vietnam travel covid 19 updates

Stay updated with the latest news of the COVID-19 situation in Vietnam and information for traveling to Vietnam. Read more here.

Vietnam Travel Information

i Tour Vietnam | Top-rated private Ho Chi Minh City tours and Vietnam travel guides.

What is the Capital of Vietnam

hcm-mausoleum-capital-of-vietnam Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi

Keeping an ageless charm through centuries, Hanoi - the capital of Vietnam is famous not only for the Old Quarter with narrow and crowded streets but also the nostalgic feeling that it brings. While Saigon is a young and modern city, the ancient Hanoi is still a true beholder of history.

Location of Hanoi and How to Get There

Located on the banks and at the center of the Red River's flow, Hanoi is the second-largest city in Vietnam with a population of over 7 million in 2016. Hanoi is in the North of Vietnam, about 1,600 km to the north of Saigon and it is also the center of the Red River Delta. Instead of going by bus or train, you can take a direct flight (about 2 hours) from Tan Son Nhat Aiport to Noi Bai Airport in Hanoi to save time.

Get your train ticket online to travel to Hanoi:

Powered by 12Go Asia system

A Brief History of the Capital of Vietnam

During the early stages of the country's establishment, the capital of Vietnam was the most prosperous and well-being place. However, for several consecutive centuries, Vietnam suffered many wars that caused damage to property and people, especially in the capital. There are so many historical events that changed the way of life and mindset of the people.

Read more on Vietnam Ancient Cities

The area around Hanoi has been chosen as the cultural, economic, and social center of the whole country several times throughout history. It used to be a citadel of previous dynasties and has recently chosen to be the country’s capital since 1945. Minh Mang was the one who gives the name Hanoi to this place (which means “inside the river”, implying the location of the capital).

Before Thang Long Establishment (prehistory - 1010)

ngoc son temple capital of vietnam

Ngoc Son Temple

Many archaeological pieces of evidence show that humans had appeared in the area around Hanoi thousands of years ago. The establishment of the country is believed to be from Hung Kings Period, and as a way to remember the dedication of Hung Kings as a founder of Vietnam, a lot of people come to Hung Kings Temple in Ninh Binh every year to commemorate his death date on March 10th of Lunar Calendar. One of the capitals of that time was named Co Loa, and its location was a district of Hanoi today.

From 179 B.C, Northern colonists started with invasion attacks to occupy Vietnam and dominated Vietnam for the next one thousand years. During this time, Hanoi was known by many names such as Tong Binh, and Dai La, but was the only cities that the Chinese emperors used to control the southern country. It was not until the Ly Dynasty (in Vietnam history) that Hanoi became an important government area.

From the Ly Dynasty to Tay Son Dynasty (1010 - 1787)

thang long citadel capital of vietnam

Thang Long Citadel

After the continuous struggles of the Vietnamese to gain sovereignty from the Northern colonists, Emperor Ly Cong Uan decided that Thang Long (Hanoi) is the largest cultural, political, economic and social center in the country. And from then this land went with many names such as Dong Do, Dong Quan, and Dong Kinh.

It is also considered as the most prosperous period of Thang Long (Hanoi) in history. The first university of Vietnam was built, many Buddhist temples were inaugurated, and trade flourished. The famous Old Quarter with 36 streets was also born during this burgeoning period of the nation.

Hanoi and the surrounding area continued to be the government area until the sixteenth century when Tay Son troops led by Quang Trung overthrew the Trinh lordship and prisoned them in Thang Long. Then Quang Trung took the throne and established a new government in Phu Xuan, Hue. Dai Viet (Vietnam) officially relocated its capital to Phu Xuan, Hue, and Thang Long (Hanoi) became a city in the north.

Nguyen Dynasty and French Colonization (1787 - 1945)

long bien bridge capital of vietnam

Long Bien Bridge is one the iconic remnants from the French colonial period

Tay Son Dynasty soon ended and Gia Long, the first king of the Nguyen Dynasty, also chose Phu Xuan as his capital and built the country from there. At that time, Thang Long was part of Hanoi Province. The position of Thang Long no longer stayed the same as the economic development was no longer focused like it was before. Most of the activities to earn a living here were mainly on agriculture, handicrafts, and retail trade.

In 1858, the French established the colonization in Indochina for the first time, and by 1873, the French advanced to Thang Long (Hanoi), and the residents of the city fought fiercely despite the Hue government's policy of peace. However, Hanoi, as well as other provinces of Vietnam, were officially under the "protection" of the French after the Nguyen signed a Treaty in 1884.

The city of Hanoi was formed in 1888 and became the official capital of Indochina in 1902. With the support of the French, Hanoi gradually changed. More and more universities, hospitals, and markets were built. Roads were improved, and trade developed constantly. The culture is more or less influenced by the harmonious combination between Eastern and Western culture.

