Hanoi is an enigmatic city blending traditional and modern styles at the heart of northern Vietnam.
Situated on the bank of the Red River, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city after Ho Chi Minh City. With winding boulevards, ancient temples, French architecture and a rich cultural history, this city is an enchanting and memorable destination.
Throughout the ages, Hanoi has had many names, including Thang Long (‘Soaring Dragon’) and Dong Quan (‘Eastern Gateway’) before becoming Ha Noi (‘between rivers’) in 1831. Its history dates back to the Neolithic period, but the city as we know it today was established in 1010 when Emperor Ly Thai To made Hanoi the capital. In 2010, the city celebrated its 1000-year anniversary.
Hanoi has over 500 temples and pagodas, from ruins where majestic temples once stood to modest shrines tucked away in the city. A walk around the Old Quarter area is a great place to start, as it offers a glimpse of daily life in Hanoi as the streets come alive with activity.
Other attractions include the Ho Chi Minh Masoleum, Hoan Kiem Lake, Dong Xuan Market and catching a traditional water puppet show at the National Puppet Theatre. Hanoi is also a gateway to Halong Bay, the UNESCO World Heritage site famed for its islands, lakes and limestone formations. Located just two hours away, visitors can take a scenic boat trip to enjoy the stunning views of this vast mountainside complex.