Urban Nudist Oasis: Nude in Hanoi’s Red River

Hanoi Red River Island Nudist Camps

On a slender alluvial island in Hanoi Vietnam’s Red River, nudists meet in crude camps to work out, socialize and skinny dip in the languid waters. Various groups of nudists — almost all exclusively male — call the Hanoi Red River home. For most of the men who come here, nudity is practiced for the health benefits of sun and water on skin.

Friends of the Red River

Nudist Planet Hanoi Red River Camps

On three occasions in January and February 2018, I had the great fortune to spend time with a boisterous multi-generational group whose name translates as Friends of the Red River. Ranging in age from 23 to 92, this collection of men included medical students, government officials, soldiers, university professors and engineers. Coming from diverse backgrounds, they represented a broad swath of Vietnamese life. They welcomed me in as a member of the family, placing a pot of tea on the campfire and inviting me to swim, sit and socialize.

Fitness and Fun

On my second visit, the men where deep into party mode when I arrived. It would be the last time many of them would be together there before heading off in separate directions to spend the upcoming Tet holiday — Lunar New Year — with family. And so pre-holiday festivities were in order. We dined on simple yet delicious food and washed it down with plenty of drink including homemade rice wine.

But, on this particular day most participants were clothed due to cool temperatures. This however did not stop several from stripping off long enough for a quick skinny dip in the river. In this fact is essential to the ideals of this group: to reap the great health benefits of swimming naked there, one must do it daily. Or as close to daily as schedules allow. And the men there swear by the beneficial aspects of a dip. Calisthenics, aerobics and yoga pursuits at the camp add to the mix of healthy activities.


Getting to the Hanoi Red River Camps

If you choose to pay a visit to a Hanoi Red River Camp, you can get there on foot or by motorbike on the Long Bien Bridge. The bridge is located at the northeastern corner of the Old Quarter. Crossing the bridge, when you get about half way, you’ll see stairs going down. There are stairs on each side, so it doesn’t matter which side you chose to walk on. If you go by motor bike, there is a pull-off area on the bridge itself where you can park. Or just go down the steps. Ramps in the center of the stairways permit motorbikes and bicycles to be taken down.

At the bottom of the stairs, walk along the path near the shore to the right to get to the Friends of the Red River camp. You’ll see a small, dirt driveway beneath banana trees to the left after a 3-5 minute walk. This leads directly to the camp area which sits at the mid-point between the Long Bien and Chuong Duong bridges. There are other camps and gym areas along the shore path to the right, including one with a tennis court at the end of the path.


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10 thoughts on “Urban Nudist Oasis: Nude in Hanoi’s Red River”

  1. Thanks for the great information. Clear and detailed.

    I’m headed to Hanoi this April. Hope to meet up with the active Bare Red River group.

  2. This is a wonderful article. I am in the process of planning about 4 days in Hanoi and Halong Bay area in August. Can anyone tell me if there are accommodations at the camp, and how I would go about booking? Thank you.

    1. There is no accommodation there. The area is very basic and natural. You could camp there if you bring a tent. But electricity is limited and there is no running water. I have camped there however and enjoyed it.

  3. Thank you for the information. Makes me want to grab a tent and head there. I will definitely check it out, even if just for a day.

  4. Hey Kenn. I didn’t meet you in April this year. Stayed about 8 days in Hanoi, visited the place several times. There are shelters/covers set up where they prepare drinks & eat. Some language barriers although I met a young man in his early 20s able to converse in English. Otherwise all nudists are welcome to join in the activities.

  5. I went there a couple of times 3 years ago when I was in Hanoi, met a few people swimming at the basic ‘gym/workout’ area and met a young local guy who invited me to join him further up the trail north of the bridge where they play soccer/football in the nude as well.. what a great refreshing outing that was.. gladly surprised to discover something like this in Vietnam

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