Hà Nội Scribbles

Travel & Living in Hanoi, Vietnam

What’s in a name?

I have just had to rewrite what I know of the geography of Hanoi. Despite living in the Vietnamese capital on and off for four years, it’s only now that I have discovered that Long Bien bus station isn’t actually in Long Bien at all. It’s in Ba Dinh.

Who names their bus station after another district? And their railway station and their bridge, too, for that matter.

Until now I had assumed, not unreasonably, that Long Bien was this side of the Red River. Turns out everything I thought I knew is completely wrong.

Long Bien district is not reached until you cross over the Long Bien bridge (from Ba Dinh). Until recently I had believed it was Gai Lam on the opposite bank. Keeping with the theme, however, when you land in Long Bien proper, the main bus station there is the Gai Lam bus station. For the record, Gia Lam is 11 kilometres away.

It’s a bit like rocking up to Euston Station in London only to find it has been renamed Edinburgh Station because that’s where the trains go.

Maybe someone out there can explain why Ba Dinh bus station is called Long Bien bus station. And why Ga Hanoi, the railway station, is not Ga Da Nang?

No doubt there’s some logical explanation for all this. Perhaps there are historical reasons? Kilmarnock FC, for example, plays at Rugby Park, but only because the ground was originally a rugby field. If you can explain the naming system in Hanoi, please leave a comment below.

3 comments on “What’s in a name?

  1. Tho Loves Food
    April 28, 2019

    I personally think we have two reasons 1. The bridge, 2. The wholesale market next to that bus station.


    • Hanoi Scribbles
      April 28, 2019

      Which came first the district or the egg? Why is it not Ba Dinh Bridge? I assume they built it from ‘this side’?


      • Tho Loves Food
        May 4, 2019

        By the history, Long Bien is an old name, back like thousand years ago. Ba Dinh is much newer name.

        Also, Doumer bridge (previous official name of Long Bien) had at least 2 unofficial name, which was called by local residents before, and they all related to current Long Bien district 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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This entry was posted on April 27, 2019 by in Insights, Transport, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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