15 Facts about Hanoi, Vietnam

by: Noelle Ha @KikiPBN http://psychonoelle.wordpress.com/

Noelle

Hello everyone, I am an Original Hanoian and I am writing this to share my knowledge about the place where I was born. You may agree or disagree with me but I’m just sharing this based on my own knowledge about the capital city of Vietnam. 

 

Here are the facts that (at least according to me):

1. Hanoi-the capital of Vietnam, is a rich cultural city with a history that goes back at least 100 years although it had had inhabitants long before that. In 1010 Ly Thai To King had recognized Hanoi or Thang Long (Ascending Dragon) as the capital of Vietnam, a status which has remained till today.

2. Located on the bank of Red River, Hanoi still maintains trace of the Rivers that run through it last time in the form of famous lakes such as 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) to name just a few. Hence sometimes people refer to Hanoi as the “City of  Lakes”.

3.The city has a long-standing history of traditional cuisine with many famous delicacies. Food in Hanoi gathers 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.

4.Snail Noodle Soup (Bún Ốc) is a fairly Best Vietnamese Food that can be found everywhere in Hanoi and seems rather simple to cook. However, it is not at all easy to serve the best Snail Noodle that makes all crave for more or at least try it again. Hanoians have 2 different ways to eat this Best Vietnamese Food : hot and cool (or cold). The cool serving just exists in Hanoi, it tastes very much the same except for the heat, and it not at all fishy thanks to the chili and the aroma of wine vinegar. Generally, hot snail noodle is more popular than its cool version, since one can have hot snail noodle all year long as it is simple to cook and easy to eat. 

bun-oc-001

 

5. Since the early of 20th century, Pho Thin, Pho Giang, Pho Long My have been famous and were sold on the street. Nowadays, Pho has come the special dish of Hanoi and is served in the eateries at the street corners or in the luxurious restaurants. Pho in Hanoi has a special taste that cannot be duplicated elsewhere. Some traditional Pho could be found in Bat Dan, Ly Quoc Su, Bo Ho, Luong Van Can street. Or you can try some modern high end Pho restaurants like Pho vuong, Pho 24. 

6. Night life 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.

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

8. 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 Huong Pagoda.

9. Teenagers in Hanoi like to have a nosh with close friends after school-time; the most interesting place is Ta Hien street. No matter where you come from, a lot of foreigners like drinking Bia Co Ta Hien, make friends and talk to the locals every evening.

10. Foreigners rarely go out to have some Trang Tien ice-cream, because they don’t want to queue for it 😀 But Trang Tien Shop only uses natural ingredients to make a “fresh-tasting” product. In spite of many foreign ice-cream brands, Hanoians remain loyal to this “quality” ice-cream. The Original Shop at No 35 Trang Tien Street in Hanoi. (Again, this is just my opinion :D)

11. The Original Hanoians always dress elegantly, luxuriously but still reticent. We have a proverb: Ăn Bắc mặc Kinh.

hanoi1

 

12.The Hanoians have wide vocabulary, a big heart, a simple life and are humble but good at communication. 🙂

13. Hanoi’s dishes are delicate and refined. A dish does not require too many ingredients, but each has own spices and garnishes. As @herdailydigest shared in her post, the locals always leave 5 to 10% in the cup after drinking. If you empty the cup, the old man will consider that a cup was drained to the dregs.

14. 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.

15. A trip to Hanoi would not be complete if one does not come to visit Temple of Literature located at Quoc Tu Giam Street. This is the oldest University (1070) in Vietnam where you can see many stelae (turtle stones) carved with “doctorate” degree holders’ name and their hometown.

Văn-Miếu-Quốc-Tử-Giám

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I have been to Hanoi, thrice. It’s same same to HCMC but different 😉 This city is very close to my heart because it’s got the title of my first photo book : My First Stop: Hanoi . 

This is Noelle’s contest entry for ’15 Facts about __________’ .

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