New Year - New You!
CHUC MUNG NAM MOI, Hanoi oi!
Written by Ciara Briscoe
After the bucking bull that was 2020, many people are looking to 2021 for redemption, even if also a wee bit in fear. The chaos caused by the pandemic has had an impact on the world-wide economy, and the course of human history as a whole, plus it’s done a number on the mental (and physical) health of many. While we here in Vietnam have suffered little from the impact of lockdowns, comparatively, certain areas (and the country as a whole) have certainly been affected - although I don’t miss the tourists, the beachside resorts sure do. Will things go back to ‘normal’? Or is ‘normal’ as we know it completely changed itself? While we ponder these questions for the rest of the world, we here in ‘Nam feel like it’s pretty much hunky-dory. Despite this, it’s definitely been a year of growth for many. Anyone else thinking 2021 should keep up that excellent energy of new and exciting experiences and skills?
Here are a few things that you can try your hand at this new, and potentially much better than last, year. These are all easily found on Facebook, and addresses are listed where relevant.
Acrylic Painting Workshop
33 Trịnh Công Sơn, Nhật Tân, Tây Hồ
Like to paint, acrylic style? Want to learn? Come on down to a workshop, create your own painting masterpiece, take it home, and show everyone the proof that you’re Andy Warhol reincarnated.
Bikram Yoga - Hot Yoga
180 u Cơ, Tứ Liên, Tây Hồ
Bikram yoga is a spicy (probably vegan) meatball, and the new location in the heart of Tay Ho is Vietnam’s only hot yoga studio. Don’t sweat the small stuff - this is yoga for everybody, at any level, with classes seven days a week - morning, noon, and night. It’s heating up even more with the addition of Inferno Hot Pilates (IHP) classes. Get in before February 10th and get unlimited visits (Bikram and IHP classes) for 6 months for only 4 million!
CLB Johni Garden - Water Ball Paintball (WBP)
76 An Dương, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ - 0777255385
Essentially paintball, including all the fun, but minus the pain(t). Using superabsorbent polymer water beads as ammo, you can take aim at your nearest and dearest with only splashback to worry about (rather than payback). Give them a call on the number above, as they can be a little camouflaged out in banana forest.
Craft Box (Hockett Haus of Crafts)
Westlake Point Executive Residence, 7 Quảng Khánh, Quảng An, Tây Hồ
Welcome to THE PLACE for all things artsy-craftsy in Hanoi. What a list, being fully serious, where to even start? Macrame, embroidery, oil painting, printmaking, leatherworking, watercolour painting, tie-dye, terrariums, cement work, linocut, and many, many more! Check out their Facebook page for a full calendar of events, including special kids events for TET!
Công Viên Hoa Hồng, Phường Thạch Bàn, Quận Long Biên
Take your next round of MarioKart from the screen to the streets. Rip around the mini F1 course with your best Schumacher impression, and show your mates why you’re known as the fastest in town. From 260k/30 minutes trackside.
Hanoi Archery Club
Trần Nhân Tông, Nguyễn Du, Hai Bà Trưng
Ever wanted to stab a guy, but he’s way over there? A healthier option for both you and that guy is to try your hand at shooting an arrow from a bow into a target. Pull back, let go, peeeeeew! Look at you! Go on, give it a shot.
Hanoi Circus Collective
Oi gioi oi, who likes fire poi? The Hanoi Circus Collective are a group of performers from around the world who have congregated in the city of Hanoi to share their love of flinging fire. With their regular weekly meetups and shows happening around town, they’re really heating up Hanoi! Give them a shout on Facebook to get involved.
Hanoi Dance Company
Do you regularly flop around the dancefloor like a wet noodle? Try to twerk and shake yourself into a seizure? Hanoi Dance Company dream of the day the streets of Tay Ho are filled with movers&groovers and are here to save your dance bacon with open-level adult dance workshops and courses of varying genres. Get in touch through Facebook!
Hanoi Pony Club
Đông Hội, Đông Anh
Fallen for horse riding but can’t giddy up? The Hanoi Pony Club have all your horsey needs in one place. They offer pony rides, pony clinics, riding lessons, jumping, trail riding, pony rentals, and also offer services for birthday parties and school visits! Who would say ‘neigh’ to all that?
