Official language:
Time zone:
Dialing code:
+84 - 4
Dong (₫)(VND)
Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. Its population in 2009 was estimated at 2.6 million for urban districts, 6.5 million for the metropolitan jurisdiction. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam. It was eclipsed by Huể, the imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyễn 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 North's victory in the Vietnam War.
The city lies on the right bank of the Red River. Hanoi is 1,760 km (1,090 mi) north of Ho Chi Minh City and 120 km (75 mi) west of Hai Phong city. October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of the city. The Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural is a 4 km ceramic mosaic mural created to mark the occasion.
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 Huể 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 city in Vietnam, and boasts more than 1,000 years of history, and that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.
A city between the rivers, built from lowland, Hanoi has many scenic lakes and it is sometimes called "city of lakes". Among its lakes, the most famous are Hoàn Kiểm Lake, West Lake, Halais Lake, and Bay Mau Lake. Hoan Kiem 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 is a popular place for people to spend time. It is the largest lake in Hanoi and there are many temples in the area. There are swanboats for hire. The lakeside road in Quang An area is perfect for bicycling, jogging and viewing the cityscape especially in the sunset or enjoying lotus ponds in the summer.
Hanoi is also home to a number of museums: National Museum of Vietnamese History, Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts, Vietnam Museum of Ethnology, Vietnam Museum of Revolution, Hỏa Lò Prison (Hanoi Hilton), Ho Chi Minh Museum, Hanoi Contemporary Arts Centre, Vietnam Military History Museum, Hanoi Museum.
According to TripIndex by TripAdvisor, for the period between June 1 and August 31, 2012 Hanoi was the cheapest city in the world for a one-night stay for two in a four-star hotel. This included cocktails, a two-course dinner with a bottle of wine, and taxi transport (two return journeys of about 3.2 km (2.0 mi) each). It cost $141.12; about 27 percent of the cost in the most expensive city, London, which cost $518.01. In 2014, Hanoi ranked #8 in TripAdvisor's list of World Best Destinations (by Travellers' Choice).
Part of the description above is taken from the Wikipedia article Hanoi with patent CC-BY-SA. The full list of those who have contributed to the drafting of the article is available here.