Area: 3,323.6 sq. km.
Population: 6,844.1 thousand habitants (2012).
-12 urban districts: Hoan Kiem, Ba Dinh, Dong Da, Hai Ba Trung, Tay Ho, Thanh Xuan, Cau Giay, Long Bien, Hoang Mai, Ha Dong, Nam Tu Liem, Bac Tu Liem.
- 1 town: Son Tay.
- 17 rural districts: Dong Anh, Soc Son, Thanh Tri, Gia Lam (Ha Noi); Ba Vi, Chuong My, Dan Phuong, Hoai Duc, My Duc, Phu Xuyen, Phuc Tho, Quoc Oai, Thach That, Thanh Oai. Thuong Tin, Ung Hoa (former Ha Tay province) and Me Linh (a former district of Vinh Phuc province).
Ethnic groups: Viet (Kinh), Hoa, Muong, Tay, Dao...
Ha Noi is the capital of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, the center of culture, politics, economy and trade of the whole country.
Ha Noi is located in the Red River Delta, in the center of North Viet Nam. It is encompassed by Thai Nguyen and Vinh Phuc provines to the north, Ha Nam and Hoa Binh provinces to the south, Bac Giang, Bac Ninh and Hung Yen provinces to the east, Hoa Binh and Phu Tho provinces to the west.
Ha Noi means "the hinterland between the rivers" (Ha: river, Noi: interior). Ha Noi's territory is washed by the Red River (the portion of the Red River embracing Ha Noi is approximately 40km long) and its tributaries, but there are some other rivers flowing through the capital, including Duong, Cau, Ca Lo, Day, Nhue, Tich, To Lich and Kim Nguu.
Ha Noi is situated in a tropical monsoon zone with two main seasons. During the dry season, which lasts from October to April, it is cold and there is very little rainfall, except from January to March, when the weather is still cold but there is some light rain. The wet season, from May to September, is hot with heavy rains and storms. The average annual temperature is 23.2°C (73.7°F) and the average annual rainfall is 1,800mm. The average temperature in winter is 17.2°C (62.9°F), but can go down to 8°C (46.4°F). The average temperature in summer is 29.2°F (84.6°F), but can reach up to 39°C (102.2°F).
Ha Noi is a sacred land of Viet Nam. In the 3rd century BC, Co Loa (actually belonging to Dong Anh District) was chosen as the capital of the Au Lac Nation of Thuc An Duong Vuong (the King Thuc). Ha Noi later became the core of the resistance movements against the Northern invasions. Located in the middle of the Red River Delta, the town has gradually expanded to become a very populations and rich residential center. At different periods, Ha Noi had been selected as the chief city of Viet Nam under the Northern domination.In the autumn of Canh Tuat lunar years (1010), Ly Thai To, the founder of the Ly Dynasty, decided to transfer the capital from Hoa Lu to Dai La, and so he rebaptized it Thang Long (Soaring Dragon). The year 1010 then became an historical date for Ha Noi and for the whole country in general. For about a thousand years, the capital was called Thang Long, then changing to Dong Do, Dong Kinh, and finally to Ha Noi, in 1831. This sacred piece of land thereafter continued to be the theatre of many fateful events.
Throughout the thousand years of its eventful history, marked by destruction, wars and natural calamities, Ha Noi still preserves many ancient architectural works including the Old Quarter and over 600 pagodas and temples. Famous sites include the One Pillar Pagoda (built in 1049), the Temple of Literature (built in 1070), Ha Noi Citadel, Ha Noi Opera House, President Ho Chi Minh's Mausoleum...
Ha Noi also characteristically contains 18 beautiful lakes such as Hoan Kiem Lake, West Lake, and Truc Bach Lake..., which are the lungs of the city, with their surrounding gardens and trees providing a vital source of energy.
Many traditional handicrafts are also practiced in Ha Noi including bronze molding, silver carving, lacquer, and embroidery. Ha Noi has many famous traditional professional handicraft villages such as Bat Trang pottery village, Ngu Xa bronze casting village, Yen Thai glossy silk...
By road: Ha Noi is 93km from Ninh Binh, 102km from Hai Phong, 153km from Thanh Hoa, 151km from Ha Long, 474km from Dien Bien Phu, 658km from Hue, 763km from Da Nang, and 1,710km from Ho Chi Minh City.
By air: Noi Bai International Airport, over 35km from the city center, is one of the biggest airports of the country with various international and domestic routes. There are domestic flights from Ha Noi to Danang, Dien Bien, Ho Chi Minh City, Hue, Nha Trang and international flights to many countries in over the world.
By train: Ha Noi Railway Station is Viet Nam's main railway station. It is the starting point of five railway lines leading to almost every province in Viet Nam.