|Region||Red River Delta|
|Founded by||An Dương Vương|
|Subdivision||12 urban districts, 17 rural districts, one town|
|• Body||Hanoi People's Council|
|• Secretary of the Party||Đinh Tiến Dũng|
|• Chairman of People's Council||Nguyễn Ngọc Tuấn|
|• Chairman of People's Committee||Chu Ngọc Anh|
|• Capital City||3,358.6 km2 (1,297 sq mi)|
|• Urban||319.56 km2 (123.38 sq mi)|
|• Metro||24,314.7 km2 (9,388.0 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,296 m (4,252 ft)|
|• Capital City||8,053,663 (2nd)|
|• Urban density||14,708.8/km2 (38,096/sq mi)|
|• Metro density||662.1/km2 (1,715/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+07:00 (ICT)|
|ISO 3166 code||VN-HN|
|License plate||29 – 33, 40|
|– Total||US$42.04 billion|
|– Per capita||US$5,196|
|International airports||Nội Bài International Airport|
|Largest district by area||Ba Vì District (423 km2)|
|Largest district by population||Hoàng Mai District (2019 census 506,347)|
Hanoi (UK: /( /) -, ha-, hə-NOY or US: /-/ hah-NOY; Vietnamese: Hà Nội [hàː nôjˀ] (listen)) is the capital city of Vietnam in the north of Vietnam. It covers an area of 3,358.6 km2 (1,296.8 sq mi). The second largest city in Vietnam, it consists of 12 urban districts, 1 district-leveled town and 17 rural districts. Located within the Red River Delta, Hanoi is the cultural and political centre of Vietnam.
Hanoi traced its history back to the third century BCE, when a portion of the modern-day city served as the capital of the historic Vietnamese nation of Âu Lạc. Following the collapse of Âu Lạc, the city was part of colonial China. In 1010, Vietnamese emperor Lý Thái Tổ established the capital of the imperial Vietnamese nation Đại Việt in modern-day central Hanoi, naming the city Thăng Long (literally "Ascending Dragon"). Thăng Long remained Đại Việt's political centre until 1802, when the Nguyễn dynasty, the last imperial Vietnamese dynasty, moved the capital to Huế. The city was renamed Hanoi in 1831, and served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1945. On 6 January 1946, the National Assembly of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam designated Hanoi as the capital of the newly-independent country, which would last during the First Indochina War (1946–1954) and the Vietnam War (1955–1975). Hanoi has been the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam since 1976.
Hanoi hosts various venerable educational institutions and cultural venues of significance, including the Vietnam National University, the Mỹ Đình National Stadium, and the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts. Amongst its achievements, it has a UNESCO World Heritage Site— The Central Sector of the Imperial Citadel of Thăng Long, first constructed in 1011AD. Hanoi was the only Asia-Pacific locality to be granted the "City for Peace" title by the UNESCO on 16 July 1999, recognizing its contributions to the struggle for peace, its efforts to promote equality in the community, protect the environment, promote culture and education and care for younger generations. Hanoi joined UNESCO's Network of Creative Cities as a Design City on 31 October 2019, on the occasion of World Cities' Day. The city has also hosted numerous international events, including APEC Vietnam 2006, 132nd Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU-132), 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit, as well as the 2003 Southeast Asian Games, 2009 Asian Indoor Games, and the upcoming 2021 Southeast Asian Games.
Hanoi had various names throughout history.
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Many vestiges of human habitation from the late Palaeolithic and early Mesolithic ages can be found in Hanoi. In 1971–1972, archaeologists in Ba Vì and Đông Anh discovered pebbles with traces of carving and processing by human hands that are relics of Sơn Vi Culture, dating from 10,000 to 20,000 years ago. In 1998–1999, the Museum of Vietnamese History (now National Museum of Vietnamese History) carried out the archaeological studies in the north of Dong Mo Lake (Son Tay, Hanoi), finding various relics and objects belonging to Sơn Vi Culture – in the Paleolithic Age, 20,000 years ago. During the mid-Holocene transgression, the sea level rose and immersed low-lying areas; geological data clearly show the coastline was inundated and was located near present-day Hanoi, as is apparent from the absence of Neolithic sites across most of the Bac Bo region. Consequently, from about ten thousand years to approximately 4,000 years ago, Hanoi in general was completely absent. It is believed that the region has been continuously inhabited for the last 4,000 years.
