The world wide Hash House Harriers - A club for drinkers, who have running problem - is very active in Hanoi. Depending on the season, some 40 to 100 walkers and runners gather together on Saturdays for an afternoon run. Locations are usually out of town in the mountains or paddy fields. This is one of the best ways to get a bit closer to ordinary Vietnamese way of life, if you are a tourist. In addition, you see places, which you would have never seen otherwise. In Autumn, 2002, Hashers used to go for running by bus from Spotted Cow pub, Hai Ba Trung 23 street, some 100 meters south from Hoan Kiem lake.
PS. Good fun after the run in 'the circle' and more to come in 'OnOn' in the dinner party.
If you stay for longer period of time in Hanoi I recommend to join the Hash House Harriers. This group meets every Weekend to go running (yes, you can do this in Hanoi, although the first time you might think 'they are crazy to go jogging at 34 C and 95% humidity!'). But it's a great opportunity to meet other prople and see some places you might not find by yourself.
I've been Hashing for about ten years now and recently came to one of the Hanoi Hash's. Wow, what a great group of people! It's a great mix of local expats, visitors and local Vietnamese. Everyone is warmly welcomed from the seasoned Hash vetrans to the first timers who want to find out what Hashing is all about. The really great thing about the Hanoi Hash is that they get away from the city to areas where the tour guides don't go. Rice fields, hills, lakes and curious country people who want to say hello. There is both a run, usually about 10k in distance, and a walk thats about 5k. Visitors and photographer types or those looking for interesting pictures of Vietnam off the beaten path will love it! New expats can network and gain knowledge from the expats who've been in country, etc. The Hanoi Hash group is family friendly and good fun for all.
Highly recommended, bring walking shoes and a good attitude and you'll fit right in!
Hashers meet every Saturday at the American Club located at 19-21 Hai Ba Trung Street (Walking distance from Hoan Kiem Lake) at 1-1:30, the Hash Bus leaves promptly at 1:30 returning to the American Club at about 7pm.
For more information go to www.hanoih3.com