is the second most populated city in Vietnam
, as well as the capital of Vietnam. Bordered to the north by the Ho Chi Minh City and to the west by Haiphong City, Hanoi is even more conveniently located on the banks of the Red River. A UNESCO "City of Peace", Hanoi functions as the political, administrative, and entertainment hub of Vietnam.
Hanoi is home to ancient architectural designs that date back into many centuries, as well as an intricate fusion of Chinese, Southeast Asian, and French influences on the Hanoi culture over the years. Essentially, Hanoi is the center of reservation of the century-old cultural history of its people.
At the epicenter of Hanoi, stands the dramatic Old Quarter, a notorious trading region that has resulted in the haphazard arrangement of the famous narrow streets. Here, the ever-busy Dong Xuan Market reigns, selling all kinds of household products and goods as well as finger-licking local street food delicacies.
Still, in the Old Quarter, dozens of small temples are beautifully laid out to result in the scenic beauty of the ancient structures. Among the temples, is the oldest of them all; the Bach Ma Temple. The Bacha temple was built in and was rebuilt and refurbished in the period between the eighteenth and the nineteenth centuries to result in the outstanding architectural design bore today.
Another beautiful spot is the One Pillar Pagoda, a small set of a temple on the top of a stone pillar, making one of the most iconic Buddhist temples in Vietnam, attracting many tourists with its uniquely beautiful setting. The Temple of Literature is another fantastic spot, built in the eleventh century and famous for being a residence of a Confucian Academy at one time.
There are several French Colonia structures in Hanoi, beginning with the classical Opera House, to the grotesque refurbished Saint Joseph's Cathedral. The tomb structure of Ho Chi Minh, who was a communist leader, is an example of the commemoration of the Vietnam War, as is the Hoa Lo Prison Museum, which is otherwise referred to as the Hanoi Hilton, used to hold the prisoners of the Vietnamese war. These are just some of the historical preservations of the Hanoi developments.
The climate of Hanoi is a humid subtropical one, and it is humid all year through, with four distinct seasons. During summer, from May
, most days are hot and humid and are accompanied by showers of rainfall in the afternoons. The temperature is mostly tolerable and does not have extreme highs. Winter runs from November
through to January
, and most days are dry and cold, and the sky remains cloudy and foggy. Sunshine may be rare, but it averages one and a half hours per day.
Spring and autumn are both mild, with both the absence of the winter coolness as well as the summer heat. During these two seasons, most visitors arrive in Hanoi to partake in the warm and pleasant weather, as well as the many festivities in the city.
One of the key events in Hanoi is the Tet Festival. It is celebrated on varying dates in January or February
, depending on the Vietnamese calendar with feasts of the local delicacies, drinks, and parties to mark the Vietnamese New Year. The Full Moon Festival, also known as the Mid-Autumn Festival, is held on varying dates in August or September
, amid feasting and music and dance. And then on the second day of September, Hanoi holds the National Day celebrations, with various activities including but not limited to boat race competitions and fantastic firework displays.