Hanoi (Ha Noi, “river’s inner”) is a large sprawling beehive(s) of activity, spotted with large construction projects and relentless motion. With nearly 8 million people (approaching 9 million by 2030, est.), the urban scene is rather vast and can be overwhelming to a first-time visitor. On shorter visits, tourists probably will find themselves confined to the Old Quarter historical district and southern French Quarter (along Trang Tien street).
A focal point of Old Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake (湖還劍, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword”). The small lake itself is relatively unattractive, in my opinion, probably because I am not a particular fan of its color — green. In the past, the lake also had the name "Luc Thuy Lake"("Green Water Lake”). It is isolated by geological factors in between the Red River and Nhue River.
- 2008 photo, manipulated