1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Hanoi

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HANOI, capital of Tongking and of French Indo-China, on the right bank of the Song-koi or Red river, about 80 m. from its mouth in the Gulf of Tongking. Taking in the suburban population the inhabitants numbered in 1905 about 110,000, including 103,000 Annamese, 2289 Chinese and 2665 French, exclusive of troops. Hanoi resembles a European city in the possession of wide well-paved streets and promenades, systems of electric light and drainage and a good water-supply. A crowded native quarter built round a picturesque lake lies close to the river with the European quarter to the south of it. The public buildings include the palace of the governor-general, situated in a spacious botanical and zoological garden, the large military hospital, the cathedral of St Joseph, the Paul Bert college, and the theatre. The barracks and other military buildings occupy the site of the old citadel, an area of over 300 acres, to the west of the native town. The so-called pagoda of the Great Buddha is the chief native building. The river is embanked and is crossed by the Pont Doumer, a fine railway bridge over 1 m. long. Vessels drawing 8 or 9 ft. can reach the town. Hanoi is the seat of the general government of Indo-China, of the resident-superior of Tongking, and of a bishop, who is vicar-apostolic of central Tongking. It is administered by an elective municipal council with a civil service administrator as mayor. It has a chamber of commerce, the president of which has a seat on the superior council of Indo-China; a chamber of the court of appeal of Indo-China, a civil tribunal of the first order, and is the seat of the chamber of agriculture of Tongking. Its industries include cotton-spinning, brewing, distilling, and the manufacture of tobacco, earthenware and matches; native industry produces carved and inlaid furniture, bronzes and artistic metal-work, silk embroidery, &c. Hanoi is the junction of railways to Hai-Phong, its seaport, Lao-Kay, Vinh, and the Chinese frontier via Lang-Son. It is in frequent communication with Hai-Phong by steamboat.

See C. Madrolle, Tonkin du sud: Hanoi (Paris, 1907).