Looking for somewhere to picnic? Here are some places in and around Hanoi where you can lay your blanket down.

 

Quang Ba Park

 

Whether you live in Tay Ho, work in the area, or have a spare day to make it here, Quang Ba Park is a perfect location for an afternoon picnic. The area is peaceful and beautiful, and suitable for dogs, friends, and families. This well-shaded park has plenty of grass areas suitable for a picnic blanket and a feast, as well as a playground for children. Right by the water’s edge, with beautiful views of the lotus flowers in bloom, this public park is surprisingly quiet and peaceful, with hardly any noticeable traffic driving by. Vinmart is just around the corner, so you don’t even need to come prepared. Hungry? Pop over to Home 38 or Anita’s Cantina just across the road.

 

Located on Quang Ba, Tay Ho, or search Vuon Hoa Quang Ba to find directions on Google Maps

 

The Tay Ho Stairs

 

All around Lake Tay Ho there are sets of stairs leading down into the water presenting beautiful views and a perfect _at surface to bring a few friends, beers, and sandwiches. In the evenings, you will find these stairs home to groups of teens, friends, and families, enjoying the cheap drinks from the vendors situated there. They bring their own mats, so all you need to bring is yourself and some money.

 

You can find these stairs leading into the lake all around Tay Ho, however the most populated spot for it is around Ve Ho and Nhat Chieu streets

 

Nhat Tan Bridge (A bust)

 

So much has been heard about the area under Nhat Tan Bridge, however it has now fallen victim to the infamous typhoons of Hanoi and the majority of the bank has been washed away, causing mudslides and extreme loss of potential picnic areas. Not recommended at all.

 

Dinh Chem

 

A little way out of Hanoi, Dinh Chem is a beautiful pagoda by the Red River. Drive down the dirt road to get there and out of nowhere emerges the lake’s beauty, with colourful boats cruising by. The area has a little streetside café for all your cool refreshment needs, but feel free to bring your own along with some lunch and snacks to enjoy in the fresh air.

 

Weeping trees, the Red River, and the temple make this place a great photo opportunity. Picture yourself with a drink in your hand, the sunlight peeking through the vines of the trees, and friends surrounding you.

 

Continue driving up Au Co towards Nhat Tan Bridge where the road turns to An Duong Vuong. From the bridge, continue 4.5km until you turn right at Thuy Phuong, and take an immediate left. Down this small road is where you will find Dinh Chem

 

The Botanical Gardens

 

Right in the centre of Hanoi is this getaway park with ample space for a picnic. The relaxing atmosphere of the park almost lets you forget you’re in the middle of a capital city. The park is equipped with swings and other exercise equipment, a few small lakes to sit by or walk around, and even some monkeys and a peacock in large enclosures.

 

Most of the grass areas around the park are forbidden to sit on, however if you climb the stairs to the top of one of the hills, you are able to pop a blanket down and enjoy your picnic from up there. If you really wanted to sit by the lake, there are ample park benches.

 

Unfortunately, no dogs are allowed at this park. If you bring your bike to the park, parking will set you back VND3,000. Entrance to the park costs VND2,000.

 

You can find this park by searching Botanical Gardens on Google maps. The address is officially 3 Hoang Hoa Tham, Ngoc Ha, Ba Dinh, Hanoi

 

Hanoi Bridegroom Field

 

Not far from Hanoi’s centre is the Bridegroom Field, dubbed that because of the vast amount of people who come here each weekend to take their pre-wedding photos. During the week, this is a quiet park, but at weekends you can expect loud music, lots of families, and an abundance of brides and their photographers.

 

The park costs VND50,000 for entry. From the gates you can explore the little roads and see many places for photo opportunities with structures such as little windmills, vibrant flowers, and old carriages.

 

The park has a playground that any child would love, complete with a trampoline and a roundabout, and plenty of picnic tables made out of fake trees, giving not only shade, but also a convenient power outlet. There are vendors floating around the park selling banh products and fresh drinks if you are in need. This park is a fine place for a picnic if you have some spare time during the week.

 

Find it by searching Vuon Hoa — Bai Da Song Hong on Google Maps or drive straight down lane 264 Au Co until you reach the entry gate

 

Long Bien Island

 

By Long Bien Bridge, you may have noticed an island in the middle of the Red River. Officially called Bai Giua Song Hong, it’s more commonly known as Banana Island. You can access this island by driving along the bridge and taking the ramp that sits about half way down it.

 

Walk the island as you please but beware, there is a small portion of the island where middle-aged Vietnamese men enjoy their time on the island completely nude. Aside from that, there are plenty of places around the island where you can sit and enjoy other kinds of views and even vendors selling drinks and some fruit. Mix with the locals (the clothed ones) and you might even get some rice wine shots given to you.

 

To get to the island, enter the Long Bien Bridge from Yen Phu Street. About half-way down the bridge there is a ramp. Take that ramp and you will arrive at the island parking

 

Cau Giay Park

 

Cong Vien Cau Giay is not only close to the city centre, but it is a beautiful park with fresh air and an exciting energy about it. The area is clean, and suitable for families.

 

Adorned with fake grass, the park provides safe outdoor games and activities for children, as well as a large playground and rope climbing equipment. In the evenings, the park turns to a night-time playground, with children and teenagers alike enjoying their playtime together, and adults taking their aerobics classes, filling the park with their upbeat music.

 

This picturesque and newly built park has loads of space to set yourself down for a picnic with friends. Free entry, or VND5,000 for parking, you can’t go wrong here.

 

The official address for Cau Giay Park is Dich Vong, Cau Giay, Hanoi. Check Google Maps for more details.


 

PHOTOS BY JULIE VOLA

 

Amelia Burns

Amelia - known by her friends as Millie - is a young Australian who moved to Hanoi at just 19 years old. She originally came for just one month but before she knew it she'd met the love of her life and began to live out her dream career. She now lives in Hanoi semi-permanently and writes both for pleasure and for work.

Website: www.millieburns.com

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