the ancient Hanoi with a mere 36 guild streets.