Meaning: Hanoi means ‘A city on the bend of a river’
Population: Over 3 million
Region: SE Asia
Hanoi has a long history with the Chinese and the French and was briefly occupied by the Japanese. Chinese and French elements are still visible in Hanoi, such as cultural values, architecture, language and food. It was originally the capital of an independent North Vietnam but after the American war it became the capital of the reunited North and South Vietnam, on July 2nd 1976, which is now Vietnam’s national day.
Hanoi, being in the North experiences four seasons, compared to Ho Chi Minh City which has only two. Summer in Hanoi is hot and humid and has the most rain between May and September. It can get as hot as 40 degrees C and combined with the humidity it can feel much hotter. Winter rarely drops below 6 degrees C but it does snow in certain mountainous areas such as Sa Pa.
Having been the capital of Vietnam for close to 1000 years, there are many historical places of interest. The city has developed rapidly but has still managed to maintain its cultural roots. The centre of the city is named The Old Quarter as it has still has the same buildings and roads as old Hanoi. In the early 20th century old Hanoi was made up of just 36 streets, and although Hanoi has expanded greatly since then, the 36 streets can still be found.