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Sports practiced in Vietnam

It is true that from the early morning, the heat in the Vietnamese capital in summer can be uncomfortable, and yet this does not discourage the Vietnamese who attach great importance to physical well-being and spiritual well-being. They take advantage of this time of day which offers a little more freshness than usual. From 5 a.m., when the sun has just risen, Hanoians go out into the streets and generally gather around Hoan Kiem Lake (the lake of the restored sword) near the old quarter to practice all kinds of exercises. . Within this pleasant and calm setting, sport in Vietnam becomes fun for everyone! It should also be mentioned that the Vietnamese generally get up very early, following the rhythm of the sun, which is why this early hour can surprise us,

But what is the sport in Vietnam? You will have the choice.

Tai Chi

Many people opt for Tai Chi, in order to clear the mind but also to practice a little gymnastics. This body practice owes its origin to Chinese martial arts but it is not proven. Of course, you have to learn to perform certain movements, and certain postures, but also train yourself to have adequate breathing. The technique of this martial art makes it possible to soften and relax the muscles and joints: everything to be in shape! Generally, the movements are done slowly, in order to be able to meditate while exercising. Just watching these people doing Tai Chi is soothing!

Practicing Tai Chi near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

Some decide to do their morning exercises alone, others prefer to join a group, and follow the movements of the leader. Sometimes there is even no leader, the Vietnamese agree in unison to perform similar movements in synchronization as if they had learned the gesture by heart. Always in an almost religious calm, the movements follow each other gracefully, one after the other, a bit like a dance.

For the Vietnamese people, sport is health! This is why they attach so much importance to these small exercises. Although they are not too physical, these movements make it possible to work the joints but also the balance. Morning sport in Vietnam is suitable for all ages so all generations mix in a pleasant setting enjoying the first rays of sunshine in the calm of dawn.

Stimulate your muscles

It is sometimes impressive to see Hanoians perform some morning sports practices in Vietnam. Indeed, some beat their muscles vigorously. The term “vigorously” would almost be an understatement. Men especially are adept at this exercise: they slap their own shoulders, thighs, abs, and arms very hard. It is said to serve to stimulate the muscles, invigorate them as well as to strengthen them. Fans are free to test this rather crude technique!

vietnam morning sport


Very early in the morning, it is common to see badminton nets set up all over the city. This sport is considered the national sport and the Vietnamese give themselves body and soul to win a round! This endurance sport allows them to exercise and work on their reflexes, it’s a very good sport for those who want to do a little cardio! This sport also improves team spirit since the Vietnamese generally prefer to play it as a duo.

The shuttlecock kicking


You could compare this exercise to badminton, except that you play with your feet and without a racket! As spectacular as its name may seem strange to Westerners, shuttlecock kicking is a sport little known in Europe but widespread in Southeast Asia and especially in Vietnam where it has become a famous national sport. However, what is da cau? This sport consists of exchanging a shuttlecock using mainly the feet but also other parts of the body except the hands. It can be a “badminton football”. This sport has been practiced in Vietnam for centuries. The emperors and kings of Vietnam also encouraged their soldiers to practice this sport in order to sharpen their agility for combat thanks to the incredible acrobatics that players must perform.

laughter therapy

Some groups may seem strange. Gathered in a circle, the individuals all start laughing at the same time every 30 seconds. It’s not really a physical exercise but this laughter therapy helps to calm the mind and attract good vibes. So yes, it’s strange but why not give it a try? It is tempting to join this kind of group to share their good humor and immerse yourself in a somewhat euphoric atmosphere!

The Tango

The Vietnamese love to dance, and they particularly appreciate the tango. Very far from their original culture, this Hispanic dance which is practiced in duet makes their heads spin (in the literal sense of the term). Indeed, they seem good at moving to the rhythm of the music and wiggling their hips gracefully. Again, the tango makes the cardio work. Moving to music is very pleasant, moving to music with a partner is even more so. Thus, tango is considered a real fitness and a real sport in Vietnam.


Of course bodybuilding is part of the morning gymnastics practices in Hanoi. Around Hoan Kiem Lake, we see several very motivated people pushing dumbbells and installing booster machines to take advantage of the setting to develop their muscles. The strength and motivation they display at 5am is impressive. No need for a gym for these people, so they do bodybuilding where there is little space to settle down!


Among the must-have morning sports, there is also running in Hanoi. On weekends, the Hoan Kiem Lake area is pedestrianized, so it’s nice to run around the lake and take advantage of the coolness of the morning to exercise. Many expats and Vietnamese choose this time for a weekly morning jog. What is all the more pleasant is the fact of being able to circulate freely without traffic and without trampling because of the crowd.

A little early morning cardio!


It is also to see some people sitting cross-legged by the lake and indulging in meditation exercises. The virtues of meditation are numerous, it allows above all to come into contact with positive thoughts. However, it also acts on the nervous and digestive systems. Thus, this therapy in itself can relieve tension and anxieties. Bear in mind that meditation is not only reserved for the elderly, it can be practiced at all ages, with different postures of course. Given its recognized health benefits, it would be silly to deprive yourself of it, wouldn’t it?

The art of meditation
Meditation art

You can also see young people playing Dai Cau in the street, this sport is very popular in the capital! With a shuttlecock similar to that of a badminton shuttlecock, the goal is to pass the object by juggling with the feet without it touching the ground. You have to be very skillful with your feet to be able to control flying but it’s a lot of fun!

With all these activities, you can do sports in Vietnam even on vacation! And even if you don’t practice it, it’s an experience to live to see these people indulge in sports activities at dawn. In addition, you will enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of sunrise at the edge of Hoan Kiem Lake, a little moment that offers a bubble of calm at the start of the day and at the end of the week. And especially if you play sports, remember to hydrate yourself more!

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