In around third century BCE, An Dương Vương established the capital of Âu Lạc in north of present-day Hanoi, where a fortified citadel is constructed, known to history as Cổ Loa, the first political center of the Vietnamese civilization pre-Sinitic era, with an outer embankment covering 600 hectares. In 179 BC, the Âu Lạc Kingdom was annexed by Nanyue, which ushered in more than a millennium of Chinese domination. Zhao Tuo subsequently incorporated the regions into his Nanyue domain, but left the indigenous chiefs in control of the population with the royal court in Cổ Loa. For the first time, the region formed part of a polity headed by a Chinese ruler.
In 111 BC, the Han dynasty conquered Nanyue and ruled it for the next several hundred years. Han dynasty organized Nanyue into seven commanderies of the south (Lingnan) and now included three in Vietnam alone: Giao Chỉ and Cửu Chân, and a newly established Nhật Nam.
In March of 40 AD, Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, daughters of a wealthy aristocratic family of Lac ethnicity in Mê Linh district (Hanoi), led the locals to rise up in rebellion against the Han. It began at the Red River Delta, but quickly spread both south and north from Jiaozhi, stirring up all three Lạc Việt regions and most of Lingnan, gaining the support of about sixty-five towns and settlements. Trưng sisters then established their court upriver in Mê Linh. In 42 AD, the Han emperor commissioned general Ma Yuan to suppress the uprising with 32,000 men, including 20,000 regulars and 12,000 regional auxiliaries. The rebellion was defeated in the next year as Ma Yuan captured and decapitated Trưng Trắc and Trưng Nhị, then sent their head to the Han court in Luoyang.
By the middle of the 5th century, in the center of ancient Hanoi, a fortified settlement was founded by the Chinese Liu Song dynasty as the seat of a new district called Tống Bình (Songping) within Giao Chỉ commandery. The name refers to its pacification by the dynasty. It was elevated to its own commandery at some point between AD 454 and 464. The commandery included the districts of Yihuai (義懷) and Suining (綏寧) in the south of the Red River (now Từ Liêm and Hoài Đức districts) with a metropolis (the domination centre) in the present inner Hanoi.
To defeat the people's uprisings, in the later half of the 8th century, Zhang Boyi (張伯儀), a Tang dynasty viceroy, built Luocheng (羅城, La Thanh or La citadel, from Thu Le to Quan Ngua in present-day Ba Dinh precinct). In the earlier half of the 9th century, it was further built up and called Jincheng (金城, Kim Thanh or Kim Citadel). In 863, Nanzhao army and local people laid siege of Jincheng and defeated the Chinese armies of 150,000. In 866, Chinese jiedushi Gao Pian recaptured the city and drove out the Nanzhao and rebels. He renamed the city to Daluocheng (大羅城, Đại La thành). He built the wall, 6,344 meters around the city, which some part were more than 8 meters high. Đại La at the time with approximate 25,000 residents included small foreign communities and residents of Persians, Arabs, Indian, Cham, Javanese and Nestorian Christians, became an important trading center of the Tang dynasty due to the ransacking of Canton by Huang Chao rebellion. By early 10th century AD, modern-day Hanoi was known to the Muslim traders as Luqin.
Thăng Long, Đông Đô, Đông Quan, Đông Kinh
In 1010, Lý Thái Tổ, the first ruler of the Lý dynasty, moved the capital of Đại Việt to the site of the Đại La Citadel. Claiming to have seen a dragon ascending the Red River, he renamed the site Thăng Long (昇龍, "Soaring Dragon") – a name still used poetically to this day. Thăng Long remained the capital of Đại Việt until 1397, when it was moved to Thanh Hóa, then known as Tây Đô (西都), the "Western Capital". Thăng Long then became Đông Đô (東都), the "Eastern Capital."
