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Ha Noi

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.
 The 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.

Administrative Areas
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 streets."

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 Precinct:
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 suburban districts:
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.

History :
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.
 In 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 Thang Long.

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 Thinh (prosperity).

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).
 On 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.
 The capital city Hanoi was liberated from the French colonialists on October 10, 1954.
 After 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.
There 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 follows:

Lets roam around Thang Long Citadel. 
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 visitors.
 Many 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.

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