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Directions: West of the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum. Entrances are on Hoang Hoa Tham and Ngoc HaPhone: unknown
This is always a fun place to come in Hanoi. It's not too crowded, but there's always Vietnamese people around doing allsorts of things: dancing, drawing, jogging, playing badminton, stretching, doing Tai Chi, children learning to ride bicycles and of course the ubiquitous wedding couple photography.
There are some very forlorn-looking monkeys and peacocks in cages dotted around, which is a disappointing touch. However, there are also some really interesting sculptures by Vietnamese artists, which is good to see; Public art spaces not being so common in Hanoi.
There are a few little food and drink carts around the park which is handy and loads of benches and places to sit down. Bring a book, or a sketchpad, or you could easily lose an afternoon just people-watching.
Well-worth the 2,000dong entrance fee.
The gardens are hosting something that resembles a 'state fair' for 4 days (ending this Sunday 19-09-10). Entry is free.
The whole place has come alive with stalls selling everything from art & crafts to regional produce such as honey and fruits, sculptures, gemstones, traditional clothing, silk, hand-made guitars ect. The stalls and shops line all the walk-ways in the park. (there are 100's of stalls, I was really surprised about the scale of the event)>> many of the stalls give free samples of fruits and various types of local wines (the coconut wine was particularly yummy and worth trying)
There is a large performance area and last night we were treated to drums and dancing Chinese style dragon and children dancing + singing.
I understand that this event is part of the Thang Long celebrations. The mood is very happy and the vibe is festive!
For all the photographers out there >>> there are some great photo opportunities with the lovely trees as a back-drop to the fun atmosphere.
Highly recommended place to visit over the weekend or today before the 'festival in the park' ends on Sunday 19th Sept 2010.
Gates open from 8am to 9.30pm
I love the botanical gardens because they provide a large space to walk around in, and make a great place for a date. The name in Vietnamese, or at least what many of them call it, translates to "The park with hundreds of trees"
There are a lot of neat things within the gardens, such as the monkeys, a temple, and, I believe, a skating rink. There is also a large man made lake and several large, grass covered, hills adding to the beauty of the gardens. I went here at least once a week when I lived nearby.
However I do have a word of warning. I have been told that it can be a dangerous place after dark. It is actually relatively easy to get into without paying (through a dysfunctional gate on the west side) and sometimes heroin addicts hang out here.
My girlfriend says she heard someone was raped in the gardens, but I have no evidence to back that up. That being said the gardens are big enough with lax security, that something like that could happen.
Just keep your guard up, as in most public places, and you should be fine.
A nice peaceful and not so overcrowded park in Hanoi. Although I was a bit expecting it to have more varities of plants/flowers because the word botanical was part of it.
Tshaw99 is right. The needles found randomly in this park might be baffling but I learned from a Vietnamese friend that it's "junkie" park at night
A great place to people watch,have a wander, or have some quiet time just to sit and be.
It's 2000 to get in. A bargain in exchange for feeling like you're out of the city for a few hours. Lots of benches. The toilets are grim.
My friends and I had a picnic here a couple of weeks ago- the perfect place for that sort of thing... although maybe wait until Spring now!
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