In 1408, the Chinese Minh dynasty attacked and occupied Vietnam, changing Đông Đô's name to Dongguan (Chinese: 東關, Eastern Gateway), or Đông Quan in Sino-Vietnamese. In 1428, the Vietnamese overthrew the Chinese under the leadership of Lê Lợi,[better source needed] who later founded the Lê dynasty and renamed Đông Quan Đông Kinh (東京, "Eastern Capital") or Tonkin. During 17th century, the population of Đông Kinh was estimated by Western diplomats as about 100,000. Right after the end of the Tây Sơn dynasty, it was named Bắc Thành (北城, "Northern Citadel").
During Nguyễn dynasty and the French colonial period
When the Nguyễn dynasty was established in 1802, Gia Long moved the capital to Huế. Thăng Long was no longer the capital, its Hán tự was changed from 昇龍 ("Rising dragon") to 昇隆 ("Ascent and prosperity"), aiming to reduce the sentiment of Lê dynasty. Emperors of Vietnam usually used dragon (龍 long) as a symbol of their imperial strength and power. In 1831, the Nguyễn emperor Minh Mạng renamed it Hà Nội (河內, "Between Rivers" or "River Interior"). Hanoi was occupied by the French in 1873 and passed to them ten years later. As Hanoï, it was located in the protectorate of Tonkin became the capital of French Indochina after 1887.[better source needed]
During WWII and Vietnam War
The city was occupied by the Imperial Japanese in 1940 and liberated in 1945, when it briefly became the seat of the Việt Minh government after Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the independence of Vietnam. However, the French returned and reoccupied the city in 1946. After nine years of fighting between the French and Viet Minh forces, Hanoi became the capital of an independent North Vietnam in 1954.
During the Vietnam War, Hanoi's transportation facilities were disrupted by the bombing of bridges and railways. These were all, however, promptly repaired. Following the end of the war, Hanoi became the capital of a reunified Vietnam when North and South Vietnam were reunited on 2 July 1976.
After the Đổi Mới economic policies were approved in 1986, the Communist Party and national and municipal governments hoped to attract international investments for urban development projects in Hanoi. The high-rise commercial buildings did not begin to appear until ten years later due to the international investment community being skeptical of the security of their investments in Vietnam. Rapid urban development and rising costs displaced many residential areas in central Hanoi. Following a short period of economic stagnation after the 1997 Asian financial crisis, Hanoi resumed its rapid economic growth.
On 29 May 2008, it was decided that Hà Tây Province, Vĩnh Phúc Province's Mê Linh District and 4 communes of Lương Sơn District, Hòa Bình Province be merged into the metropolitan area of Hanoi from 1 August 2008. Hanoi's total area then increased to 334,470 hectares in 29 subdivisions with the new population being 6,232,940., effectively tripling its size. The Hanoi Capital Region (Vùng Thủ đô Hà Nội), a metropolitan area covering Hanoi and 6 surrounding provinces under its administration, will have an area of 13,436 square kilometres (5,188 sq mi) with 15 million people by 2020.
Hanoi has experienced a rapid construction boom recently. Skyscrapers, popping up in new urban areas, have dramatically changed the cityscape and have formed a modern skyline outside the old city. In 2015, Hanoi is ranked 39th by Emporis in the list of world cities with most skyscrapers over 100 m; its two tallest buildings are Hanoi Landmark 72 Tower (336 m, second tallest in Vietnam after Ho Chi Minh City's Landmark 81 and third tallest in south-east Asia after Malaysia's Petronas Towers) and Hanoi Lotte Center (272 m, also, third tallest in Vietnam).
Public outcry in opposition to the redevelopment of culturally significant areas in Hanoi persuaded the national government to implement a low-rise policy surrounding Hoàn Kiếm Lake. The Ba Đình District is also protected from commercial redevelopment.
