The face of our clientele

The face of our clientele

"Ann and I are pleased to share our experience whilst in the care of Indochina Pioneer(ICP). During our adventure to Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, we were treated like family, and at every stage of our holiday, somebody was there to guide us..."

View details
build your own trip
Indochina Pioneer - Day Tours

Where would you like to go with Indochina Pioneer?

Please click on the countries below to read more about your desired destinations in Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. These pages provide first-hand local travel information regarding transportation, accommodation, attractions, food & drink, entertainment ... together with some suggestions on ready-made tours to and from those places.

Hanoi is relatively small and runs at quite an unhurried pace for a capital city. Resting in the Red River delta region, the centre is a mixed of tree-lined avenues, maze like back streets with lively merchants stores, temples and lakes and has many fine colonial buildings.

Brief history:

A village existed here at least as early as the 3rd century. century AD, and a defensive citadel was established in the 8. The official origins of this great capital city go back to the year 1010. According to legend, while the new king, Ly Thai To, was in his royal barge on the river, he saw a golden dragon flew up towards the heavens. This was a good omen, so he moved his court from Hoa Lu to here, renaming his new capital city, Thang Long, “City of the Rising Dragon”. The heart of Thang Long Citadel was the king’s sanctuary in the ‘Forbidden City’, but a growing collection of villages of commoners grew up around the walls.

More name changes over the centuries, and in 1802, the Nguyen dynasty moved their capital from here to the central city of Hue. In 1831, Emperor Tu Duc changed the name of the former royal capital to ‘Ha Noi’ - “City in a bend of the River”. While Ha Noi was no longer home to royalty, it was destined to soon become an important political centre again. The French colonialists occupied Hanoi in 1883, and it became their main administrative centre for all of French Indo-china (Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos). Hanoi became the capital of their new colony of Tonkin (northern Viet Nam). Cochin-china (the southern 1/3rd of Viet Nam) had become a French colony in 1862. The Nguyen dynasty continued to rule from Hue, nominally at least, until 1945, but the French ‘pulled the strings’, dethroning any patriotic kings who opposed them.

On September 2, 1945, the free and independent nation of Viet Nam was proclaimed in Hanoi by Ho Chi Minh, before a huge crowd gathered in Ba Dinh Square, near Ho’s mausoleum today. The August Revolution had seized power throughout the country. The last king, Bao Dai, abdicated power to the new revolutionary republican government, led by Ho, thus ending the feudal monarchy. This independence was short-lived. The French eventually fought their way back to reclaim their colonial power, with increasing support from the U.S. The Viet Minh had to fight a bloody 9-year war against the French, finally culminating in the historic victory at Dien Bien Phu, which ended French colonialism in Indo-china. In 1954, after the Dien Bien Phu victory, Ho’s government returned to Hanoi, greeted by excited crowds. But yet again, foreign interference conspired to deny them the victory they had won on the battlefield, and in Geneva. So began the 21-year American War. In 1965, US aircraft began to attack Ha Noi, culminating in the infamous B52 bombing campaign of 12 days and nights of Christmas, 1972. Even this could not defeat Ha Noi’s fighting spirit, any more than the many earlier invasions by feudal Chinese, Mongols, Japanese, Nationalist Chinese or the French. Finally, on April 30, 1975, Viet Nam won its independence and reunification, as the Ho Chi Minh Campaign liberated the south.

In July 1976, Hanoi was officially declared the capital of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam. Ha Noi – the heart and soul of Viet Nam - was named City of Peace by UNESCO in the year 2000. Now, Ha Noi has recently celebrated its 1000th Birthday, in October 10, 2010 – the oldest continuing capital city in S.E. Asia.