Like most cities, Hanoi is filled with tall buildings that block out the sun and non-stop traffic. The Hanoi Botanical Garden, also known as Bach Thao Park, offers an escape from hectic city life. The French originally created the gardens in the late 19th century. But even after the Vietnamese regained control of their country, they continued to maintain this beautiful green space.
Flora and Fauna
The park is mostly known for its towering trees, their huge roots tangling into the earth below. Aside from native species, there are also trees from Africa, Australia, and the Americas–many of which are labeled. A colony of white doves make their home on a lush island in the center of the park’s pond. Visitors will also find peacocks and monkeys housed throughout the garden.
The park is free to visit, though someone may charge a small fee to those parking bicycles or motorbikes. The Ho Chi Minh Museum is right next door, but visitors should be aware that the entrance to the gardens is on the opposite side of the park. For a slice of Vietnamese life, visitors can observe–or even patronize–the outdoor barbers who set up shop just across the street from the entrance.