Hanoi Zoo

NEDERLANDS // ENGLISH

What is Hanoi Zoo?

That’s a simple question with a straightforward answer: this is the largest zoo of the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. It’s located right in the city centre, surrounded by busy streets and residential areas. The park isn’t extremely large, but it features pretty much every animal you might expect in a zoo. Unfortunately, most exhibits look dated and maintenance seems mediocre. This results in poor living conditions for animals, as exhibits are rather small (I’d rather describe them as cages in this case). The worst example is the elephant exhibit. It looks old and both elephants are attached to the concrete floor with steel chains. This is unthinkable in most American or European zoos, but it’s harsh reality here.

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What’s unique?

Hanoi Zoo isn’t just a zoo. The park is also filled with loads of funfair rides, which are all operated by independent operators. This means that rides aren’t necessarily operating when the park is open. And although I visit on Sunday, just a handful of rides are open. This is probably due to the coronavirus, which is hitting Vietnam’s leisure industry hard in early 2020. I really like the fact that Hanoi Zoo combines animal exhibits and rides, but today the atmosphere is dead. It actually feels as if I’m urban exploring. Cool, but that’s not what I expected in a zoo.

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Do they have roller coasters?

I’m usually not interested in zoos, but everything changes if that zoo includes coasters. Unlike Kolmården and Busch Gardens, Hanoi Zoo doesn’t feature enormous RMC machines or fantastic B&M rides. No, in this case we’re talking about coasters which seem to belong on a funfair. Roller Coaster is one of the very few coasters built by Vietnamese manufacturer Sau Con, while Snow White & The 7 Dwarfs is a rather unique powered coaster. It’s actually some kind of fairy tale tour with cheap-looking decoration. These rides aren’t interesting at all, but I would’ve loved to ride them for my counter. Unfortunately, both coasters remain closed.

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Is Hanoi Zoo worth visiting?

If you ask me, there’s no reason not to visit Hanoi Zoo. A ticket for the park costs just 20.000 Vietnamese dong, which is approximately 0.78 euros. I usually find these parks too expensive, but that’s definitely not the case here in Hanoi. You shouldn’t expect the world’s most beautiful zoo, though. The place is old and I got sad while visiting those animal exhibits. That’s why it might be advisable to avoid this place if you consider yourself as an animal lover. To end on a positive note, I’d like to mention the park’s stunning landscaping. The zoo includes a beautiful lake, landscaping is nice and there are a few pretty fountains.

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What are your thoughts on Hanoi Zoo?

Do you think that every coaster enthusiast should visit this place? Don’t you think that some areas could use a big refurbishment? And could this be the cheapest zoo in the world? Share your opinion in the comments section below!

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