Ha Noi Introduction
HA NOI INTRODUCTION
Ha Noi is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city.
- Area: 3,344.7 km2
- Population: 6,870,000 (2011)
From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Viet Nam. It was eclipsed by Hue during the Nguyen dynasty as the capital of Viet Nam, but Ha Noi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1954. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Viet Nam.
The city is located on the right bank of the Red River. Ha Noi is located at 1,760 km (1,090 mi) north of Ho Chi Minh City.
October 2010 officially marked 1000 years since the establishment of the city.
Ha Noi features a warm humid subtropical climate with plentiful precipitation. The city experiences the typical climate of northern Viet Nam, where summers are hot and humid, and winters are, by national standards, relatively cool and dry. Summers, lasting from May to September, are hot and humid, receiving the majority of the annual 1,680 millimetres (66.1 in) of rainfall. The winters are short, relatively dry, and mild, while spring can bring light rains.
Ha Noi, as the capital of French Indochina, was home to the first Western-style universities in Indochina, including: Indochina Medical College (1902) - now Ha Noi Medical University, Indochina University (1904) - now Ha Noi National University, and École Supérieure des Beaux-Arts de L'Indochine (1925) - now Ha Noi University of Fine Art.
After the Communist Party took control over Ha Noi in 1954 with support from the Soviet Union, many new universities were built, among them, Ha Noi University of Technology remains the largest technical university in Viet Nam.
Ha Noi is the largest centre of education in Viet Nam. It is estimated that 62% of the scientists in the whole country are living and working in Ha Noi. Admissions to undergraduate study are through entrance examinations, which are conducted annually and open for everyone (who has successfully completed his/her secondary education) in the country. The majority of universities in Ha Noi are public, although in recent years a number of private universities have started their operation. Thăng Long University, founded in 1988, by some Vietnamese mathematics professors in Ha Noi and France is the first private university in Viet Nam.
Although there are state owned kindergartens, there are also many private ventures that serve both local and international needs. Pre-tertiary (elementary and secondary) schools in Hanoi are generally state run although there are some independent schools. Education is equivalent to the K–12 system in the US, with elementary school between grades 1 and 5, middle school (or junior high) between grades 6 and 9, and high school from grades 10 to 12.
As the capital of Viet Nam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centres of Viet Nam, where most Vietnamese dynasties have left their imprint. Even though some relics have not survived through wars and time, the city still has many interesting cultural and historic monuments for visitors and residents alike. Even when the nation's capital moved to Huế under the Nguyen Dynasty in 1802, the city of Hanoi continued to flourish, especially after the French took control in 1888 and modeled the city's architecture to their tastes, lending an important aesthetic to the city's rich stylistic heritage. The city hosts more cultural sites than any city in Viet Nam, and boasts more than 1,000 years of history, and that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.
The Old Quarter, near Hoan Kiem lake, has the original street layout and architecture of old Ha Noi. At the beginning of the 20th century the city consisted of only about 36 streets, most of which are now part of the old quarter. Each street then had merchants and households specialized in a particular trade, such as silk traders, jewellery, etc. The street names nowadays still reflect these specializations, although few of them remain exclusively in their original commerce. The area is famous for its small artisans and merchants, including many silk shops. Local cuisine specialties as well as several clubs and bars can be found here also. A night market (near Đồng Xuân market) in the heart of the district opens for business every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday evening with a variety of clothing, souvenirs and food.
Some others prominent places are: The Temple of Literature (Văn Miếu), site of the oldest university in Vietnam 1010; One Pillar Pagoda (Chùa Một Cột); Flag Tower of Ha Noi (Cột cờ Hà Nội). In 2004, a massive part of the 900 year old Ha Noi Citadel was discovered in central Hanoi, near the site of Ba Dinh Square.
In addition to Noi Bai International Airport which is some 35km from the heart of the city, Ha Noi houses Gia Lam Airport in the east, Long Bien district. Gia Lam was Hanoi’s main airport in 1970s, but now, it only served helicopters and tourism services. Hanoi is the transport center of five domestic railways and one to Beijing, China, and many European countries. The stations of Gia Lam, Luong Yen, Nuoc Ngam and My Dinh and the southern one are the place to serve inter-province coaches running along National Highway 1A from the north to the south, National Highway 2 to Vinh Phuc, Phu Tho, Tuyen Quang and Ha Giang and National Highway 3 to Thai Nguyen and Cao Bang, National Highway 5A to Haiphong and Quang Ninh, National Highway 6 to Hoa Binh, Son La and Lai Chau and National Highway 32 to Son Tay Phu Tho. Regarding waterway transport, Hanoi also has many important ports like Pha Den for ships to Hung Yen, Nam Dinh, Thai Binh and Viet Tri and Ham Tu Quan to serve ships to Pha Lai.
In the inner city, streets of Ha Noi are often crowded. In recent years, Ha Noi only expanded between 5 and ten kilometers of road each year on average. Many local roads are unscientifically designed and non-synchronously, and traffic light system in several places are not really suitable. In the 2000s, the city has focused on developing the bus network, the most popular public mean of transport, but most of people still like personal vehicles, especially motorbikes.
Under the city’s transport plan approved in 2008 by the prime minister, the city will spend VND100 trillion for road development. Three belt roads and 30 main axis roads will be built and upgraded.
In 2011, revenues from goods and services hit VND 484,285 billion (US$23.7 billion), a rise of 21.5% compared to the same period in 2010.
Export turnover is estimated to reach over US$4 billion, a year-on-year increase of 15.7%.
The newly Ha Noi brings about a great number of changes, taking effects on the capital economy in general and major economic sectors in particular. In 2011, gross domestic product (GDP) of the city (the expanded city) rose 10,1%, of which service up 10,8% (contributed 5,5% general increase), industry-construction up 10,2% (4,3%) and agro-forestry-fishery up 4,4% (0,3%).
Ha Noi's business districts are traditionally Hoan Kiem and the neighborhood; and a newly developing Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh in the southwestern part.
Similar to Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi enjoys a rapidly developing real estate market. The metropolis's economy growth does not seem correlative to its infrastructure. Overloading population requires a much larger supply of accommodations, while the constructing celerities of both transport system and new urban areas are too low. The current most notable new urban areas are central Trung Hoa Nhan Chinh, My Dinh, the luxurious zones of The Manor and Ciputra.
Agriculture, previously a pillar in Ha Noi's economy, has striven to reform itself, introducing new high-yield plant varieties and livestock, and applying modern farming techniques.
Together with economic growth, Ha Noi's appearance has also changed significantly, especially in recent years. Infrastructure is constantly being upgraded, with new roads and an improved public transportation system.
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