Indochina War and Vietnam War (1945 - 1975)

This period was a time of complicated political change in Hanoi. Hanoi people suffered many losses of war, constant relocation, stagnation, and even no food at this stage. Before 1945, Japan and France participated in the war and gained the right to occupy Hanoi. After the Allies won World War II in 1945, Japan withdrew from Vietnam.

hoa lo prison capital of vietnam

Hoa Lo Prison stores many of the haunting memories from the war-torn years

President Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence, and gave birth to the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, choosing Hanoi as the capital on September 2nd, 1945. It was such a momentous event for not only Hanoi but also the Vietnamese after years and years of fighting consistently for their independence.

In late 1945, France returned to Hanoi, and the Indochina war broke out. It was not until the Dien Bien Phu victory in 1954 that the Vietnamese regain their national sovereignty. As the Vietnam War escalated, Hanoi suffered severe consequences affecting the lives of its people because it was the headquarter of the campaign to reunify and liberate the South of Vietnam.

 

Hanoi in Modern Time

After the liberation of the country on April 30th, 1975, in Saigon, the Vietnam War ended and two regions North-South were reunited. All roads, schools, hospitals, and markets were rebuilt to serve the lives of residents. The government of Vietnam followed, at that time, a way of economic development in the form of a planned economy, a feature of the communist economy. Vietnam officially entered the subsidy period. This period was a significant milestone for everyone living in Hanoi. And since 1986, the country adopted a new approached called the socialist market economy. 

In 1999, Ha Noi was recognized as the "City for Peace" by UNESCO, and in 2010, Hanoi celebrated 1000 years of establishment and became one of the oldest cities in Southeast Asia. Through many planning stages, Hanoi expanded its urban area by merging with many neighboring areas such as Ha Tay Province.

street side souvenirs capital of vietnam

Like other big cities such as Saigon, Hanoi the number of immigrants who come from other provinces to find a better job or to study in a better education increases every year. The speed of urbanization and population increase so fast that Hanoi is now facing problems such as environmental pollution, traffic congestion, narrow houses, and roads.

Fruit basket lady capital of vietnam

However, every year Hanoi still receives a large number of international tourists visit thanks to the historic attractions. The old atmosphere of Hanoi still gives visitors a feeling of traveling back in time. In one way or another, Hanoi always steals the hearts of those who have come visiting.

hn old quarter capital of vietnam

One of the things that makes Hanoi so special is its people. If you have the opportunity to visit the capital once, you will easily notice the lifestyle of Hanoi people very traditional. They, who have lived in this city for a long time, always maintain their cultural customs, values, and beliefs despite changes and urbanization.

Where to Go in Hanoi

hn old quarter street capital of vietnam

Hanoi Old Quarter's streets

Hanoi is famous for historical sites where you can find out about the heroic past of this nation, such as Thang Long Imperial Citadel and Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. And cultural sites that help you understand the religions and social characteristics of the capital from ancient times, which are still preserved until now. A few to name are One Pillar Pagoda, Temple of Literature, Sword Lake, and Bat Trang pottery village. Read more on What to do in Hanoi in 3 Days Guide.

hoan kiem lake capital of vietnam

Hoan Kiem Lake

If you're on the road and in need of a fully managed hosted virtual program, Cloud Hosted Desktop and Hosted SharePoint Services from CloudDesktopOnline are the two supreme technologies to access your online private workspace remotely from anywhere. Check out Apps4Rent.com today to learn about cloud-hosted solutions.

What to Eat in Hanoi

capital of vietnam local eat

The cuisine of Hanoi is extremely rich in colors, each dish is made with the chef's enthusiasm and attached to history. The famous dishes that you should try when coming here are Pho, Bun dau mam tom (Vermicelli with shrimp paste and tofu), and Com (Green sticky rice). Check out more delicious dishes in the North of Vietnam in our guide.

bun cha capital of vietnam

Bun Cha in Hanoi

Conclusion on What is the capital of Vietnam

In spite of the fact that Hanoi is getting more and more modern, tourists are coming more and more, Hanoi always keeps for itself something special that you can hardly find anywhere else in Vietnam. And because of that, Hanoi has been and will always be a historical witness, which holds many of the nation's most precious memories over periods of time since its inception, growing up and also breaking down and starting everything back.

Get a travel insurance plan for your trip to Hanoi:

 
222
 

Comments

Guest - James Strobl on Wednesday, 02 October 2019 21:32

Should I visit Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City first?

Should I visit Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City first? :o
Already Registered? Login Here
Guest
Friday, 17 September 2021

Captcha Image

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.itourvn.com/

 

About itourvn.com

This Vietnam travel information page is written by a team of professional tour guides in Vietnam. More about us or visit home page

Private Ho Chi Minh Tours

private ho chi minh tours

All tours are private, customizable, and led by professional English-speaking guides. For more reference, read our customer reviews or see below for the tour package in Ho Chi Minh that works for you.

