Formerly called Thang Long (“city of the rising dragon”), Hanoi became Vietnam’s official capital city in 1954 with the signature of the Geneva agreement. The city later suffered tremendously by the destruction caused by the American bombardments during the Vietnam War and the end of the conflict marked a long period of withdrawal from the outside world. Only from the 1990’s and the Doi Moi economical opening did Hanoi open up to the rest of the world once again.
The city of today is a capital of irresistible charm, at the meeting point of traditions and legends, dotted with lakes, tree-lined avenues and lush parks. In its centre, Hoan Kiem Lake truly is its historical heart, where Asian and European influences mingle.
Nevertheless, you may be surprised to see how urbanized the city has become. Indeed, Hanoi has turned into a metropolis in full mutation over the last few years and the sometimes too rapid modernization it faces confers it a very wide-ranging diversity.
Business prospers whilst the ancestral traditions carry on in old quarters full of charm, with interconnecting small streets bearing the names of their guild: Hàng Gai Street (silk street) Hàng Bac (Gold and silver street)…
The best time to go (weather and climate): From Sept to mid-Dec and mid-Feb to May