Hanoi is located in the northern region of Vietnam, situated in Vietnam's Red River delta, nearly 90 km (56 mi) from the coast. Hanoi contains three basic kinds of terrain, which are the delta area, the midland area and the mountainous zone. In general, the terrain becomes gradually lower from north to south and from west to east, with the average height ranging from 5 to 20 meters above sea level. Hills and mountainous zones are located in the northern and western parts of the city. The highest peak is at Ba Vi with 1281 m, located west of the city proper.
Hanoi features a monsoon-influenced humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cwa) with plentiful precipitation. The city experiences the typical climate of northern Vietnam, with four distinct seasons. Summer, from May to August, is characterized by hot and humid weather with abundant rainfall, and few dry days.:40 Hot, dry conditions caused by westerly winds during summer are rare.:40 From September to November comprise the fall season, characterized by a decrease in temperature and precipitation. Winters, from December to January, are characterized as being mild with large amounts of drizzle and little sunshine.:40 The city is usually cloudy and foggy in winter, averaging only 1.5 hours of sunshine per day in February and March.
Hanoi averages 1,612 millimetres (63.5 in) of rainfall per year, the majority falling from May to October. There are an average of 114 days with rain.
The average annual temperature is 23.6 °C (74 °F), with a mean relative humidity of more than 80%. The coldest month has a mean temperature of 16.4 °C (61.5 °F) and the hottest month has a mean temperature of 29.2 °C (84.6 °F). The highest recorded temperature was 42.8 °C (109 °F) in May 1926, while the lowest recorded temperature was 2.7 °C (37 °F) in January 1955.
Hà Nội is divided into 12 urban districts, 1 district-leveled town and 17 rural districts. When Hà Tây was merged into Hanoi in 2008, Hà Đông was transformed into an urban district while Sơn Tây degraded to a district-leveled town. They are further subdivided into 22 commune-level towns (or townlets), 399 communes, and 145 wards.
List of local government divisions
HT – formerly an administrative subdivision unit of the defunct Hà Tây Province
During the French colonial period, as the capital of French Indochina, Hanoi attracted a considerable number of French, Chinese and Vietnamese from the surrounding areas. In the 1940s the population of the city was 132,145. After the First Indochina War, many French and Chinese people left the city to either move south or repatriate.
Hanoi's population only started to increase rapidly in the second half 20th century. In 1954, the city had 53 thousand inhabitants, covering an area of 152 km². By 1961, the area of the city had expanded to 584 km², and the population was 91,000 people. In 1978, National Assembly (Vietnam) decided to expand Hanoi for the second time to 2,136 km², with a population of 2.5 million people. By 1991, the area of Hanoi continued to change, decreasing to 924 km², but the population was still over 2 million people. During the 1990s, Hanoi's population increased steadily, reaching 2,672,122 people in 1999. After the most recent expansion in August 2008, Hanoi has a population of 6.233 million and is among the 17 capitals with the largest area in the world. According to the 2009 census, Hanoi's population is 6,451,909 people. As of 1 April 2019, Hanoi had a population of 8,053,663, including 3,991,919 males and 4,061,744 females. The population living in urban areas is 3,962,310 people, accounting for 49.2% and in rural areas is 4,091,353 people, accounting for 50.8%. Hanoi is the second most populous city in the country, after Ho Chi Minh City (8,993,082 people). The average annual population growth rate from 2009 to 2019 of Hanoi is 2.22%/year, higher than the national growth rate (1.14%/year) and is the second highest in the Red River Delta, only after Bắc Ninh Province (2.90% / year).
Nowadays, the city is both a major metropolitan area of Northern Vietnam, and also the country's cultural and political centre, putting a lot of pressure on the infrastructure, some of which is antiquated and dates back to the early 20th century. It has over eight million residents within the city proper and an estimated population of 20 million within the metropolitan area.
