(Chang Jiang) and a major industrial and communications centre.
The train journeys are a genuine Vietnamese experience in themselves, an integral part of your visit to Vietnam. Inexperienced travellers sometimes think they'll save time by using internal flights - in fact, an overnight train ride from Hanoi to Hu or Danang actually saves time compared to flying, because the train leaves Hanoi city centre in the evening and arrives in Hu city centre next morning, but it's more than this, the train journey is a genuine Vietnamese experience, flying is a wasted opportunity. Air-conditioned trains with sleepers and on-board catering link Hanoi, Hu, Danang, Nha Trang, and Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City).The train runs along the South China Sea, snaking from cliff to jungle-covered cliff past beaches and islands, then heads through the lush green mountains via the Hai Van Pass to reach Danang.In Vietnamese it's Đo Vn meaning 'Ocean Cloud Pass', and I can't think of a better name.When Kublai Khan made Dadu the capital of the Mongol-led Yuan dynasty (1279–1368), all of China was ruled from Beijing for the first time.From 1279 onward, with the exception of two interludes from 1368 to 14 to 1949, Beijing would remain as China's capital, serving as the seat of power for the Ming dynasty (1421–1644), the Manchu-led Qing dynasty (1644–1912), the early Republic of China (1912–1928) and now the People's Republic of China (1949–present).And if you're good at people watching you'll get insights on board the train, too, as the real Vietnam is as much inside the train as outside...
Since the end of the Vietnamese war, the official the name for the conurbation as a whole has been Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC).
For changes to the English spelling of the city's name, see Names of Beijing.
For other administrative divisions called Beijing in Chinese history, see Beijing (disambiguation) and the History of the administrative divisions of China Prior to the unification of China by the First Emperor in 221 BC, Beijing had been for centuries the capital of the ancient states of Ji and Yan.
The earliest remains of hominid habitation in Beijing Municipality were found in the caves of Dragon Bone Hill near the village of Zhoukoudian in Fangshan District, where the Homo erectus Peking Man (Sinanthropus pekinensis) lived from 770,000 to 230,000 years ago.
The artifacts date to 24,000 to 25,000 years ago and are preserved in the Wangfujing Paleolithic Museum in the lower level of the New Oriental Plaza mall.
The name Nanjing (“Southern Capital”) was introduced in 1403, during the Ming dynasty. The central districts of Nanjing are situated on the southeastern bank of the Yangtze, some 160 miles (260 km) west of Shanghai.