General information about Hanoi

General information about Hanoi

Hanoi is the capital of Republic of Socialist Vietnam from 1976 to the present and is the capital of North Vietnam in 1946. Hanoi is the center of politics, culture, science, technology and together with Ho Chi Minh is the major center of trade and international economy of the country. In term of size with 3328 km2, Hanoi is the largest city of Vietnam with over 7,000 million of the population in 2014. Over 1,000 years of development, since King Ly Thai To, the first king of Ly Dynasty decided to build a new capital in this land with name of Thang Long (The former capital was Hoa Lu – Ninh Binh). Hanoi has witnessed the rise and fall of most the feudal dynasties of Ly – Than – Le – Mac – Nguyen, Thang Long was the center of business, culture and education of the north. When Tay Son and Nguyen dynasty took over the reign, under King Minh Mang, the capital was moved to Hue and Thang Long named Hanoi from 1831. In 1902, Hanoi became the capital of the Indochinese Federation and the French construction and re-planning. Through two wars, Hanoi is the capital of North Vietnam and unified the country and lasted this role until today. In 2014, economic growth continues and inflation is under control. Gross domestic product was estimated 8.8% and higher than in 2013 (8.5%). Budget revenues is estimated at 130 100 billion.


Hanoi currently has position 20 ° 53 ‘to 21 ° 23’ north latitude and 105 ° 44 ‘to 106 ° 02’ east longitude, adjacent to Thai Nguyen – Vinh Phuc in the North; Ha Nam – Hoa Binh in the South; Bac Giang, Bac Ninh, Hung Yen in the East and Hoa Binh, Phu Tho in the West.

Natural area:

In 2008, the entire political system of Hanoi after consolidation, expansion of administrative boundaries including the capital of Hanoi, Ha Tay province, Me Linh – Vinh Phuc and four communes of Luong Son district of Hoa Binh province, Hanoi was extended with 334,470 ha of natural area. The size of city was 3 times larger than before and Hanoi became one of the top 17 widest capitals in the word.  The half of the population increased more than 6.2 million people and now more than 7 million people; 30 administrative units in districts and towns, 577 communes, wards.


Hanoi now has mountains, hills and low terrain from north to south, from west to east, which accounts for three-quarters plain natural area of ​​the city. The average height of Hanoi from 5 to 20 meters above sea level, the high mountains are concentrated in the north and west. The highest peak is Ba Vi with 1,281 meters. The internal area with some low hill is Dong Da mound, Mount Nung.

The area of ​​land use allocation (332,889.0 hectares)

– Land for agriculture, forestry and fisheries:           188,601.1 ha
– Non-agriculture:                                               134,947.4 ha
– Unused land:                                                    9340.5 ha
(According to the “Statistical Yearbook of Hanoi in 2010” of the Statistical Office of Hanoi)


Hanoi is formed from the Red River Delta. Hanoi’s geographical character is “City of Water” or “City inside rivers”. Thanks to the large and small rivers flow through over thousands of years that bring fertile to the land. Currently, there are seven rivers running through Hanoi: Red River, Duong, Da, Nhue, Cau, Day River, Ca Lo. Red River section running through Hanoi is up to 163km (representing 1/3 of the length of the river flowing through the territory of Vietnam). In the inner city, beside two rivers; To Lich and Kim Nguu, there are also systematically lakes for the drainage path of Hanoi. West Lake has the largest area about 500 ha and plays an important role in the urban landscape. Today, it is surrounded by many hotels, villas, restaurants and shops. Hoan Kiem Lake is located in the historic center of the city, most crowded areas, sample of Hanoi capital. Besides, there are many large lakes on the territory of Hanoi; Truc Bac, Thien Quang, Thu Le, Kim Lien, Lien Dam…

ho tay hanoi

Due to the strong urbanization from 1990 until now, the majority of the lakes in Hanoi are serious polluted. The amount of wastewater discharged untreated directly into the environment is too large. Only in the inner area of the city, a day of waste water discharged directly into rivers and lakes at about 650,000 m3 / day (2015). To Lich River, the main drainage axis of the city receive daily about 250,000 m³ of waste water discharged directly into the river without treatment. It is heavily polluted by the amount of domestic sewage and industrial all levels of toxic chemicals. The inner suburbs of river also receive more part of people’s garbage and industrial waste.

