Established in early years of the French colonial period, the former Hanoi Botanical Garden (Vuon Bach Thao) owned an area of over 33ha surrounding the entire complex of government palaces and French villas. Apart from available trees, scientists had grown collection of rare and precious native tree species from north to south, and the strange species of plants from numerous parts over the world. To increase the attractiveness and enjoy sightseeing, there are many cages of birds and animals scattered along the paths. Therefore, Hanoi Botanical Garden also once used to be known as a Zoo. Undergoing many ups and downs along with changes, today's Hanoi Botanical Garden is true to its original name. Birds and animals had been moved into Saigon Botanical Gardens; meanwhile, there is a separate animal area in Hanoi, namely Thu Le Zoo. Botanical Gardens today is shrunk after giving a fairly large portion of land to construct Ba Dinh historic complex. It currently retains an area of 10 hectares only on the territory of Ngoc Ha Ward, Ba Dinh District in the northwest of Hanoi City center.
As one of the most charming Hanoi attractions, Botanical Garden constitutes a miniature landscape including mountains, forests and lakes. In the small land of the botanical garden campus, there are many rare precious wood species characterizing tropical moist forests of the South. Native species account for over 2/3 of existing species, and the rest are exotic species from other continents around the world such as America, Africa, or Oceania. Numerous trees in the garden also represent the generation of high vascular plants, notably branches of gymnosperms and angiosperms. Going to Hanoi Botanical Garden, tourists have the opportunity to admire the woody species in diameter of from 2 to 3 people hugging; the giant species of palm; trees owning long lateral roots of banyan tree groups; woody vine species, blooming orchid and colorful ornamental plants.
There are also many precious wood species which a single individual left in North such as red wood trees. Many species are listed in Vietnam Red Book, namely mahogany, sandalwood... In addition, there are 40 red "sua" trees (Dalbergia tonkinensis Prain) in the garden over 100 years old. This is extremely precious plant genetic resources not only for Hanoi but for whole Vietnam country as well as the Association for World Wide Protection in the conservation and sustainable development of biodiversity.
Adorning the tropical wet evergreen forest which is relatively abundant in species are spacious lawns, statue gardens, quiet islands and relaxing walking area. Botanical Garden today has become one of the appealing tourist attractions in Hanoi, just for academic research and for tourists to enjoy. Moreover, the garden is surrounded by a large natural area, for instance, West Lake, Truc Bach Lake in the north and northeast, the strip of alluvial soil along Red River in the west with Ngoc Ha flower village, and the massive historical relic complex in the east and southeast with Ba Dinh Square and President Mausoleum complex. The space surrounding Hanoi Botanical Garden becomes airy and seemly most cultural of the capital. Going to Botanic Gardens, tourists will have a chance to immerse in the natural area and beautiful history of Hanoi.
Hanoi Botanical Garden is not only the ancient garden and the most impressive flora world in Hanoi tourism but also the low volatility region in the city. Right in the hustle and bustle, the Botanical Gardens becomes an ideal greenery space, which is wide and tranquil enough for tourists to comfortably immense their mind into the rare silence of the urban life. Over years, the garden has remained its original appearance and shape. Hanoi Botanical Garden deserves a green lung, a beautiful bouquet right in the heart of Hanoi.