Ha Noi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Vietnam. Ha Noi means 'Hinterland Between Rivers' (Ha: River, Noi: Interior). Ha Noi's territory is washed by the Red River and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital.
Ha Noi is a sacred land of Vietnam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong. Ha Noi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center. At different periods, Ha Noi had been selected as the chief city of Vietnam under the Northern domination. In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital of Dai Viet (大越, the Great Viet, the old name of Vietnam) from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (昇龍). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Ha Noi and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do (東都), Dong Kinh (東京, the same characters are used for Tokyo, Japan), and finally to Ha Noi (河内), in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.
Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Ha Noi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Ha Noi Citadel, Ha Noi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum...
Ha Noi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake..., which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy.
Ha Noi is safe and accessible, friendly and easy to move around in. Extremely livable, fascinating and genuine are how most expatriates describe their Ha Noi living experiences.
The cultural life in Ha Noi is very interesting. Many of the well-known Vietnamese painters, musicians and writers have been trained in the best schools of Ha Noi. There are many housing options from gated communities to old French villas, from serviced apartments to Vietnamese houses. More and more, everything you'll need for living, household use, and school items are widely available. Supermarkets and shops stock many European and western products, art and school supplies are inexpensive and readily available. Satellite television, Internet access, and entertainment options abound. There are bowling alleys, arcades, many parks, and a water park. Fitness clubs, tennis courts, and swimming pools are convenient and music and sporting lessons are easy to arrange. Also, many cultural and arts events from symphony orchestra and ballet to the circus and water puppets bring a dynamism to city life.
Ha Noi economy is improving rapidly. In addition to the flourishing tourism, the city is confident that its other industries will continue to develop. Factories are sprouting like mushrooms around the city along with many local arts and crafts businesses. Commerce is expanding and new shops are opening everyday, such as bar and restaurants, decoration and souvenir stores and phone shops.
www.vietnamtourism.com, www.hanoi-iwc.com & www.wikipedia.org