Ha Noi is a capital and locates at the North of Viet Nam. This is a largest city about nature square meter and the second biggest city after Saigon. This is the most important political center and also is the second city with high population density in Viet Nam, 6,5 million in 2009.
Since 2008, Ha Noi has 3344,7 km2 square meter including one town, 10 districts and 18 outskirt districts. Ha Noi is on fast development with the new and comfortable infrastructure system in the urban areas. Many modern buildings were built up due to the developed economy.
Ha Noi is one of the main tourist attraction in Viet Nam as its famous heritage site Ha Long Bay; the beautiful North-West as Sapa, Bac Ha; history site as Dien Bien Phu...
Hanoi has been inhabited since at least 3000 BC. One of the first known permanent settlements is the Co Loa citadel founded around 200 BC.
Ha Noi has had many names throughout the history since under the domination of Chinese and French occupation.
In 1831, Minh Mang King named it “ Ha Noi”. Ha Noi became the capital of Viet Nam after the reunification on July 2, 1076.
Hanoi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen, Vinh Phuc provinces to the north, Hoa Binh and Ha Nam to the south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east, Hoa Binh and Phu Tho to the west.
Hanoi means "the hinterland between the rivers" (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Hanoi's territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Hanoi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu. (Source: vietnamtourism.com)
As other big city, the transfer in Ha Noi is quite convenient with many kinds of vehicle as taxi, public bus, Honda “om” ( motorbike) , pedicab.
We are strongly advised you to get a taxi for more comfortable and safety.
Tourist Attractions in Ha Noi
The Old Quarter
Ha Noi Old quarter is right in the heart of the City, near the Red river and Hoan Kiem Lake. That is a history center of the City with the most crowded population.
The shape as a triangle with “ Hang Than “ street is the top, the East line is Red River’s dike; the West line is Hang Cot , Hang Dieu , Hang Da and the bottom is Hang Bong, Hang Gai.
The feature of the Old quarter is the vendors sell the same product at each street.
There were 36 streets but had changed nowadays by many modern shops but still keep the old shape, narrow but long house. Viet Nam Government wants to keep that feature as its history and culture and that is special Ha Noi.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Actually there are many big lakes in Ha Noi such as Ho Tay Lake ( West Lake), Truc Bach Lake … Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) locates right in the center of Ha Noi capital.
Its name is from the legend of Viet Nam history about Le Loi King to fight to the Chinese Ming dynasty. Le Loi King has won that battle thanks to a big turtle who gave him a magic sword. After that he was returned that sword back to that golden turtle ( Kim Qui). There is a temple right in the middle of that lake to worship that turtle and prove for the legend. In the reality, there are many big turtles in Hoan Kiem Lake.
Along with Hoan Kiem Lake that is The Huc Bridge and Ngoc Son Temple are the places you should visit for getting to know a part of Vietnamese culture.
Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda is one of the oldest pagodas in Vietnam and a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism.
According to the history, this pagoda was built under the reign of King Ly Nam De (544-548) under its original name of Khai Quoc and its first was built outside the Yen Phu dike ( Hong river).
Under the reign of Le Thai Tong, 1500s, it changed to An Quoc. In 1615, due to the land slide on the left side of Hong River, the pagoda be moved to the East side of West Lake. In 1620, the road leads to that island was completed and its name was changed to Tran Quoc about this end of 1700s.
Van Mieu Temple
Van Mieu - Quoc Tu Giam ( Literature Temple) is the most impressive place about Vietnamese education. That is the first university in Viet Nam.
Originally built in 1070 in the Ly dynasty, the temple is a shrine to Confucius and his disciples responsible for spreading his teachings. Six years later, Quoc Tu Giam or School for the sons of the Nation was established for the princes and Mandarin’s son.
In 1923, under the reign of Tran Thai Tong King, Quoc Tu Giam had changed to “ Quoc Hoc Vien” and accepted for the excellent students who were not related with royal to study.
Viet Nam Ethnological Museum
The Việt Nam Museum of Ethnology was officially opened to the public in November 1997 by French President Jacques Chirac when Việt Nam hosted the Conference of Francophone Nations. Located in Cầu Giáy District on the western outskirts of Hà Nội, the museum covers an area of nearly 3.3 hectares. It was designed in the form of an ancient Đông Sơn drum by Hà Đức Linh, an architect of the Tày ethnic minority, with interior decorations by French architect Véronique Dollfus. Being part of the National Centre of Social Sciences and Humanities, the museum is involved in a wide range of different undertakings. It collects, classifies, assesses, preserves, restores and displays artefacts relating to Việt Nam’s 54 different ethnic groups, carries out scientific research on Vietnamese nationalities and trains staff in ethnographic museology. The museum also attaches attention to the cultures of other countries in South East Asia, seeing them as potential targets for future exhibitions at the museum.(. Source: culturalprofiles.net)
Múa rối is considered to have originated in the delta of the Red river in Vietnam in the 11th century, and the art remains highly developed today in this country. Some of the earliest troupes were found in the Nguyên Xá commune, Đông Hưng district, Thai Binh province.
In ancient Vietnam, the rural Vietnamese believed that spirits controlled all aspect of their lives, from the kitchen to the rice paddies. The Vietnamese devised water puppetry as a way to satisfy these spirits, and as a form of entertainment, using what natural medium they could find in their environment. In ancient times, the ponds and flooded rice paddies after harvest were the stage for these impromptu shows.
The puppets are made out of wood and then lacquered. The shows are performed in a waist-deep pool. A large rod supports the puppet under the water and is used by the puppeteers, who are normally hidden behind a screen, to control them. Thus the puppets appear to be moving over the water. When the rice fields would flood, the villagers would entertain each other using this form of puppet play.