The number of Hanoians who have settled down for more than three generations is likely to be very small when compared to the overall population of the city. Even in the Old Quarter, where commerce started hundreds of years ago and consisted mostly of family businesses, many of the street-front stores nowadays are owned by merchants and retailers from other provinces. The original owner family may have either rented out the store and moved into the adjoining house or moved out of the neighbourhood altogether. The pace of change has especially escalated after the abandonment of central-planning economic policies and relaxing of the district-based household registrar system.
Hanoi's telephone numbers have been increased to 8 digits to cope with demand (October 2008). Subscribers' telephone numbers have been changed in a haphazard way; however, mobile phones and SIM cards are readily available in Vietnam, with pre-paid mobile phone credit available in all areas of Hanoi.
Birth, death and fertility rates
Source: General Statistics Office of Vietnam.
Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism are the main religions of Hanoi for many years. Most people consider themselves Buddhist, though not all of them regularly follow religion.
There are more than 50 ethnic groups in Hanoi, of which the Viet (Kinh) is the largest; according to official Vietnamese figures (2019 census), accounting for 98.66% of the population, followed by Mường at 0.77% and Tày at 0.24%.
According to a recent ranking by PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hanoi and Saigon will be amongst one of the fastest growing cities in the world in terms of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025. In the year 2013, Hanoi contributed 12.6% to GDP, exported 7.5% of total exports, contributed 17% to the national budget and attracted 22% investment capital of Vietnam. The city's nominal GDP at current prices reached 451,213 billion VND (21.48 billion USD) in 2013, which made per capita GDP stand at 63.3 million VND (3,000 USD). Industrial production in the city has experienced a rapid boom since the 1990s, with average annual growth of 19.1 percent from 1991 to 1995, 15.9 percent from 1996 to 2000, and 20.9 percent during 2001–2003. In addition to eight existing industrial parks, Hanoi is building five new large-scale industrial parks and 16 small- and medium-sized industrial clusters. The non-state economic sector is expanding fast, with more than 48,000 businesses operating under the Enterprise Law (as of 3/2007).
Trade is another strong sector of the city. In 2003, Hanoi had 2,000 businesses engaged in foreign trade, having established ties with 161 countries and territories. The city's export value grew by an average 11.6 percent each year from 1996 to 2000 and 9.1 percent during 2001–2003. The economic structure also underwent important shifts, with tourism, finance, and banking now playing an increasingly important role. Hanoi's traditional business districts are Hoàn Kiếm, Hai Bà Trưng and Đống Đa; and newly developing Cầu Giấy, Nam Từ Liêm, Bắc Từ Liêm, Thanh Xuân and Hà Đông in the west.
Similar to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi enjoys a rapidly developing real estate market. The most notable new urban areas are central Trung Hòa Nhân Chính, Mỹ Đình, the luxurious zones of The Manor, Ciputra, Royal City in the Nguyễn Trãi Street (Thanh Xuân District) and Times City in the Hai Bà Trưng District. With an estimated nominal GDP of US$42.04 billion as of 2019, it is the second most productive economic area of Vietnam (after Ho Chi Minh City)
Agriculture, previously a pillar in Hanoi's economy, has striven to reform itself, introducing new high-yield plant varieties and livestock, and applying modern farming techniques.
After the economic reforms that initiated economic growth, Hanoi's appearance has also changed significantly, especially in recent years. Infrastructure is constantly being upgraded, with new roads and an improved public transportation system. Hanoi has allowed many fast-food chains into the city, such as Jollibee, Lotteria, Pizza Hut, KFC, and others. Locals in Hanoi perceive the ability to purchase "fast-food" as an indication of luxury and permanent fixtures. Similarly, city officials are motivated by food safety concerns and their aspirations for a "modern" city to replace the 67 traditional food markets with 1,000 supermarkets by 2025. This is likely to increase consumption of less nutritious foods, as traditional markets are key for consumption of fresh rather than processed foods.
