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One thousand years of light

No 11, Vol.5, December 2015 – January 2016

I was born in Nghe An Province and lived in Hanoi for just four years. But, whenever I travel, my mind returns to Hanoi.
Hanoi is of the most ancient cities, the all-time political, cultural, and social centre of the whole country. It can be affirmed that Hanoi is both the heart and the pride of Vietnam. At the same time, it was witness to the sacred resistance wars. It’s not an overstatement that the victories won by Hanoi’s people and army in the resistance war against French colonialists was one of the most decisive attacks in recent memory to crush all dark plots of the enemies and prove the marvellous power of an indomitable nation.


Long Bien Bridge, Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Xuan Chinh

Moreover, Hanoi is well-known as a beautiful city which features many of the historical and cultural values of Vietnam. These places have attracted thousands of visitors yearly, earning a turnover of billions of Vietnam dong. In the centre of Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake – the distinctive symbol of the capital with a 1,000-year-old civilization. In addition, Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is the symbol of the strength of intelligence and sacred sentiments that the Vietnamese people reserved for him. It can be said that the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is both modern and simple, but can manifest all of his decency. In front of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum is historic Ba Dinh Square, where president Ho Chi Minh read the declaration of independence, giving birth to the democratic republic of Vietnam, the first people’s democratic country in Southeast Asia.
Referring to Hanoi means referring to the Red River. It is said that the Red River is nearly 1,000 kilometres long. It is recognized as an endless supplier of alluvia for all the Red River delta areas. Currently, it is one of the most important waterways in the Northern waterway system. Spanning over the Red River to the North are the three longest bridges of Vietnam: the Thang Long Bridge – the symbol of The Vietnam-Soviet friendship, the Long Bien Bridge-the symbol of French architecture and the Chuong Duong Bridge - the symbol of Vietnamese architecture and workers’ self-reliant spirit. Recently, two new bridges have just been completed which are Thanh Tri and Nhat Tan bridges. Hopefully, these two bridges on will not only embellish the face of Hanoi, but will also take a deserving part in the socio-economic, transport and commercial development of the whole country

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, 2012. Photo: Phan Lac Dung

Tracing back to the past, we become even prouder of Hanoi and our ancestors. No sooner had Vietnam liberated Saigon in the Spring 1975, than the Vietnamese National Assembly held a meeting to reunite the North and South and took the whole country to socialism. Even so, it had to face countless difficulties. However, since its foundation, our party has always pursued independent political policies and lines without depending on any powerful country. It is the reason why Vietnam in general and Hanoi capital in particular still stand firm and continue to develop. Not only has Hanoi been registering an unprecedented development with an ever-growing living standard and high growth rate, but Hanoi has sought to develop infrastructure on a large scale. The face of Hanoi is changing for the better with new lives of new types of people. The atmosphere of Hanoi seems always eventful, from supermarkets with bustling people to congested crossroads. Moreover, in the process of national industrialization and urbanization, many slums have been replaced with high-rise buildings, four-or five-star hotels and supermarkets. So strongly is Hanoi developing its economy that it lags only behind HCM city in financial contribution to the state budget.

Flag Tower of Hanoi. Photo: Nguyen Duy Tuong

Development always brings its downsides, of course, but I still love Hanoi so much. I love every street, every dish and every Hanoi-an. I love the moment which Hanoi is in the beginning of spring, ‘Sưa’ flowers are as white as snow in every street corner. At night, street lighting makes Hanoi more beautiful and colourful; sometimes, the wind blows gently in squalls. In conclusion, in my heart, Hanoi is always beautiful, simple, and loveable.n

By Le Van
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