If ever being heard of Vietnam, with the popular S-shape or the dragon-shape, you may have known its significant land/capital – the “dragon-eye” site: Hanoi.
This beautiful capital strategically lies at the center of the triangular basin of the Red River. With around 3.5 million people, and an area of 920 square km, Hanoi is now the country’s center of economy, politics, culture, and society.
Hanoi is famous for numerous rivers, lakes, and mountains alongside and in the surroundings. Scattered around are places of sight-seeing, which are so much attractive thanks to green lands full of streams, rivers, and mountain, such as Tam Dao, Con Son, Kiep Bac, etc. Hanoi is also well known for typical tropical seasoned place of South East Asia with four seasons: fresh, green and cool in Spring, a bit hot in Summer, fine in Autumn, and cold in Winter. Yet the most interesting thing is that all those take place in most sites of the capital. “Leisuring around the rivers in the suburbs or walking down the green mountains like Soc Temple in Soc Mount, Ve Linh Mount, Phuc Tuong Mount, etc, in autumn brings in such a great feeling. Believe me, you will taste the cool and fresh air as if the most delicious desert after such a busy time”, said a busy trader during her stay in Hanoi.
Before being named “Hanoi” as present, the capital had had several names throughout history. In 1010, Ly Thai To, the first ruler of the Ly Dynasty, moved the capital of Đại Việt (the Great Viet) to the site of the Đại La Citadel. Claiming to have seen a dragon ascending the Red River, he renamed it Thăng Long (Ascending Dragon) – a name still used poetically to this day with the belief that this was good omen of the country’s future. It remained the capital of Vietnam until 1397, when the capital was moved to Thanh Hoa, also known as Tây Đô (Western Capital). Thăng Long then became Đông Đô (Eastern Capital). King Minh Mang, under the Nguyen Dynasty, has laid the name “Hanoi” on the capital since 1831. This means “a city lying Between Rivers or River Interior”, which are Red and Day rivers. Hanoi became the capital of Vietnam when North and South Vietnam were reunited on July 2, 1976.
Many historians reckon that the city was established more than 1,500 years ago. Therefore, with the length of living, Hanoi is very rich of cultural, historical and traditional values.