Over three-quarters of the jobs in Hanoi are state-owned. 9% of jobs are provided by collectively owned organizations. 13.3% of jobs are in the private sector. The structure of employment has been changing rapidly as state-owned institutions downsize and private enterprises grow. Hanoi has in-migration controls which allow the city to accept only people who add skills Hanoi's economy. A 2006 census found that 5,600 rural produce vendors exist in Hanoi, with 90% of them coming from surrounding rural areas. These numbers indicate the much greater earning potential in urban rather than in rural spaces. The uneducated, rural, and mostly female street vendors are depicted as participants of "microbusiness" and local grassroots economic development by business reports. In July 2008, Hanoi's city government devised a policy to partially ban street vendors and side-walk based commerce on 62 streets due to concerns about public health and "modernizing" the city's image to attract foreigners. Many foreigners believe that the vendors add a traditional and nostalgic aura to the city, although street vending was much less common prior to the 1986 Đổi Mới policies. The vendors have not able to form effective resistance tactics to the ban and remain embedded in the dominant capitalist framework of modern Hanoi.
Hanoi is part of the Maritime Silk Road that runs from the Chinese coast through the Strait of Malacca towards the southern tip of India to Mombasa, from there through the Red Sea via the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean, there to the Upper Adriatic region to the northern Italian hub of Trieste with its rail connections to Central Europe and the North Sea.
A development master plan for Hanoi was designed by Ernest Hebrard in 1924, but was only partially implemented. The previous close relationship between the Soviet Union and Vietnam led to the creation of the first comprehensive plan for Hanoi with the assistance of Soviet planners between 1981 and 1984. It was never realized because it appeared to be incompatible with Hanoi's existing layout.
In recent years, two master plans have been created to guide Hanoi's development. The first was the Hanoi Master Plan 1990–2010, approved in April 1992. It was created out of collaboration between planners from Hanoi and the National Institute of Urban and Rural Planning in the Ministry of Construction. The plan's three main objectives were to create housing and a new commercial center in an area known as Nghĩa Đô, expand residential and industrial areas in the Gia Lâm District, and develop the three southern corridors linking Hanoi to Hà Đông and the Thanh Trì District. The end result of the land-use pattern was meant to resemble a five cornered star by 2010. In 1998, a revised version of the Hanoi Master plan was approved to be completed in 2020. It addressed the significant increase of population projections within Hanoi. Population densities and high rise buildings in the inner city were planned to be limited to protect the old parts of inner Hanoi. A rail transport system is planned to be built to expand public transport and link the Hanoi to surrounding areas. Projects such as airport upgrading, a golf course, and cultural villages have been approved for development by the government.
Hanoi is still faced with the problems associated with increasing urbanization. Although it is a major transport hub with a large network of national routes, expressways, railways, and is home to Noi Bai International Airport, the busiest airport in Vietnam, the disparity of wealth between the rich and the poor is a problem in both the capital and throughout the country. Hanoi's public infrastructure was assessed as in poor condition with high amounts of pollution and congestion in 2001. The city also has frequent [needs update], air and water pollution, difficult road conditions, traffic congestion, and a rudimentary public transit system. Traffic congestion and air pollution are worsening as the number of motor cycles increases. Squatter settlements are expanding on the outer rim of the city as homelessness rises (2001).
In the late 1980s, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Vietnamese government had designed a project to develop rural infrastructure. The project focused on improving roads, water supply and sanitation, and educational, health and social facilities because economic development in the communes and rural areas surrounding Hanoi is dependent on the infrastructural links between the rural and urban areas, especially for the sale of rural products. The project aimed to use locally available resources and knowledge such as compressed earth construction techniques for building. It was jointly funded by the UNDP, the Vietnamese government, and resources raised by the local communities and governments. In four communes, the local communities contributed 37% of the total budget. Local labor, community support, and joint funding were decided as necessary for the long-term sustainability of the project.
