Hanoi factfile: 10 Interesting Facts about the capital of Vietnam that you might not know

Hanoi (Hà Nội) – the capital of Vietnam – will be the first meeting point in northern Vietnam for many travelers. Hanoi is a place that is still trying to retain its original and distinctive rich history, heritage and attractiveness, in some contrast to Ho Chi Minh City. The whole of Vietnam is experiencing great economic growth and the country is rapidly changing, similarly, the city is undergoing a large transformation. Let’s find out 10+ interesting facts about the capital of Vietnam that you didn’t know.

Fact 1

Hanoi – the capital of Vietnam, is a rich cultural city with a history that dates back at least 1000 years although it had inhabitants long before that. In 1010 Ly Thai To King had recognized Hanoi as the capital of Vietnam, a status which has remained till today. The city was originally renamed ‘Thang Long’  with literally meaning as ‘soaring dragon’ because he claimed to have seen a dragon over the Red River.

Fact 2


The Capital of Vietnam – Hanoi – literally means ” city inside rivers” as it is built on the bank of Red River, Hanoi still maintains trace of twenty lakes and rivers which now circle and enhance the city. Famous lakes include Ho Guom (Sword Lake), Ho Tay (West Lake), Ho Thien Quang (Halair/Halais Lake), Truc Bach Lake, Bay Mau Lake (Seven Hectare Lake), Thu Le Lake (in the Thu Le Zoo). Hence sometimes people refer to Hanoi as the “City of  Lakes”. The lakes and waterways combined with the pervasive French architecture give the city an almost European feeling. 

Fact 3

Visiting Hanoi Old Quarter as known as Hanoi’s 36 Streets is a prerequisite to any other activities. Situated adjacent to Hoan Kiem Lake the narrow alleyways and streets, still named, in many instances, after the artisan or merchants who lived and worked in them, are busy, bustling places reflecting the original layout and architecture of yesteryear.

Hanoi - The capital of Vietnam

In fact,  there are more than 70 streets in the area still commonly referred to as 36 Streets. The area around the Hoan Kiem Lake in the center of Hanoi has always been home to the powerful. For almost two thousand years, artisans and traders from villages around the region have sold their goods here.  The streets were named for what they sold. 

Hàng Bạc is where silversmiths once poured ingots for the kings. Today, it’s filled with jewelry shops, money exchanges, and backpacker hostels. Hàng Đào’s name refers to the pink flowers littering the ground during Lunar New Year, or Tết. It was a popular color for the silks that made the street famous. Now, it’s lined with modern clothing shops. Hàng Quạt got its name from handheld fans, popular in the days before electricity and air conditioning. 

Fact 4

The capital of Vietnam has a long-standing history of traditional cuisine with many famous delicacies. Hanoi dishes are the mix of quintessence of all food from other regions of Vietnam. People from other parts of Vietnam bring their hometown’s specialties to Hanoi and modify the taste to suit the taste of Hanoinese. Culinary style of Hanoi food is influenced by Chinese, French and Thai. Hanoi’s dishes are delicate and refined. A dish does not require too many ingredients, but each has own spices and garnishes. 
Fact 5
Pho is considered as “Vietnam national dish” that is widely known all over the world, but in the search of the “world best pho”, you should come to Hanoi as Pho in Hanoi has a special taste that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. Since the early of 20th century, Phở Thìn, Phố Giang, Phố Long Mỹ have been famous and were sold on the street. Nowadays, Pho comes the special dish of Hanoi and is served in the eateries at the street corners or in the luxurious restaurants. .Some traditional Pho can be found in Bát Đàn, Lý Quốc Sư, Bờ Hồ, Lương Văn Can street.
Fact 6
Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, originally Hôtel Metropole is a five-star historic luxury hotel opened in 1901 in the French colonial style. It is located at 15 Ngo Quyen Street in Hoàn Kiếm District, Hanoi, Vietnam. The hotel has a rich history and a century-long tradition of welcoming ambassadors, writers, heads of state and entertainers including Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, George H. W. Bush, François Mitterrand, Isabelle de Valvert, Jacques Chirac, etc. The hotel has 364 rooms.
Fact 7
Nightlife in Hanoi is divided into two categories. One is for those who like to explore the night market and the delicious Vietnamese food that are abundant at these places. Another is for those who prefer to chill out a local bar or club for some local nightlife experience.
Fact 8
The Temple of Literature is a Temple of Confucius in Hanoi, northern Vietnam. A trip to Hanoi would not be complete without visiting this temple. This is the oldest university in Vietnam (1070) where you can see many stelae (turtle stones) carved with “doctorate” degree holders’ name and their hometown. The temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese Dong banknote. 

