Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. It lies on the banks of the Red River, some 100 kilometres from its mouth. With a population of four million and a more genteel style than its southern counterpart, Hanoi is the cultural capital of Vietnam and its heart and soul. It is largely unscathed from the decades of war, and is now going through a building boom, making it a rapidly developing city in Southeast Asia.
Hanoi has the highest Human Development Index among the cities in Vietnam. It will be the fastest growing city in the world in term of GDP growth from 2008 to 2025. Industrial production in the city has experienced a rapid boom since the 1990s. Trade is another strong sector of the city.
As the capital of Vietnam for almost a thousand years, Hanoi is considered one of the main cultural centres of Vietnam, 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 tourists and residents alike. The city hosts more cultural sites than any city in Vietnam, and boasts more than 1000 years of history, and that of the past few hundred years has been well preserved.
Hanoi is known as one of the most ancient capitals in the world. With many well-preserved buildings along with lush and verdant parks as well as a handful of well-appointed museums, it will quite simply keep you busy for days on end. Some of the attractive features of this French-colonial city are its many lakes, delectable cuisine, handicrafts and its unique multi-cultural society developed from Chinese, French and Russian.