Vietnam's Major Cities: Hanoi

Name: Hanoi

Significance: Capital of Vietnam and second largest city

Population: Approximately 6.5 million in metro area; 2.6 million in urban districts

History: King Minh Mang created the province of Hanoi in 1831, which included the ancient citadel Thang Long. Hanoi became a French colonial city in 1888 after the Nguyen Dynasty was defeated. The city remained in French control until 1954 when President Ho Chi Minh and the communist forces defeated the French and established a new government. After the war between north and south ended in 1975, Hanoi officially became the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, as it remains today.

Culture: Hanoi is considered by many to be the cultural capital of Vietnam. Hanoi natives are very proud of their city and culture. They proudly share their traditional cuisine, etiquette, and love for their city with foreign tourists and Vietnamese from other provinces. Food in Hanoi has been called some of the best in the world and is a must-try when visiting the city.

In the beginning, Hanoi was organized into 36 streets that bore names associated with the trade or occupation of the people who lived there. Though now Hanoi is much larger with many more streets, the Old Quarter still carries on some of the tradition of the original 36 streets. Streets in the Old Quarter are still some of the best places to go for traditional Vietnamese products. They are known by locals and tourists according to the product sold on the street.

Since a large portion of Hanoi was built during French occupation, many buildings and streets are reminiscent of those times with French-inspired architecture. Hanoi is also a hub for pagodas, museums, monuments, restaurants, and handicraft stores. It is the location of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, where the revered leader’s remains are buried.

Pray for Hanoi:

  • Hanoi is the hub for the communist government. Pray for government leaders in Hanoi to hear and respond to the good news of Christ. Pray for Christians to have favor with government leaders and be allowed to practice their faith with fewer restrictions.
  • Many pagodas and temples can be found throughout Hanoi. Altars to the dead abound throughout the city. Pray for the millions of Vietnamese people who live in darkness to have the opportunity to hear the gospel and come to the light.
  • Hanoi is booming with Vietnamese culture and is a popular tourist destination. Pray that Christian tourists would be bold to share the gospel with Vietnamese people as they enjoy the rich culture of Vietnam.