Hanoi has four poles:

North Pole is the Bac Son Commune, Soc Son District.
West pole is My Thuan Tay commune, Ba Vi.
South pole is Huong Son Commune, My Duc district.
East pole is Le Chi commune, Gia Lam district.


Hanoi climate is the typical character of the northern region with humid subtropical climate; hot summer, rainy and cold winter, less rain on the early season and drizzle in the second half of the season. Situated to the north of the tropical belt, the city receives abundant solar radiation and high temperature. Due to the sea, Hanoi humidity and rainfall is quite large, averaging 114 days of rain a year.

hanoi mua dong

A defining feature of Hanoi’s climate is chance and difference of two hot and cold seasons. The hot season lasts from May to September with heavy rain, the average temperature of 28.1 ° C. The cold winter last from November to March with an average temperature of 18.6 ° C. During this period, the city sunny day falls down slowly, the sky is often covered by clouds and fog, in February average only 1.8 hours per day the sun shines. Along with two transitions in April (spring) and in October (autumn), the city has enough four season; spring, summer, autumn and winter.

In May 1926, the temperature in the city was recorded at 42.8 ° C record. In early of the January of 1955, the lowest temperature of 2.7 ° C.  And in June 2015, Hanoi continues to endure a record heat wave in 1 week (from 1-6 to 7-6) with temperatures up to 42 ° C. According to some news, the cover of motorcycle on the street in an hour has temperatures of 80 ° C, while the helmet has a temperature of 48 ° C.

Hanoi climate is changeable unusually. In early November 2008, a record rains poured down the north and central Hanoi that caused 18 dead and causing damage to the city of about 3,000 billion.

Population Origins

In 1940, when Hanoi is the capital of the Union of Indochina, the city population was 132 145 people   But in 1954, Hanoi’s population decreased to 53 thousand people over an area 152 km² area.

According to Hanoi’s history, the population of the city has changed, disturbed continuously over time. In the suburban villages, old urban where people live mainly by agriculture, has no major changes. Many families here retain genealogy from the 15th and 16th century. In the inner city, there are only a few families residing continuously in Thang Long from 15th century such as in wards like the Nguyen family in Dong Tac wards (Trung Tu – Hanoi).

hanoi polutation

Due to the nature of the work, many traders and craftsmen rarely lives at one place. They have to look for other lands when dealing with difficulties in business. There are also cases, a person who were well educated and have been appointed to work in the other provinces, brought along their families, sometimes whole families.

For a long time, Thang Long has become the destination of the immigrant origin from all parts of the country. In the 15th century, the population of Thang Long was too overcrowded so that King Le Thanh Tong intended to force them be back to their hometown but he noticed that they were the major workforce and important tax source. He then allowed them to remain. There were also foreign residents including most from China.  For over a thousand years of Northern domination, many Chinese people have lived in this city again. During the dynasties of Ly, Tran, Le, Chinese continued to ask for permit to live in Thang Long. Within 36 old streets, Dung Nhan ward was for Chinese alone. The population has been changing and lasted until today.

According to the historical statistics, Hanoi’s population increased rapidly in recent half century. In 1954, the military took over Hanoi Vietnam Minh City, the city has 53 thousand people, over an area of ​​152 km². In 1961, the city expanded, up to 584 km² area and a population of 91,000 people. In 1978, Congress decided to extend the second capital with natural land area 2,136 km² and a population of 2.5 million people. By 1991, the boundaries of Hanoi continued to change, only 924 km², but the population remained more than 2 million people. During the 1990s, the area along the suburban urbanization, Hanoi’s population increased steadily, reaching number 2,672,122 people in 1999. After the expending boundary width in August 2008, Hanoi had 6.233 million inhabitants and became one of 17 capitals having the largest area in the world. According to the results of the census of April 1 year 2009 population is 6,451,909 people in Hanoi, the average population was 6.5619 million people in 2010.