The temple is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese Dong banknote. 
Temple of Literature is featured on the back of the 100,000 Vietnamese Dong banknote. 

Fact 9

Tran Vu Pagoda in West Lake is one of the oldest pagodas in Hanoi (built in 12nd century) which houses a big black copper statue made in 1667, weighing around 4 tons.

Fact 10

There is a widely known rumor that Long Bien Bridge which connects Hoan Kiem and Long Bien District of Hanoi was designed by the same designer who’d built the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. However, this fact is not true, Long Bien Bridge was built by the architects Daydé & Pillé of Paris.

Long Bien Bridge - The capital of Vietnam

Fact 11
In 2014, Traveller’s Choice ranked Hanoi number 8 in TripAdvisor’s list of ‘World’s Best Destinations’.

For a short period in 2012, Hanoi was the cheapest city in the world for a one night stay for two at a four-star hotel, which included cocktails, dinner, a bottle of wine and a taxi ride.

Fact 12

Poetry, songs and literature will tell you that the best time to visit Hanoi is during fall (September to December) and spring (March to May) as these are the two most beautiful seasons in this city when the weather is cool.

Fact 13

From Hanoi, you can also take a one-day visit to some traditional handicraft villages like Ceramic Bat Trang Village, Van Phuc Silk Village, Ba Vi National Park or Perfume Pagoda.

Fact 14

The houses in Hanoi are super narrow because the store owners had to pay tax based on the width of the building.

Fact 15

Hanoi Ceramic Mosaic Mural, or Hanoi Ceramic Road (Vietnamese: Con đường Gốm sứ), is a ceramic mosaic mural along the walls of the Red River dike system in the capital of Vietnam, northern Vietnam the world’s largest ceramic mosaic and awarded a Guinness World Records certificate

With a length of about 6.5 kilometers (4.0 mi), the ‘Ceramic Road’ is one of the major projects that were developed on the occasion of the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi. It is the world’s largest ceramic mosaic and awarded a Guinness World Records certificate. The mosaic wall mural is made from ceramic tesserae which are products from Bát Tràng, a nearby village famous for its Bát Tràng porcelain.

The content of the mosaic represents the decorative pattern from different periods in the history of Vietnam: Phùng Nguyên culture; Đông Sơn culture; Lý Dynasty; Trần Dynasty; Lê Dynasty and Nguyễn Dynasty. Also incorporated on the wall are modern artworks, paintings of Hanoi, and children’s drawings.

Fact 16

Old Quarter has a wide range of accommodation for the travelers. There are a lot of different categories of tourist accommodation. Most of them are very decent and a very good starting point for future visits to Hanoi, the best place for eating. Prices are low and start from 150,000 Dong. You can also book luxury and expensive hotels

A renowned place for nightlife and sitting with beer and food is Bia Hoi corner in the Old Quarter. Hundreds of plastic chairs, beer for 5000 Dongs, and the local specialties in the local atmosphere are unforgettable. Hanoi is good for walking, there are no hills, but you have to watch out for motorcycles.

Hanoi factfile: 10 Interesting Facts about the capital of Vietnam that you might not know
4 (80%) 1 vote[s]