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The capital of Vietnam (formally the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, previously the Democratic Republic of Vietnam or North Vietnam, in the northern part of the country, in the Red River Delta. It is 1760 km/1094 mi north of Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City.

Hanoi is the center of the Vietnamese railway system. It is 100km/63 mi east of the major port of Haiphong, while the river is navigable, Hanoi is not itself a major port.

The name (written 河内 in Chinese characters) can be translated as "between the rivers."

During the earlier parts of the Vietnam War, much of the area was prohibited from air attack in Operation ROLLING THUNDER, but military targets in Hanoi were bombed intensely in Operation LINEBACKER II.

It is on the main north-south road of the country, National Highway 1. Hanoi connects, via Highway 5 to Haiphong, as well as by rail. National Highway 3 runs from Hanoi, through Thai Nguyen and Cao Bang Provinces, into China. Highway 2 is another northwest route to the Chinese border.