1. Thong Nhat Park
It is relatively small compared to other botanical parks around the world with its total area of 50 hectares, but for a city like Hanoi, it is quite large. The park is a popular spot for locals of all ages. Middle aged people use it as a space for jogging, cycling, skateboarding, yoga and working out, the elderly hang out in groups dabbling in tai chi or even dance, and the young ones run around and chase one another while their parents hang around having some coffee. You will also find many others reading, having picnics or doing absolutely nothing while lying on the grass.The park is located very centrally, making it a great place to relax after exploring a few historical sites that are very close by such as the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and Hoan Kiem Lake. It’s also a good place to join in on the locals for some morning or afternoon exercises. The entrance costs only VND$4,000 (17 cents), and the money is spent on maintaining the gorgeous green lawns.
2. Lenin Park
Lenin Park is a tiny park that is also a great intermediate stop on your itinerary. After all that walking around, you’ll want to sit down on some cool grass. The park has a statue of, you guessed it, Lenin, as a goodwill of Vietnam to commemorate his 110th birthday.
3. Thu Le Park
Thu Le Park was once known as Bachthao Gardens and now is also referred to by another name — The Hanoi Zoo. The Hanoi Zoo is set within the park and there are over 90 different species and a total of about 800 animals that live within the premises, including big cats, monkeys and reptiles. Don’t let the term zoo put you off — this is one of the best in the country. It is continuously striving to improve facilities to be able to care for the animals as best as they could. They aim to conserve and protect regional animals believed to be under threat.
Kids in particular love the zoo and park, but you will find many adults around, too, as it offers a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi. There is also a lake with paddle boats, making it a fun getaway for a few hours.