Bach Thao Park

Bach Thao means “hundreds of plants” and like its name, the park is one of the few green places in the increasingly modern city of Hanoi. Bach Thao Park or Hanoi Botanical Garden that is situated behind Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum has been known as the green lung of the capital for more than 100 years.

 

 

Built by the French in 1890, the Bach Thao Park (Botanical Garden) stretched over an area of 33ha, and encompassed a number of the French’s villas at that time. Beside indigenous plants, many exotic tropical plants from all over the world were planted here and made up a rainforest right at the heart of the city. The French also grew large grass lawn, built up a hill close by a natural lake, and cages for birds, animals along wandering shady paths to make the scenery more beautiful.

Many years later, Bach Thao Park was narrowed to make space for construction of historical complex of Ba Dinh. Birds and animals were taken to Hanoi zoo (Thu Le Park), Sai Gon Zoo and Botanical Garden (Ho Chi Minh City). Now, the botanical garden with an area of over 10 ha is favorite place for relaxation of many Hanoians.

What to see

Bach Thao is home to various kinds of trees that are typical for tropical rainforest, such as: coconut, palm, orchid, or banyan tree… Two thirds are native plants, and the left are carried from other tropical regions of Africa, America and Oceania. There are old big trees that take two or three people to hug around. This is an ideal place for any one who is interested in botany, or looking for some nature in the city.

As a complex of garden, hill and lake, the Hanoi Botanical Garden is where people come to rest under the trees, strolling around the lake, or watch pigeons on the islet. There is a small bridge connecting the land and the islet in the lake where pigeons are raised. The bridge and the hill is popular among the locals as nice places for taking wedding photos. Visiting Bach Thao Park in the autumn, the wedding season, people easily catch the sight of bride and groom posing in front of camera. Sometimes, there are up to four or five couples taking photos at the same time in the park and having attention of many tourists around. Everyday, there are a lot of local people come here for morning or late afternoon exercise, playing chess in leisure time or just relaxing after a hard workday. Travellers can visit the park to know more about the locals’ lifestyle and enjoin the peace with them.

 

Every time is the best time to come, especially summer to enjoy cool air and tranquility in Bach Thao Park. Coming here for a picnic at the weekend or in hot summer days may be a great idea.

How to get there

Situated behind Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and closed to West Lake, it just takes less than 5 minutes to visit the botanical garden from Hoan Kiem Lake or Hanoi Old Quarter by taxi, and very few minutes to walk from West Lake.

If want to reach there by driving motorbike from Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) to Bach Thao Park, just go along Hang Dao, Hang Ngang Street; then turn left at Hang Dau Street and keep straight along Quan Thanh Street; finally turn left and keep going on Hoang Hoa Tham Street untill you see Bach Thao Park/ Hanoi Botanical Garden on the left hand side.

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