Rediscovering the Magic of Hanoi
The City of Hanoi stands tall as the political and economic hub of Reunified Vietnam in 1976. Hanoi outpaced Hue, once the Imperial capital during the Nguyen Dynasty from 1802 to 1945. It was also chosen as the capital during occupation of the French from 1002 to 1954. Its rise from “obscurity” was rewarded with recognition from the global community when it became the capital of reunified Vietnam in 1976, after the long 1955-1975 Vietnam war. Hanoi’s unstoppable economic growth careens toward a brighter economic future. At this point, business opportunities beckon.
Hanoi Economy Revisited
On the map, Hanoi also called the City of Lakes is bounded by the Red River and Mekong River that flows into Halong Bay and onto the Gulf of Tonkin. It has 19 urban and 18 rural districts. With the rise of urban districts, urban agriculture emerged but is threatened by a growing competition for the use of land. The use of modern machineries upgraded Hanoi’s agriculture and livestock industry and pockets of urban dairy farms are on the rise.
On another note, its geographical location makes Hanoi the ideal center for local industries – steel manufacturing, development of industrial parts, tools and cutting machines propelled the city to dominance in the manufacturing industry that experienced industrial boom in the 1990s. Riding the boom, Hanoi experienced increasing annual growth since the 1990s and economic experts predict that Hanoi will continue to see economic growth. As proof of its industrial growth, more industrial parks are being constructed. The rapid business expansion is also experienced in non-state economic sector. There are 48,000 businesses registered and in commission under the Enterprise Law.
The city however focused on the need of the growing population. Instead of spurring infrastructure and transportation, the government concentrated on the development of housing and real estate owing to the burgeoning population and the influx of resettlement. But going around Hanoi, anyone can see new roads observe that roads are being upgraded. The growth in real estate growth thus spread to nearby cities and districts. Yes, there is much room for improvement in infrastructure but this is a window to big money-making opportunities for investors.
Trade and export contribute largely to the coffers of the Hanoi treasury. Foreign trade and export make up the bulk of income-generating businesses in Hanoi. Export has grown by leaps and bounds and is currently enjoying sizeable revenues. The economic windfall also shaped new industrial centers in the southwestern part of Hanoi. Hanoi has emerged as the industrial gateway for its provincial districts.
Tourists are charmed by Hanoi’s delightful tree-lined boulevards and French-influenced villas and mansions, the Presidential Palace, Saint Joseph Cathedral and the 1901 Hotel Metrople on 15 Ngo Quyen Street. The eclectic architectural mix of French and Vietnamese styles gives the city its distinctive French-Asian style.
The cuisine is eclectic and a come-on for those proud of their adventurous palate. Beef and chicken are the main ingredients in most dishes. The popular rich food banh cuon or rice noodle roll filled with seasoned ground pork and wood ear mushroom served with a side dish of pork sausage is filling and healthy.
The popular street food, pho a rice noodle dish is a breakfast staple the locals enjoy before a long day. This dish was judged one of the top five street foods by a top travel deal publisher. The more daring are invited to feast on insect food served in Khuong Thuong town. Relishing ant eggs prepared ethnic style should be an unforgettable experience for anyone.
Top Tourist Drawers
Tourists from all over the globe flock to the aptly named Old Quarter along the Hoan Kiem Lake. The Hoan Kiem Lake is a sight to behold at night, with the lights of the buildings reflecting in the lake A perfect aside to the antiquated buildings of old Hanoi architecture still standing.
Shoppers can take a good look at the piles of colorful silk on display. In the old days, merchants plied their wares and trade on the streets where they lived. The streets then were named after their trades. Some streets have been renamed but there are streets that still have their original names. Tourist and avid shoppers can find silk and jewelry shops and restaurants in the area. The night life in the Old Quarter is also abuzz with bars and clubs that cater to different tastes. The busy night market is also one big reason to see the place.
The French colonial influence still remains. Aside from the tree-lined boulevards, the old villas and mansions, the Presidential Palace, Grand Opera House, Saint Joseph Cathedral, and State Bank of Vietnam are showcases of French influence. Architecture enthusiasts can marvel at the mix of traditional Vietnamese and French architecture of the Vietnam National Museum of Fine Arts, National Museum of Vietnamese History and the Indochina Medical College.