Hanoi Suitcase Rummage
Fig Tree Garden - 66 Phố Quảng Khánh, Quảng An, Tây Hồ
Held on the last weekend of every month, this rummage fills the beautiful Fig Tree Garden with secondhand and homemade goods for sale, while various musicians fill the air with tasty tunes. Anyone can join as a seller, but if you’ve got nothing to offload, come on down and grab a bargain. All proceeds to Hanoi Pet Adoption. Hop online and see their event details on Facebook!
The chaos of Hanoi (or just life in general) can creep into your life in a variety of ways. Intimate Conversations offers a safe space to talk, listen, share and connect with others. A community that comes together to discuss and learn from each other and from people with experience and expertise, especially about human psychology and behaviour. Contact them on Facebook.
Clubhouse COMING SOON!
Four days, three nights, two wheels. This is Namduro 250, and it’s not just any old off-road adventure - it’s a lifestyle and a community. Don’t let words like ‘enduro’, ‘endurance riding’, and ‘off-roading’ scare you away - anyone and everyone can become a Namdurian, from beginners through to experts - yes, even YOU. Next drive out event is in April 2021, and they regularly have workshops and other smaller mini-events - check out their Facebook for more info!
PuKu Cafe - 16-18 Tống Duy Tân, Hoàn Kiếm
Hey, we need to talk. A weekly community exploration of polarizing contemporary issues - from polyamory to AI - with small-group discussions, talks, music, games, art, panelist Q&As, and more, the RealTalk Philosophy group are regularly tearing apart the beliefs that tear us apart. Puku Cafe hosts an event on Wednesday evenings, plus other discussions scheduled online, and even in other real-life locations (travel permitting). Let’s get philosophical!
Swing Dance Academy LindyMAD
14 Ngô Quyền, Hoan Kiem
Are you ABSOLUTELY MAD for swing dance, especially Lindy Hop? Not sure if you are? Try out one of their dance courses, or twirl into one of the weekly Swingsday sessions at Morris Pub (Wednesdays from 8:30pm). They know exactly how powerful it is to swing those bodies to music, and know exactly what to show you so you can be LindyMAD too!
Trampoline Jump Arena
1A Tăng Bạt Hổ, Phạm Đình Hổ, Hai Bà Trưng
You’d think this kind of activity would have its ups and downs, but with trampolines everywhere but the ceiling, I’d advise you to jump right in! The sky isn’t the limit, with obstacle courses, bounce basketball, foam pit, rock climbing, giant airbag, dodgeball, a kid’s zone, and MORE! Bounce into a bit of fun!
2/76 An Dương Vương, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ
“It’s probably the best thing to do in Hanoi” is what nobody has said, as far as they know, but it can’t be far from the truth. From the backyards of Canada, to the chaotic streets of Hanoi, Vietaxe offers a new, fun alternative to your everyday activities. From birthday parties to team building/work functions, stag do’s to date nights, and everything else in-between, the VietAxe coaches are ready to help you sink that first bullseye! For those more seasoned tossers, the axe throwing league is real! LET’S THROW!
40/76 An Dương Vương, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ
There’s never any need to feel stuck between a rock and a hard place once you’re a rock-climbing pro! VietClimb is committed to raising up the foundations of a solid climbing culture in Vietnam and encourages climbers to connect, create synergy, and support an active and vibrant lifestyle with shared values. Get a grip, and go!
BoHoDia SPOTLIGHT HOUR
Bringing the spirit of a Bohemian Diary, at BohoDia, we do handicrafts, tell stories of improvisation and freedom. To us, magical beauty comes from little pieces of nature. From the rock on the seashore, the dried pine cones ... everything can be a stunning detail of an artwork.
For the purpose of inspiring people with natural materials, we host a wide range of craft classes weekly at Thong Dong Ville (Trinh Cong Son) and Craft Box - Hockett Haus of Craft (Quang Khanh). Coming to BohoDia, everyone can bring out the artisan inside through the interesting workshops: jewelry making, terrarium, candles, solid perfume, Kirigami, dreamcatchers and other home decors.
Along with the workshops, every month since August 2019, Hanoi Boho Garage Sale is organized by BohoDia and it’s reaching Vol.11 so far. In this market, we choose to pick similar eco-friendly and handicrafts brands. This is not only a place for artisans to showcase their artworks but also a regular playground for Tay Ho families where everyone can come, chill, buy some lovely goods and have fun together.
In all the little things we’re doing, we hope that everyone will find joy when they craft and appreciate the value of handy-work and creativity.