"Thang Long" (Soaring Dragon) was the historical name of Hanoi. The Imperial Citadel is the symbol of Hanoi and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 600 the Chinese built the fortress "Dai La". In 938 the Chinese were expelled by the vietnamese. In 1010 emperor "Ly Thai To" built the Citadel as his center of power. Within the wals, there was a "Forbidden City" with palaces and gardens. In 1406 the citadel was conquered by the Chinese, and the vietnamese center of power shifted to Hue.
The "Bach Ma Temple" (White Horse Temple) is the oldest temple in Hanoi. According to the legend, a white horse showed the right place for the construction of the city wall, which collapsed several times before. In return, this temple was built. In Chinese Buddhism the "white horse" is a symbol of purity and loyalty. The first Buddhist temple in China, (near Luoyang) is also called "the White Horse Temple" (Bai Ma Si).
The houses in the old town of Hanoi stand on narrow plots. A few historic buildings have been preserved and give an insight into the traditional architecture of Hanoi. Several low-rise buildings with courtyards, lined up one behind the other. The courtyards are beautifully designed and often decorated with precious reliefs, as here in the "Thang Long Catru Theatre".
The market hall "Cho Dong Xuan" has a historical front, behind the facade there is a modern concrete building. The interior is dimly lit and is not very interesting. Nevertheless, the area around the market is quite interesting. Fish, meat, fruits, vegetables and flowers are sold on the street. Also exotic "delicacies" like turtles are sold, eating them promises a long life.