Sports in Vietnam

kayak in Vietnam

A wide range of sports and recreational activities are available to locals and expatriates in Vietnam. Gyms, playgrounds and recreational grounds are plentiful in major cities. Mountain biking, trekking, golf, yoga, and martial arts are commonplace, catering to a wide range of preferences.


You will find gyms and sports centers in most Vietnamese cities, including Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. You can practice different types of familiar indoor activities such as cardio exercises, weight-lifting, and squash. Gyms or fitness centres often have group classes available too. You won’t struggle to find availability of classes such as Zumba and yoga. Do note that sometimes these classes are not built into the basic gym membership fee, so it is advised to inquire about this beforehand.

Outdoors in the Cities

Vietnamese are an active population and many outdoor aerobics classes can be seen throughout the day, ranging from before dawn to very late at night! Table tennis, volleyball and badminton are country-wide favourites and free equipment can be found across various cities, especially in parks.

Da Cau is another widely practised sport in Vietnam. This team sport is played using a device that looks very similar to a shuttlecock and is great for building and toning muscle, as well as working on your reflexes!

If you are a swimmer you will find outdoor pools in the major cities. These are often frequented by expats – for example, the Bach Khoa swimming pool in Hanoi, or the Van Thanh swimming pool in Ho Chi Minh City – and at these, you can exercise and be social whilst you’re working out!

READ MORE:  Discovering Hanoi

Outdoors in the Country

You can enjoy trekking and mountain biking in the countryside of Vietnam, or in the rocky and mountainous areas and nature parks. This will also allow you to become more familiar with the outdoors-oriented lifestyles of Vietnamese living in the different provinces.

Canoeing or kayaking in the rivers and sea are popular activities enjoyed by all. When in a coastal region, water sports such as diving, surfing, windsurfing, kite surfing, and snorkelling are available too. Several golf courses are also available.

Martial arts

Vietnam specializes in martial arts. There are many dojos providing quality classes to martial arts lovers. You can choose among Vo Tu Ve or “self-defence”, the Khi Cong Cong and Noi which are techniques based on breathing and concentration, and Dau Vo Dai which uses traditional weapons.

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