Discover Hanoi, a city of enchanting history and vibrant culture. Explore astonishing facts about the "City of Lakes," including its thousand-year-old legacy, the captivating water puppetry, the aromatic coffee culture, and its world-famous street food. Hanoi's Old Quarter with its 36 historic streets reveals a labyrinth of crafts and traditions, while architectural gems like the French-inspired Hanoi Opera House and the ancient Temple of Literature tell tales of the city's past. Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum stands as a testament to Vietnam's revered leader, while the Turtle Tower on Hoan Kiem Lake symbolizes ancient legends. The Perfume Pagoda offers a boat journey to Buddhist sanctuaries nestled in picturesque limestone formations, creating a serene escape from urban life. Thang Long Imperial Citadel, a UNESCO site, showcases Hanoi's historical significance, and the diverse religious landscape with Buddhist temples, Catholic churches, and Taoist pagodas exemplifies the city's harmonious coexistence.
Join us in uncovering the untold facts about Hanoi, where a unique blend of heritage and modernity awaits, promising an unforgettable journey through time and culture.
The name reflects the city's geographical location, as it is situated between the Red River (Song Hong) to the east and the western region's fertile delta. Historically, it was also known as "Thang Long," which means "Ascending Dragon," symbolizing the city's resilience and its rise as a significant capital. Dragon is used in many traditional festivals in Hanoi as a mark of Hanoi's ancient culture and history.
When we say Hanoi is quite old, we mean it. It is believed that Hanoi has been inhabited since 3000 BC, and there is no doubt about it. The historical landmarks in Hanoi are living proof which are very old. The city celebrated its 1000th birthday back in 2010.
The Long Bien Bridge is not only a French legacy but also a symbol of Hanoi's resilience and enduring history, bridging the gap between the city's colonial past and its vibrant present. It was designed by Gustave Eiffel, the famous engineer behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Today, the Long Bien Bridge is no longer used for major traffic but remains a pedestrian and train bridge. It offers stunning views of the Red River and is a favourite spot for photographers, tourists, and locals.
Honking is common, and it's often used as a way to signal one's presence in traffic. Drivers and riders may not always follow Western-style traffic norms, so it's important to be cautious and patient. Traffic rules and regulations are in place, but enforcement can be inconsistent. You'll see a mix of riders adhering to the rules and some who do not, leading to a certain level of traffic unpredictability. The weather in December in Hanoi is dry and cool with less to no rain but due to the festive season, the traffic gets out of control many times.
Many of Hanoi's narrow buildings were constructed during the French colonial period. The French imposed high taxes based on the width of street frontage, so property owners built narrow but deep buildings to reduce their tax liability. Despite their narrow facades, these buildings are ingeniously designed to make the most of the available space. They often have multiple floors, courtyards, and skylights to bring in natural light and ventilation.