Hanoi will become the third country in Southeast Asia to organize an F1 Race in 2020 together with Monaco, Singapore, and Azerbaijan. Long known for an emerging city in tourism, will Hanoi be a perfect match for the top-flight racing crowd?
Obviously if not, director of the International Automobile Federation (FIA), Charlie Whiting hadn’t chosen Vietnam as a host for Grand Prix 2020 in early October 2018.
Still, what does Hanoi have to become the third street circuit and also the longest one in Southeast Asia? Why can this city surpass such busy commercial hubs as Hongkong, Taiwan, Bangkok to be the seventh Asian race track in the final list for F1 Race Host? Here you will find the answer.
Newly-built Infrastructure For Better Racing Experience
As you might know, Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam, a Southeast Asian unicorn in terms of tourism. Situated in the heart of Northern Vietnam, Hanoi is a fast-changing city as well as a cosmopolitan in the North. One exciting feature of a developing town is that it is not difficult to expand as the population in most of the city suburb is sparse. To create a new construction or to renovate a long-established one in Hanoi is far more simple than in the packed metropolis.
That’s why as soon as the official announcement was issued, the circuit architect Hermann Tilke and his team has released a complete blueprint for a new circuit in Hanoi. The government authority, with a view to promoting the country identity, also made quick moves and started the construction projects in late April 2019.
On an unexpected visit to the F1 circuit in Hanoi this August, Formula 1 President and CEO Chase Carey was surprised at the progress of the track. Until now, the central building of the Hanoi race track, also known as the Pit Building, has been completed for only four months. This is considered an incredible figure to implement the most significant part of the project, especially when the Pit area of Hanoi Grand Prix Circuit is much more considerable than others in the world.
Moreover, inspired by legendary turns, Hanoi Race Track promises to give car racers ultimate racing experience. And the audience will have a chance to witness one of the most outstanding competitions all over the planet.
A City Of Thousand Years Of History
Besides, the convenience for establishing a new track, Hanoi has a lot more to offer for speed enthusiasts. One of them is the rich history of an ancient capital.
A long time ago, Hanoi had been the capital of many dynasties in old Vietnam. The city used to be named Thang Long or The Rising Dragon because it has such a central and convenient location. Nowadays, the remnant of the long-gone era are still apparent in Hanoi. The first university in the country, the Imperial Academy and the Temple of Literature, which dated back to the 1010s, are well-preserved right at the city center.
Ancient citadel ruins can be seen within the Old Quarter where Hanoian are living titled houses and narrow streets from French colonization.
Hanoi brings about the ancient vibe. Photo: Flick/Michael Fludkot
However, this is just one side of Hanoi. In expanding areas, there are more and more high-rise buildings with giant shopping malls to facilitate the daily life of the locals. This city brings not only a nostalgic vibe but also the youthful energy of a fast-developing capital. Each aspect shines in its own way.
A Great Fusion Of French Architecture Design
In addition to traditional houses of the Northern Delta, Hanoi also features a wide selection of building with the elegant French design. Wandering around Hoan Kiem lake, an iconic symbol of Hanoi, you will easily catch sight of austere antique villas with high arches, columns, balconies, and pleasing symmetries.
A corner of the Hanoi Old Quarter
Hanoi Opera House is the most obvious evidence for the influence of the French colonization. Long Bien Bridge, which was built under the French rule, is still under operation and becomes a historical witness for the heroic Vietnamese history.
Long Bien bridge
With the high pace of development, Hanoi has turned into a cosmopolitan city, but it still finds a beautiful harmony between the domestic and foreign elements, creating excellent fusion in the face of the city.
Excellent Cuisine Everywhere
Finding a tasty dish in Hanoi is just a piece of cake as even the street vendors offer unique culinary experiences. There is no exaggeration when The Guardian, a prestigious U.K. newspaper included Hanoi in the “seven famous Asian food paradises”.
Pho – the most signature dish of Vietnam. Photo: Flickr|T.Tseng
Hanoi cuisine is said to retain the true essence of Vietnamese cuisine in the use of fish sauce and local herbs, in the delicate taste of each plate made with the skillful hands of the mothers and sisters. Still, the genius Hanoian also integrate striking features of other countries’ cuisine to enrich the local food. Seldom do people know Pho, the most signature dish of Vietnam originated from a kind of French beef stew. Or Vietnamese sandwiches or Banh mi actually a Vietnamese upgraded version of what used to be known as a baguette.
Thanks to excellent fused cuisine, visitors can enjoy a comprehensive experience with all of their sense while in Vietnam.
Warm Welcome From The Locals
Vietnamese is among the friendliest citizens worldwide. According to InterNations, a community for expatriates and global minds, Vietnam ranked 6th out of 68 nations for friendliness. In big cities like Hanoi, most of the young generation can speak fluent English, which makes it easy for foreigners to travel and avoid scams.
Also, the political situation in Vietnam is pretty stable. No serious riot or terrorism has happened. The residents are welcoming all genders and races, so Hanoi is a safe location for traveling in such a big event like Grand Prix.
A Cultural Hub For Aesthetic Activities
As the capital city of Vietnam, Hanoi offers various options to enjoy the regional culture in this nation. An extensive range of artforms is performed in multiple locations within Hanoi to bring the guests close to the traditional culture.
The water puppet show is a popular experience that any international visitor shouldn’t miss once they land in Hanoi. It’s because nowhere else in the world can you find water puppetry but in Vietnam. And the capital city of Hanoi plays a vital role to keep it alive by organizing daily, weekly, and monthly shows.
Furthermore, on the outskirts of Hanoi, there is a multitude of traditional villages. In Van Phuc, you can see people making silk from a hundred-year-old machine. Traveling to Bat Trang, tourists will join in a short porcelain making class to bring home their handmade cups or mugs. More than just sightseeing, you are granted a chance to take part in artistic, cultural activities in Hanoi.
An Ideal Mid-Stop For Vietnam Discovery
Last but not least, Hanoi is also a transport hub for a quintessential Vietnam journey. From Hanoi, it’s convenient to transfer to other attractions in the North of Vietnam via plane or car. It only takes 5 hours to reach Halong, a UNESCO Site known for magical karsts scattering around Gulf of Tonkin. Sapa, where Vietnamese ethnic minorities settle behind immense rice terraces is about 350 km from the city center. To get further to the Middle and Southern Vietnam, you have another option, which is to travel by train. Though it will be longer than a direct flight, it helps you appreciate the gorgeous nature of fantastic mountain pass or stunning beachfront rail.