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Hanoi Travel Guide


Hanoi (Photo courtesy: © Asiacamera)

Hanoi, the political and cultural capital of Vietnam, extends more than 2,000 sq km (800 sq miles) in size, and has a population of over 3 million people. The soul of this ancient Thang Long city rests in the old town centre which dates back to the 15th century. The original character of Hanoi has been preserved in its traditional pagodas and temples, colonial architecture, tree-lined streets and lakes as new buildings in the city centre around Hoan Kiem Lake are restricted to six floors.

The city centre is made up of four districts: Hoan Kiem which means Restored Sword, Hai Ba Trung translated means Trung Sisters, Dong Da the place where King Quang Trung defeated the Manchu invasion in 1789, and Ba Dinh. There are eleven integrated suburban districts, also known as quan. Ho Tay or West Lake borders the North West part of the city, and to the West of Hanoi, hills extend up to the 1,200-metre (4,000ft) summit of Mount Ba which is 65km (40 miles) from the city.

From the north, Hanoi is accessible either by Long Bien Bridge, Chuong Duong Bridge, or Thang Long Bridge which is the newest and is a modern span changing into a four-lane highway to Noi Bai Airport. French architect Gustave Eiffel built the 1,682-metre (5,520ft) long, Long Bien Bridge and it was opened in 1902 by Governor-General Doumer, after whom it was originally named. During the Vietnam War, the bridge suffered some damage from American bombing but has been continually repaired. All northbound road and rail traffic passed over it until 1983 when they reserved it for cyclists, pedestrians and trains.

Places around Hanoi

  • Hoan Kiem Lake
  • Opera House (Nha Hat Lon)
  • National Museum of Vietnamese History (Bao Tang Lick Su Vietnam)

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