Hanoi means “in river-bed” (Ha: river, Noi: in). The Red River surrounding Hanoi is about 30km long. Hanoi is the ancient capital, founded in 1010 in Ly dynasty.
In Hanoi, tourists will enjoy a unique combination of traditional culture, elegance and advancement. In the North of the city, there are original architecturers with villas under French domination, hiding themselves under century-old trees. However, other places of Hanoi are experiencing great changes. A large number wide and large roads are being created; hotels and high-rise buildings are being constructed everywhere, making Hanoi starts to have a manner of a modern city. Noi Bai International Airport, 35km from the center of Hanoi, is one of two biggest airports in Vietnam. It is being modernized. Other characteristics of Hanoi is the fact that the city has 18 different and beautiful lakes, which are considered as the lung of the city, with verdant orchards surrouunding the lakes, providing major energy sources for the city.
The Ancient Streets are located in the North of Hoan Kiem Lake. The streets were previously used for commercial activities. Each street traded in a different product. That is the reason why a lot of street names start with the word HANG, which refers to an occupation or traded product.
Hanoi Cathedral or St. Joseph’s Cathedral
The cathedral was originally named Saint Joseph’s Cathedral. This is the biggest church in Hanoi which is appointed as “Giuse Bible Cathedral”. It was inaugurated at Christmas in 1887 after two years of construction.
Hanoi Opera House
The construction of Hanoi Opera House started in 1901 and finished in 1911. It reproduces the style of Paris Opera House in France. It is the first Opera House in Hanoi, built on large-scale and influenced by the architectural style of modern opera houses in European. By now, its architectural feature is still a masterpiece.
Ba Dinh Square
Ba Dinh Square is a huge square consisting of 240 squares of grass, fully covering 32,000 m2. In the west of the square, Ho Chi Minh Museum and Uncle Ho’s House on Stilts which commemorate Ho Chi Minh leader. Within the square campus, there a Chancellery, Presidency, Office of Central Communist Part, National Assembly Guest House and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum.
After two years of construction Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum was officially inaugurated on August 29th 1975. The project results from the close collaboration between Vietnamese engineers and Soviet Union engineers. This is the resting place of Ho Chi Minh President, a great patriotic who was internationally conferred as “Famous Man of World Culture” in 1990 on his 100th birthday.
One Pillar Pagoda
One Pillar Pagoda has another name Dien Huu or Lien Hoa Dai, is located within the population of Dien Huu pagoda in Thanh Bao hamlet, Quang Duc district, in the west of Imperial Citadel of Thang Long in Ly dynasty, which is currently Chua Mot Cot street, Ba Dinh district, Hanoi (on the right of Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum). The pagoda was built in 1049, in the dynasty of Ly Thai Tong King. It is structured by only one pillar similar to a lotus shaped lamp support.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is the sacred land of Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as Ho Guom – a natural fresh water lake in Hanoi city. It has an area of about 12 hectares. It was previously named as Luc Thuy lake (as its water is green all year round), Thuy Quan lake (used for navy parade), Ta Vong and Huu Vong lake (in Le – Mat dynasty). The name Hoan Kiem appeared in the early 15th century with the legend of Le Thai To king returning precious sword to the spiritual turtle. The lake name is given to a central district of Hanoi (Hoan Kiem district) and it is the sole lake of the district by now.
Truc Bach Lake
West Lake and Truc Bach Lake are 2 most favorable geographical names in the city. The two lakes are separated by Thanh Nien road which is about 1km long. The lakes are enclosed by rows of willow trees and crape myrtles – a favorite place of young couples. West Lake is the largest lake in Hanoi. It surrounds 500 hectares of Tay Ho district. West Lake was created when Red River overflowed.
Temple of Literature
Temple of Literature glories famous talented and righteous people; cultural relics and the first university in Vietnam.
Temple of Literature was built in 1070 to honor Confucius and his pupils, including Chu Van An who led a moral and righteous life in Vietnamese education.
Imperial Academy, or the first university in Vietnam, was built in 1076. This academy was initially reserved for royal members, and then it was expanded for studious and talented pupils.
Co Loa Citadel and An Duong Vuong Temple
Co Loa Citadel
An Duong Vuong Temple
Co Loa Citadel was located in the North, 18km away from the center of Hanoi, in Co Loa Village, Dong Anh District. It is probably the most ancient bastion in Vietnam. It was built by Thuc Duong Vuong in the 3rd century BC, the capital city of Au Lac country (the name of Vietnam at the time).
It was built and designed in spiral shape and enclosed by three bastions and a deep dike.
Bat Trang Pottery Village
Bat Trang Village, in Gia Lam district, in the suburbs of Hanoi, a fat alluvial land of Red River, is famous for traditional handicraft, specializing in porcelain and pottery.
Van Phuc Silk Village
Van Phuc Village is located on the bank of Nhue river, 10km away from the center of Hanoi, a small village in Ha Dong. The villagers are excellent in the traditional skills of silk textile industry. Van Phuc silk is famous for fast color. Nowadays, the villagers have expanded their traditional industry to a larger scale. Van Phuc silk is not only used in Vietnam but also exported to worldwide countries.