26/02/2010 | 09:05:00

Hanoi’s natural conditions

Covering an area of more than 918 square kilometers, Hanoi comprises two different topographical features: the delta and the Middle Region of the North.

Most of the deltaic land lies on both sides of the Red River and its tributaries (Đuong, Đay, rivers, etc.). The Middle Region comprises Soc Son district and a portion of Đong Anh district, a prolongation of the Tam Đao mountainous mass stretching towards the Delta which is 7-10 meters or sometimes even hundreds of meters above the sea level.

This is why Hanoi topography has an inclination in the direction North - South (from Soc Son - Đong Anh to Thanh Tri). Hanoi lies at the center of the triangular basin of the Red River. 50 km from Hanoi to the North lies the tourist site of Tam Đao, and the same distance to the South West is Ba Vi.

In Hanoi region, the chain of Soc Son (Soc Mount) is a prolongation of the mountainous mass of Tam Đao, which culminates at a height of 308 meters. This chain has different appellations: Ma Mount, or Temple (Đen) Mount (because there is a temple on the summit of the mountain, called Soc Temple, at the place of which Giong Genius was deified, rising to the sky on his iron horse), or Ve Linh Mount. Soc Mount is situated in the commune of Phu Linh, Soc Son district. Besides these Hanoi has other hills and mountains rising above the flat ground: Sai Mount (Thuy Lam commune, Đong Anh district), Phuc Tuong Mount (Co Bi commune, Gia Lam district) and at the center of Hanoi, above the area of the old Botanical Garden stands the Nung Mount, also called Long Đo or Khan Mount, giving more picturesqueness to the configuration of Thang Long.

Many rivers flow through Hanoi. The first, is the 1,183km long Red River flowing from its source in China’s Yunnan. The section flowing through Hanoi from Đong Anh district to Thanh Tri district is 40km long. The Đuong, the second largest river in Hanoi, separates from the Red River at Xuan Canh (Xuan Canh commune, Đong Anh) then flows through Ngoc Thuy and Yan Thuong communes then cuts the National Highway 1A at the Đuong bridge before passing through the territory of Ha Bac province to empty itself into the Thai Binh River.

Besides these two rivers, Hanoi has many other waterways, which, although smaller and shorter, are connected with the long-standing history of Hanoi. For instance, the To Lich River has been linked to the development of Hanoi for 1,500 years, its junction with the Red River (at the beginning of Cho Gao Street) being filled in at the end of the last century. There now only exits the section flowing between the two streets, Thuy Khue - Hoang Hoa Tham and Buoi market, running through Nga Tu So towards the Buou Bridge before joining the Nhue River. There are also the Thien Đuc, Nghia Tru, Cheo Reo, Ngu Huyen Giang and Kim Nguu Rivers ...

Ponds and lakes are also numerous in Hanoi region. There are large ones like West Lake, small ones such as Hoan Kiếm Lake, Thu Le Lake, Kim Lien Lake, Linh Đam Lake and Van Tri Pond ...

Hanoi region, lying in a plain, far form sea, belongs to the hot climatic zone under the influence of the South and Northeast monsoons. Winter is cold and dry and from February to March, drizzles and the Northeast monsoon are frequent. It is hot from April to June, but from July to September, there are heavy rains and floods followed by Autumn which is the most beautiful season in Hanoi. Annual average rainfall in Hanoi is 1,678 mm. Temperature in January is 160C, in June 280C (sometimes reaching 360 - 380C). This gives an annual temperature variation from 80C to 400C.

From Hanoi, we can reach every part of the country thanks to a convenient communication system. You can fly from Noi Bai International Airport (Soc Son district, 40km from the center of Hanoi) or Gia Lam airport (8km from Hanoi), which was the principal airport of Hanoi before 1970, now being used for tourist helicopter flights to place of scenic beauty. Hanoi is also a railway junction for both domestic and international lines with routes to Beijing (China) and Europe... It is also a point where land and shipping routes converge. It is said, "all roads lead to Hanoi".

Hanoi has enjoyed many favorable conditions since long ago, since the day when King Ly Thai To decided to transfer his capital from Hoa Lu (Ninh Binh) to Dai La which became the capital Thang Long in the month of July of the Year Canh Tuat (1010), by Royal Edict on the transfer of the capital. So, Ly Thai To was both the founder of the Ly Dynasty (1010 -1225) and that of Thang Long - Hanoi.

In 1999, Hanoi had 2,711,600 inhabitants including the central area and the suburbs. In the suburban districts and also a portion of Tay Ho district, most of inhabitants are natives of Hanoi, whereas in the districts of the central area, the inhabitants came from different parts of the country to earn their living or to work in government offices and have settled there. Hanoi inhabitants are essentially the Viet but we can also notice the presence of other ethnic groups.

Thanks to its geographical vantage point, Hanoi enjoys a favorable position as a domestic and external trading center. It is the hands and the minds of the laborious and creative Hanoians of the past and present that have made this city worthy of being the political, economic and cultural centre of the country, the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and one of the most attractive capitals in the world./.

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