Everything you Need to Know about Hanoi
Hanoi is the perfect foil for the seething mass of humanity that is Ho Chi Minh City. With a population of four million and a more genteel style than its southern counterpart, Hanoi is the cultural capital of Vietnam and its heart and soul.
A great place to explore on foot, there is a lot to see and do here. Vietnam's capital lies on the banks of the Red River, some 100 kilometres from its mouth. Human settlements here date back as far as the 3rd century BC.
Previously known as Thang Long, it was renamed Hanoi in 1831 at a time when Hue was the capital. Large areas of present-day Hanoi were built during the French occupation, reflected in its broad boulevards and French-inspired architecture, which give the city a definite charm.
Hanoi is located in northern region of Vietnam, situated in the Vietnam’s Red River delta, nearly 90 km (56 mi) away from the coastal area. Hanoi contains three basic kind of terrain, which are the delta area, the midland area and mountainous zone. In general, the terrain is gradually lower from the north to the south and from the west to the east, with the average height ranging from 5 to 20 meters above the sea level. The hills and mountainous zones are located in the northern and western part of the city. The highest peak is at Ba Vi with 1281 m, located in the western part of the region.
Hanoi features a warm humid subtropical climate with plentiful precipitation.The city experiences the typical climate of northern Vietnam, with 4 distinct seasons.Summer, from May until August, is characterized by hot and humid weather with abundant rainfall.September to October is fall, characterized by a decrease in temperature and precipitation.Winter, from November to January, is dry and cool by national standards. The city is usually cloudy and foggy in winter, averaging only 1.5 hours of sunshine per day in February. Hanoi averages 1,680 millimetres (66.1 in) of rainfall per year, the majority falling from May to September. There are an average of 114 days with rain. The average annual temperature is 23.6 °C with a mean relative humidity of 79%. The highest recorded temperature was 42.8 °C on May 1926 while the lowest recorded temperature was 2.7 °C on January 1955.
Excursions in Hanoi
Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital lies in the North of the country and is one of the country’s top tourist hot spots. It offers French-colonial architecture, a rich food culture and a long history (the city celebrated its millennium in 2010.) The most well known and important districts in Hanoi are Ba Dinh District (aka the French Quarter) where the government offices are located and Hoan Kiem District (aka the Old Quarter) which is considered the city’s business hub and main tourist destination. One of Hanoi’s most common sights is that of streets packed with scooters, bicycles and cars swarming around pedestrians like a school of fish. Then there are the many sidewalk vendors and people simply out for a stroll and the popular Old Quarter is no exception so walking around this district is distinct from a leisurely stroll in the park. Visitors have no choice but to face the traffic in the local style but the experience of exploring the historical area is a must-do and truly well worth it.
1.Hanoi West Lake
Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake, West Lake has a circumference of 17km and houses many of the city’s historic places of interest around its perimeter – including Vietnam’s oldest pagoda and one of Vietnam’s four sacred temples. The lake attracts many locals and tourists seeking respite from the busy city, providing a sanctuary of great natural beauty with plenty of quiet spots in the sizeable lush gardens surrounding the lake.
2.Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple in Hanoi Hanoi tourists and locals alike head to Hoan Kiem Lake when seeking a place to get away from the noise of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island. The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty. Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.