Red River – A Symbol of Hanoi

The Red River is not just a source of livelihood for many Hanoians, but it also serves as a symbol of Vietnamese history and the long-standing prosperity of the nation's capital. Learning about the Red River informs visitors about a variety of historical sites along the river and helps them learn more about Vietnam's distinctive cultures, stories, and traditional villages.


At 1,776 meters above sea level in the Yunnan province of China, the Red River originates. Before reaching Hanoi, the river passes through the provinces of Lao Cai, Yen Bai, Phu Tho, and Vinh Phuc. From there, the river goes on to the East Sea, its final destination, via the provinces of Hung Yen, Ha Nam, Nam Dinh, and Thai Binh. The river is 1,150 kilometers long and meanders for 800 kilometers over hills and mountains, where the rainy season causes its strong and unpredictable currents to swell. The river becomes calm and soft as it approaches the plain, at an elevation of roughly three meters. The Red River's extensive, fertile delta has been enriched for ages by its alluvia. The Red River is a reflection of Vietnamese cultural values as well as a representation of wet rice civilization.


Despite being a small portion of the Red River's overall length, the section that flows through Hanoi is sufficient to provide the typical traits of wet rice culture. Vietnamese culture is embodied in the traditions and practices of the fishing and artisan villages along the river. King Ly Cong Uan chose to relocate his capital from Hoa Lu Ancient Capital to this location more than a thousand years ago after realizing the strategic value of the location. Poets, musicians, and artists have been inspired by the scenery on both banks of the river. Today, visitors can take a boat tour of the river.


Visitors who travel the Red River can take in the poetic scenery of the old villages; visit the numerous pagodas and temples that line the river; take part in local festivals to learn about the religion of Mother Worship; and visit the well-known pottery village of Bat Trang, which has been around for more than 700 years.

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