Half-day City Tour

Night Tour

Food Tour

Saigon's Other Side

Shore Excursions

Vietnam Travel Information

Check out the necessary information for traveling to Vietnam

First Time in Vietnam

To Pack List for Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Adaptors

Major Cities in Vietnam

Family & Elderly Travel

LGBT Travel

Vietnam Festivals and Holidays

Best Vietnamese Dishes

UNESCO World Heritage in Vietnam

Responsible Travel in Vietnam

Vietnamese Culture

Religions in Vietnam

Ethnicities in Vietnam

Tipping in Vietnam

Vietnamese Currency Guide

Best Dishes to Try in Vietnam

20 Must-try Vietnamese Dishes

Unusual Foods to Try in Vietnam

Street Food in Vietnam

Vietnamese Grilled Dishes

Rice Dishes in Vietnam

Pho Dishes in Vietnam

Holiday Dishes to Try during Tet Holiday

Chinese Dishes in Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Northern Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Central Vietnam

Dishes to Try in Southern Vietnam

What to Eat in Ho Chi Minh City

What to Eat in Hanoi

What to Eat in Hue

What to Eat in Hoi An

What to Eat in Da Lat

What to Eat in the Mekong Delta

Traveling to and within Vietnam

Airport Arrival Tips at Tan Son Nhat International Airport (Ho Chi Minh)

Airport Arrival Tips at Noi Bai International Airport (Hanoi)

Major Airports in Vietnam

Taking Trains in Vietnam

Bringing your Motorbikes on Trains in Vietnam

Bringing Your Own Vehicles to Vietnam

Bringing Your Pets to Vietnam

How to Take Motorbike Taxis

Taking a Ferry in Vietnam

Renting a Car in Vietnam

How to Travel from Hanoi to Da Nang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Hue

How to Travel from Hanoi to Sa Pa

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mai Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Moc Chau

How to Travel from Hanoi to Cao Bang

How to Travel from Hanoi to Mu Cang Chai

How to Travel from Hanoi to Ha Giang

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Da Lat

How to Travel from Ho Chi Minh to Phu Quoc Island

How to Travel from Da Nang to Hoi An

How to Travel from Hue to Phong Nha

Vietnam Travel Itineraries

Vietnam One-month Itinerary

Vietnam One-week Itinerary

Taking a Gap Year in Vietnam

Backpacking in Vietnam

Expat Tours in Vietnam

Honeymoon in Vietnam

Vietnam Visa, SIM Cards, and WiFi

Visa Info & Where to Buy Sim Cards

Traveling with Wifi in Vietnam

Vietnam Travel Safety Tips

Travel Insurance

Is it Safe to Drink Tap Water?

How to Avoid Mosquitoes

Food Safety in Vietnam

Getting Vaccinations

Common Diseases and How to Prevent

Wearing Face Masks in Vietnam

Can Tourists Drive in Vietnam

How to Avoid Scams

Travel Safety Tips

Best Places to Stay in Vietnam

Deluxe Hotels in Vietnam

Best Hotels in Ho Chi Minh

Best Hotels in Hanoi

Where to Stay in Ha Long Bay

Where to Stay in Mai Chau

Where to Stay in Moc Chau

Where to Stay in Ha Giang

Where to Stay in Cao Bang

Where to Stay in Lang Son

Where to Stay in Sa Pa

Where to Stay in Mu Cang Chai

Where to Stay in Kon Tum

Where to Stay in Da Lat

Where to Stay in Mui Ne

Where to Stay in Hoi An

Homestays in Vietnam

Find more hotels to stay in Vietnam below:

 

Ho Chi Minh Travel Guides

First Time in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink

Shopping in Ho Chi Minh

Ho Chi Minh City Districts

Local Activities in Ho Chi Minh

Hanoi Travel Guides

First Time in Hanoi

Hanoi Attractions & Activities

Places to Eat & Drink in Hanoi

Shopping in Hanoi

Hanoi Districts

Local Activities in Hanoi

North Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Ninh Binh

First Time in Ha Giang

First Time in Ha Long Bay

First Time in Sa Pa

First Time at Yen Tu Mountain

First Time in Moc Chau

First Time in Mai Chau

First Time in Hai Phong

First Time in Cao Bang

First Time in Lang Son

First Time at Bai Tu Long Bay

Central Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in Hue

First Time in Hoi An

First Time in Da Nang

First Time in Nha Trang

First Time in Da Lat

First Time in Mui Ne

First Time in Buon Ma Thuot

First Time in Kon Tum

First Time in Phu Yen

South Vietnam Travel Guides

First Time in the Mekong Delta

First Time at Con Dao Island

First Time in Vung Tau

First Time at Phu Quoc Island

First Time in Ca Mau

First Time in Can Tho

Powered by 12Go Asia system