Civil society development
Part of the goals of the Đổi Mới economic reforms was to decentralize governance for purpose of economic improvement. This led to the establishment of the first issue-oriented civic organizations in Hanoi. In the 1990s, Hanoi experienced significant poverty alleviation as a result of both the market reforms and civil society movements. Most of the civic organizations in Hanoi were established after 1995, at a rate much slower than in Ho Chi Minh City. Organizations in Hanoi are more "tradition-bound," focused on policy, education, research, professional interests, and appealing to governmental organizations to solve social problems. This marked difference from Ho Chi Minh's civic organizations, which practice more direct intervention to tackle social issues, may be attributed to the different societal identities of North and South Vietnam. Hanoi-based civic organizations use more systematic development and less of a direct intervention approach to deal with issues of rural development, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection. They rely more heavily on full-time staff than volunteers. In Hanoi, 16.7% of civic organizations accept anyone as a registered member and 73.9% claim to have their own budgets, as opposed to 90.9% in Ho Chi Minh City. A majority of the civic organizations in Hanoi find it difficult to work with governmental organizations. Many of the strained relations between non-governmental and governmental organizations results from statism, a bias against non-state organizations on the part of government entities.
As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centres of Vietnam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Even when the nation's capital moved to Huế under the Nguyễn Dynasty in 1802, the city of 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 other city in Vietnam, and boasts more than 1,000 years of history; that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.
The Old Quarter, near Hoàn Kiếm Lake, maintains most of the original street layout and some of the architecture of old Hanoi. At the beginning of the 20th century Hanoi consisted of the "36 streets", the citadel, and some of the newer French buildings south of Hoàn Kiếm lake, most of which are now part of Hoàn Kiếm district. Each street had merchants and households specializing in a particular trade, such as silk, jewelry or even bamboo. The street names still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce. The area is famous for its specializations in trades such as traditional medicine and local handicrafts, including silk shops, bamboo carpenters, and tin smiths. Local cuisine specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here also. A night market (near Đồng Xuân Market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.
Imperior sites are mostly in Ba Đình District and a bit of Đống Đa District. They are juxtaposed with French colonial architecture (villas, administrative buildings and tree-lined boulevards). Some prominent edifices from feudal time include the Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu), site of the oldest university in Vietnam which was started in 1010, the One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột) which was built based on the dream of king Lý Thái Tông (1028–1054) in 1049, and the Flag Tower of Hanoi (Cột cờ Hà Nội). In 2004, a massive part of the 900-year-old Hanoi Citadel was discovered in central Hanoi, near the site of Ba Đình Square.
A city between rivers built on lowlands, Hanoi has many scenic lakes and is sometimes called the "city of lakes." Among its lakes, the most famous are Hoàn Kiếm Lake, West Lake, Trúc Bạch Lake and Bảy Mẫu Lake (inside Thống Nhất Park). Hoàn Kiếm Lake, also known as Sword Lake, is the historical and cultural center of Hanoi, and is linked to the legend of the magic sword. West Lake (Hồ Tây) is a popular place for people to spend time. It is the largest lake in Hanoi, with many temples in the area. The lakeside road in the Nghi Tam – Quang Ba area is perfect for bicycling, jogging and viewing the cityscape or enjoying the lotus ponds in the summer. The best way to see the majestic beauty of a West Lake sunset is to view it from one of the many bars around the lake, especially from The Summit at Pan Pacific Hanoi (formally known as Summit Lounge at Sofitel Plaza Hanoi).
Hanoi was the capital and the administrative center for French Indochina for most of the colonial period (from 1902 to 1945). The French Colonial architecture style became dominant, and many examples remain today: tree-lined boulevards (such as Phan Dinh Phung street, Hoang Dieu street and Tran Phu street) and many villas, mansions, and government buildings. Many of the colonial structures are an eclectic mixture of French and traditional Vietnamese architectural styles, such as the National Museum of Vietnamese History, the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts and the old Indochina Medical College. Gouveneur-Général Paul Doumer (1898–1902) played a crucial role in colonial Hanoi's urban planning. Under his tenure there was a major construction boom.
In Ba Đình district:
In Hoàn Kiếm district:
Hanoi is home to a number of museums: