Known as the green lung of Hanoi, Bach Thao Park is a familiar place to relax of Hanoians. With fresh atmostphere, variety of fauna and flora, it is an ideal place for those want to escape from the noise of the city.
Established by the French in 1890, the botanical garden stretched over an area of 33ha, and surrounded a number of the French’s villas at that time. Beside indigenous plants, many exotic tropical plants from all over the world were brought 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 room for construction of historical complex of Ba Dinh. Birds and animals were taken to Thu Le Zoo (Hanoi), 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 Park is home to numerous kinds of trees that are typical for tropical rainforest like: coconut, palm, orchid, or banyan tree… Two thirds are indigenous plants, and the left are imported from other tropical regions of Africa, America and Oceania. There are old big trees that take two or three people to hug around. Here is good 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 botanical garden is where people come to rest under the trees, take a walk 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 are popular among the locals as nice places for taking wedding photos. Visiting Bach Thao Park in autumn, the wedding season, tourists 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 attracting attention of many people around. In normal day, 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-work day. Tourists can visit the park to know more about the locals’ lifestyle and enjoy the peace with them.