The average population density of Hanoi was 1,979 persons / km². The highest population density is in Dong Da district amounted to 35 341 people / km², whereas, in the suburban districts such as Soc Son, Ba Vi, My Duc, density less than 1,000 people / km².

Regarding the structure of the population, according to figures April 1, 1999, residents of Hanoi and Ha Tay are mainly Kinh, 99.1% rate, the rest are other ethnic groups such as Dao, Muong, Tay 0.9%. In 2009, the Kinh people was up to 98.73%, 0.76% Muong and the Tay occupied 0.23%.

In 2009, the urban population is 2,632,087, 41.1%, and 3.81675 million rural residents account for 58.1%.

The pre – Thang Long

The archaeological site at Co Loa shows that humans occurred in the area two thousand years ago, the period of Son Vi culture. But by the time the ice melted and the sea deep into the mainland, the inhabitants of the Neolithic were pushed back to the mountains. Human returned and lived here about 4 or 5 thousand years BC. The archaeological artifacts next phase, from early Bronze Age to the early Iron Age approved that Hanoi were present in all four age culture: Phung Nguyen, Dong Dau, Go Mun and Dong Son. The Hanoi residents lived on farming, animal growing and fishing in that era. This prehistoric period corresponded to the period of the legendary Hung Kings. 3rd century BC, during the war against the Qin army from the north, Thuc Phan decided to base in Co Loa, the Dong Anh district, it is about 15 km far from Hanoi center. The Co Loa became a central urban of politic and society.

The pre – Thang Long

Failure of Thuc Phan in early 2nd century BC ended the independence of Au Lac and started the period of one thousand years by the Chinese feudal domination. Han dynasty period, Au Lac was divided into three districts; Giao Chi, Cuu Chan and Nhat Nam, Hanoi belonged to Giao Chi district at that time. Absent in history during the first five centuries, until about 454-456 year – the time of Liu Tong, Hanoi newly recorded as the central of Tong Binh district. In 544, Ly Bi rose up against Luong family and self-proclaimed as emperor, named the Van Xuan. The descendant of Ly Bi was Ly Phat Tu shaped the capital in Loa, but this independence lasted only till 602. During Duong period, An Nam was divided into 12 stats with 50 districts and Tong Binh was the center of Government colonial An Nam. In 866, a generals of Duong family, Cao Bien built a new strong palace, Tong Binh was renamed Dai La – the capital of Hai Quan province. According to legend, Cao Bien saw a god claiming to be Long Do. Therefore,  the land was also known as Long Do land. In 10th century, after the victory of Ngo Quyen against Han invaders, Loa again became the capital of Vietnam.

After ascending in 1009 at Hoa Lu, King Ly Thai To decided to move the capital to Dai La in 1010. According to a popular legend, when Ly Thai To visited Dai La and saw a dragon flying up, so named Dai La as Thang Long. Thang Long Citadel was limited by three rivers: the Red River in the east, To River in the north and Kim Nguu in the south. Citadel was built near the West Lake with the royal palace and the political process. The rest of the urban was residential area including agriculture wards, industry and commerce. In the 10th century, numerous religious constructions were quickly built, Dien Huu pagoda in the western citadel built in 1049, the Bao Thien pagoda built in 1057, Van Mieu built in 1070 and Quoc Tu Giam built up in 1076 … Only a century later, Thang Long became the center of culture, politics and economy of the country.

Ly Tran Dynasty ruled Dai Vietnam, Thang Long continued to be built. The Citadel was strengthened as well as more new palaces were built up. In 1230, Thang Long was more crowded and divided into 61 wards. Foreign residents, such as the Chinese, Japanese and Indians appeared. Industrial and commercial economy also produced high class people and Thang Long was gathering many scholars and intellectuals like Han Thuyen, Le Van Huu, Chu Van An … In the war with the Yuan, Thang Long citadel was occupied three times but ended in the victory of Dai Viet. At the end of the 14th century, Tran family was decadent and a nobleman named Ho Quy Ly took the power, pressed King Tran moved the capital of Thanh Hoa. When Ho Quy Ly founded Dai Ngu and a new capital named Tay Do in 1400 when he formally enthroned. Thang Long name was changed to Dong Do. But the reign of Ho family existed only in a short time. 1406, Ming sent troops to invade Dai Ngu, Thang Long was occupied and renamed Dong Quan. The fourth period of northern domination started in 1407 and extended to 1428.

Le Loi rose up in arms at Lam Son, he found again the position for the capital. In 1430, the city was renamed Dong Kinh till 1466. Imperial Citadel of Thang Long under the Le Dynasty continued to be expanded. The residential area was divided into two districts of Quang Duc and Vinh Xuong. The city continued to be center of trading within Le family’s control. During the power struggle between the Le, the Mac and Lord Trinh, Thang Long remained the capital position. The political complexity of this period also made city more special and different: The city became the center of real power with the royal city of King Le and Minister Trinh. Thank to the commodity economy and the development of foreign trade, Thang Long Urban entered a period of prosperity and attracted more residents to live. The song “ Kinh Ky is the first and the second is Pho Hien” approved the city was bustling and wealth at that time. This stage was also known as Ke Cho. Thang Long’s population esimated about 1 million people about 2 thousand roof.

Summer of 1786, the Tay Son army carried out to the north to overthrow the government of Trinh family, ending two centuries separated by Cochin – Tonkin. After Nguyen Hue together with Tay Son returned to the south, Thanh invaded Dai Viet in 1788. In Phu Xuan, Hue took the throne on 22th of December in 1788 and sent troops to the north. After winning the battle Ngoc Hoi – Dong Da, Tay Son reigned Dai Viet with new capital named Phu Xuan, Thang Long became the capital of the northern as the capital city of Tonkin today.

Tay Son dynasty collapsed after a short time, Gia Long came to the throne in 1802 and took the capital in Phu Xuan, starting the Nguyen dynasty. In 1805, Gia Long broke the old citadel of Thang Long and built new building which remained till today. The new citadel was surrounded by the Phan Dinh Phung, Hung Vuong, Tran Phu and Phung Hung street.  In 1831, in the administrative reform of Minh Mang, Nation was divided into 29 provinces, Thang Long belonged to Hanoi province. It means the city inside of rivers.

Hanoi economy first half of the 19th century was also different from previous Thang Long. Wards and Village in the West and South specialized in agriculture and the area in the East focused on trade, craft that made urban face of Hanoi. Besides, more religious samples appeared such as Ngoc Son Temple, Bao An Temple.

In 1858, French started invading Indochina. After capturing three Southern Provinces, the French army under Francis Garnier’s leadership headed toward Hanoi in November 1873. Although Nguyen dynasty, people continued to fight against the French under the command of Nguyen Tri Phuong and Hoang Dieu. In 1884, Tu Duc signed a peace treaty that the French took over the whole territory of Vietnam, Hanoi also entered the colonial period.

In 19th July of 1888, French President Sadi Carnot signed a decree to establish the city of Hanoi. Hanoi had a small area covering 2 Tho Xuong district and Vinh Thuan district of Hoai Duc. The city consisted  the area of ​​Hue City, Dai Co Viet, Kham Thien, Thuy Khue Street, West Lake to Long Bien Bridge. 3 districts: Hoai Duc, Thuong Tin, Ung Hoa belonged to Ha Dong province.

In 1902, Hanoi became the capital of the entire Indochinese Federation.  Due to the planning of the French, the city gradually had a new face.  The Nguyen dynasty gradually was down, almost entirely distroyed in 1897.  The only remaining Flag, Cua Bac with bullet wounds 1873, Doan Mon and railing stone dragons in the old citadel. In 1901,  The government offices, the post office, Bank, Housing Management Officer, Opera House, Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi Railway Station, squares, hospitals, … were built. Hanoi also had a race horse course, the Christian church, the University of Medicine, University of Indochina, University of Arts, the College of Justice, Agriculture and Forestry and factories of the alcohol, salt, textiles, electricity, water … When the French capital came to Hanoi more, cinemas, theaters, hotels … gradually appeared, the street was changed to match with new residents. In 1921, the city had about 4,000 European residents and 100,000 local residents.

