Hanoi is the capital of Vietnam and the country’s second largest city, with a population of some 7 million. Hanoi is an interesting mix, given its history: the maze-like, narrow streets of the Old City; the imposing Ba Dinh Square; and the wide boulevards of the city’s south section, built by the French. The heart of the city is on the right bank of the Red River, west to the CT 20 road. Like many other busy and fast-growing cities in Asia, there’s a lot of traffic and pollution, with motorbikes seemingly everywhere. But running in Hanoi is better than in Ho Chi Minh City, owing to several centrally located lakes and parks. One frustration is that it’s hard to string together a longer run, since the roads connecting the numerous parks aren’t that pleasant for running.
While Hoàn Kiếm Lake is probably the most popular running spot in Hanoi, the best place for a longer run is the ~15 km perimeter path around West Lake. We’ve put together an interesting ‘runseeing’ tour incorporating the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum and nearby Botanical Gardens. Union Park, Indira Ghandi Park, and Giang Vo Lake are other good spots for running. A big thanks to Pekka Myllyla for his help with this guide!
Note that Hanoi’s main streets can be very busy and the air is not great. Also, the heat and humidity in summer can be brutal, with lots of rain. But there’s more of a four season climate than in southern Vietnam.