Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hanoi Highlights

Hanoi has a lot of charm, with ochre-colored  colonial style buildings, tree-lined boulevards, elegant squares and green parks as well as modern buildings. Hanoi means "within a river bend." Established as a defensive citadel in the 8th century, Hanoi has had at least 7 name changes. In the past, Hanoi was first chosen by King Ly Thai To as the capital of the country and was named Thang Long (Ascending Dragon) in 1010. through several successive dynasties, it remained the capital city, the heart and soul of the nation, and has borne a variety of names, including Dong Kinh (Eastern Capital) from which the Europeans derived the name they applied to all of northern Viet Nam, Tonkin. The city was finally named Hanoi by Emporor Tu Duc  (Nguyen Dynasty) in 1831. From 1902 to 1953, Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina.

It is now a bustling city of 2 and a half million people and over a million motorbikes. There is a cosmopolitan flair to it as you can see from the signs in Hebrew.( 4th photo above) The Ho Chi Mihn Museum is where he is buried and is a very popular site (first photo). The next photo is the President's Residence which was built by the French but Ho Chi Minh refused to live there. It was too fancy for him. He used it for state events but lived in a more modest apartment (third photo) behind the residence. the last photo shows the over abundance of wires on a telephone pole. Many people from the countryside are moving into the city every year at an accelerated speed and is not decreasing in the foreseeable future.

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