The capitalists caused change to Vietnam’s cultural. Western culture followed by the French to Vietnam that made the social unstable. No longer a feudal citadel existed, Hanoi had more or less the shadow of a European city. The city continued to hold the central role of knowledge and art of the country, where the new poets, musicians and intellectuals, modern music, famous scholar stayed.

In the mid-20th century, Hanoi beared another complex period of history.  Japanese attacked Indochina in 1940 that brought Vietnam under the rule of both the French and the Japanese empire. In 9th of March , 1945,French took a coup against Japanese military. Just five months later, the country surrendered to the Allies, ending the Second World War. In that good time, the Vietnamese Viet Minh held the August Revolution sucessfully, overthrowed the Empire State Vietnam, forcing King Bao Dai abdicated, gained the power in Vietnam. In 2rd of September, 1945, Ho Chi Minh read the Declaration of Independence at Ba Dinh Square, found Vietnam Democratic Republic with Hanoi Capital. After independence, the city was divided into neighborhoods, gardens, streets, like Avenue (Avenue) Paul Doumer renamed as Nhan Quyen, street (Rue de la) was renamed as Dan Quyen, avenue Puginier renamed Democratic Republic, Ollivier Street remaned as Happiness, change the way Dr Morel into Freedom, …

In late 1945, the French army returned to Indochina. After the negotiations failed, Indochina War erupted in December 1946 and Hanoi was again in French’s control. In 1954, the victory of Dien Bien Phu helped people regain the northern Vietnam, Hanoi continued to hold the capital position of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. At the time of takeover, the city consisted of four urban districts and 34 towns, 37,000 people and four districts with 45 communes and 16,000 residents. In late 1950s and early 1960s, Hanoi repeatedly changed administrative and boundaries. In 1958, the four urban districts were abolished and replaced by the 12 streets. In 1959, the urban area was divided into 8 Quarters and had 4 more suburban districts. In April of 1961, Parliament decided to extend the boundaries of Hanoi, merging some of Ha Dong commune, Bac Ninh, Vinh Phuc and Hung Yen. The whole city had an area of ​​584 km², Population 91,000. In 31th of May, 1961, four inner-city neighborhood of Hoan Kiem, Hai Ba Trung, Ba Dinh, Dong Da and four suburban districts of Dong Anh, Gia Lam, Thanh Tri, Tu Liem were established.

As the Vietnam War escalated, Hanoi suffered direct attacks from the United States. Particularly in Operation Linebacker II in 1972, about 2,200 people were killed in the North, the number of victims in Hanoi were estimated to be 1,318 people. Many agencies, schools must be evacuated to neighboring provinces. After the war, Hanoi continued its role in the national capital of unified Vietnam and expaned to other surrounding provinces.

After the subsidy period, from the late 1990s, economic increased up rapidly in Hanoi suburbs. The development also caused consequences; the city was not planed well, the city traffic jams often happened due to number of motorcycles. Many neighborhoods suffered from the heavy rain. Population density is too high, causing the inner population to live in poor condition and lack of facilities. In 2003, 30% of the population lives below the Hanoi 3 m² per person. Many architectural heritages disappeared, replaced by clutter houses in the streets. Hanoi is a city with uneven development between urban districts and suburban districts, many people still did not have the necessary living conditions. In addition, Hanoi is currently one of the most polluted cities in Asia and the most polluted cities in Southeast Asia.Hanoi has organized successful Party Congress 15th 2015 with the goal to develop into an industrial city with modern trends, the administrative center of national politics, major economic and international exchanges, cultural and educational center of Vietnam. Hanoi strives to reach GDP per capital US $ 4,300 in 2015. As of October 30, 2010, the total population was 6.913 million people and increasing to over 7.000 million in 2014.

Hanoi has been granted UNESCO “Cities for Peace” on June 17, 1999. In 2000, President Tran Duc Luong in Hanoi awarded the title of “Capital heroes” on 4 May 10. With more than 1000 years old, Hanoi is the oldest capital in the 11 capitals of the countries of Southeast Asia.