Sports activities in Hanoi
With enough culture and entertainment to cover the globe twice over, it can be quite easy to overlook the options available for keeping fit in Hanoi. Local Hanoians are no strangers to exercise. In fact, they love a good workout, and for many, this is an integral part of everyday life. A quick drive around the city before sunrise will deliver you a hodgepodge of aerobics, popular sports, casual runners, cyclists and everything in between. So if you are searching for the best local options for sports, read on!
Take a bottle of Revive or another electrolyte drink as the temperatures in the afternoon can cause dehydration very quickly.
Football is by far the most popular sport in Hanoi and is enjoyed by thousands of people every day, mostly men. There are dozens of astroturfs dotted around the city, not to mention many indoor arenas. However, locals will play a game of kick-ups wherever there are a few square metres of available space. If you are looking for one of Hanoi’s best areas to play football, you could try the fields at Long Bien, Bach Khoa, Dinh Cong and Phuc Xa. The fees for using these facilities can start at as low as $5 per hour depending on the quality of the surface. Although Vietnam is a fairly nationalist country, expats can even apply for a position as a professional footballer in Hanoi’s V-league team. This is the top division, and each team may include up to five foreign players. Thang Long Football Club is another starting point if you wish to get involved with the Hanoi footy scene!
Badminton and volleyball are also among the front runners in Hanoi’s sporting circuit. Both of these sports are enjoyed by men and women alike, and wherever you find a sports club in Hanoi, you will almost definitely see these games being enjoyed. Locals tend to improvise with volleyball, typically opting for something that more closely resembles a spherical balloon rather than a traditional ball. Nevertheless, this makes for some amusing spectatorship, and if you are playing, you will probably find it a little easier on the hands. For the latest updates on Volleyball get-togethers, you can join Hanoi Volleyball Club on Facebook.
Badminton in Hanoi is even easier to get involved in as there are well over a thousand expats who are active members of this scene.
Self-defence in Hanoi
Martial arts in Hanoi is readily available, with both western and eastern styles accounted for. Whether you’re looking to study MMA, Brazilian Jujitsu or traditional boxing, there will be something to suit your needs, budget and availability in Hanoi. Some of the most reputable self-defence clubs include Hanoi Boxing Club, Viet Fighter, and Optimistart Mixed Martial Arts. Monthly memberships in self-defence clubs in Hanoi can start from as little as 500,000 VND (17 GBP) per month, but for more specifically tailored or private lesson, the price will naturally increase. Gyms in Hanoi are abundant too, with one located on nearly every street. For the most basic of facilities, the cost can be as little as 400,000 VND per month or 50,000 VND per day. If you are looking for that state-of-the-art, exclusive feel, California Fitness starts at around 5 million VND (170 GBP) per month.
Hanoi locals are early risers and prefer to get their exercise out of the way before work. However, it is possible to indulge in sports at any time of day here. If you’re looking for a quiet practice session with a friend, lunchtime or early afternoon is undoubtedly the ideal time. Locals tend to relax at this time of day, so most of the sports facilities are at their quietest.