the capital city of Vietnam and one of the most beautiful cities in all of Asia. Hanoi is full of history; a maze of winding, narrow, wooded lanes full of shops, taverns, bicycles, cyclos and motorbikes. The city centre is an architectural museum piece, its blocks of ochre buildings retaining the air of a peaceful and austere provincial town, contrary to the fast-living and bustling air of Saigon. The city of Hanoi is a small part of now Greater Han oi, which has a lang area of 2,139 sq.km and a population of about 3,000,000. In the past, Hanoi was first chosen by Kind Ly Thai To as the capital of country and was named Thang Long (Ascending Dragon) in 1010. Through several successive dynasties, it remained as the country’s capital city, the heart and soul of the whole nation, and has borne a variety of names, including Dong Kinh (Eastern capital), from which the Europeans derived the name they eventually applied to all of northern Vietnam, Tonkin. The city was finally named Hanoi (the city in a bend of the river) by Emperor Ming Mang (Nguyen Dynasty) in 1831. From 1902 to 19-53, Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina.