Located on the banks of the Red River in Vietnam, the area surrounding Hanoi has been inhabited from at least the third millennium BC. One of the first recorded permanent structures at the site was the Co Loa citadel, built sometime around 200 BC. However, it is not until 1010 AD that the official founding of Hanoi is recorded - the current ruler of the land, Lý Thái To, moved the capital to the site and renamed it Thang Long, or "ascending dragon". Thang Long remained the capital of Vietnam until 1397.
The city continued to grow quietly for the next few centuries, even while briefly occupied by the Chinese in the early 1400's. In 1831 Emperor Minh Mang renamed the city, giving it the more literal name of "Between Rivers". Shortly thereafter, the French occupied the city and surrounding area in 1873, later making Hanoi the capital of their new colony - French Indochina - in 1887.
After World War II the city was the scene of deadly fighting as the country was contested between the independent nationalists and the French government. North Vietnam finally won its independence in 1954 and made Hanoi the capital of the country. The city remained the capital once North and South Vietnam were reunited and unified in 1976.
Since then, Hanoi has boomed into a vibrant metropolitan area, exponentially increasing in size with every passing generation. The city is now the most developed and modern in Vietnam, boasting the latest advancements in infrastructure and agriculture technologies.