Formerly known as Bachthao Gardens, Hanoi Zoo is home to about 800 animals with over 90 different species on exhibition, including big cats, monkeys and reptiles. The zoo is located within Thu Le Park – a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi central.
The park also features a lake with pedal boats for kids to enjoy and an ornamental garden for visitors.
The zoo is striving to improve facilities and expertise to bring it on par with other zoos throughout the world and is currently undergoing a conservation-and-breeding programme of animals from Vietnam and other destinations believed to be under threat. The animals on display are located throughout the park meaning you can enjoy the landscaped surroundings as you visit the zoo. There is also a fun park for kids located close by. Hanoi Zoo is located a short taxi ride northeast of the main Hanoi centre.
Hanoi Zoo Highlights
Animals on display at Hanoi Zoo include a variety of native species such as the Vietnam pheasant displayed with information signs in Vietnamese, English and French. The star exhibit is Lam Nhi or ‘baby of the forest’ – a tiger who was rescued after being taken from the jungle to be sold for its skin. A local competition was held to name the tiger with over 10,000 school children submitting entries; today the celebrity tiger attracts many visitors. Other big cats on display include the Indochinese tiger, Siberian tiger and clouded leopard.
There are also plenty of monkeys including lots of gibbons swinging from ropes and tyres in a specially built monkey enclosure. Asian elephants are present on the edge of the lake and there is also a small aquarium with turtles and tropical fish. Families visiting Hanoi Zoo can take a rest in a shaded picnic area, kids will also enjoy a spin on the lake in a swan peddle boat. When you’ve finished browsing round the zoo and surrounding gardens you can stop by the souvenir store and purchase an ornamental plant such as a bonsai tree.
Much of the emphasis at the zoo is based on gathering knowledge rather than care for the animals so do be warned that the cages will be smaller than those you might see at other zoos. Conditions however are improving and are certainly better than some of those found at neighbouring Asian zoos.
- Opening Hours: From 08:00 to 22:00
- Location: On Bach Thu Le around 5km North West of the city centre