It is hard to believe that there is a “beach for nude bath” in Hanoi, especially in the city’s center. But it is real.
It is located at the foot of the Long Bien Bridge – a bridge has a history of over 100 years old. More particularly, this “beach” has two zones, with the number of “nude-bath members” up to hundreds of people in summer.
It’s a very different space of Hanoi though it is less than 2 kilometers from the Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi’s heart.
The space here is very different from a modern Hanoi. It looks like the countryside, with cane fields, corn fields, and farmers working everyday to take care for their fields on the alluvial ground of the Red River.
Nobody knows when the beach for nude bath was formed. They just know that the number of nude-bathers is on the rise. These are the people who share a common hobby: having nude bath and watching Hanoi from amid the Red River.
Members of the nude-bath club gather in two “shifts”: morning and afternoon. In the summer, the “afternoon shift” is more crowded. Meanwhile, in the winter, to avoid the cold, the “club members” gather from 10am to 12pm.
Hoang Anh, a “club member,” insisted, “I have bathed nude for nearly ten years, on a daily basis.”
Members of the nude-bath beach are of different ages, from 20 to 70. Their careers are also different, but most of them are civil servants or retired people.
Nguyen Van Binh, a retired teacher, said, “The common thing of almost members of this club is that we all love nature and like cycling. We don’t like noisy and bustling places.”
Binh said that the nude-bath beach at the foot of the Long Bien Bridge helps the nature lovers not only tune into the natural flow but also see a lot of beautiful scenery of Hanoi. From here, looking to the south is the Chuong Duong Bridge, and then Vinh Tuy and Thanh Tri bridges. To the north, they will see the Nhat Tan Bridge and high-rise buildings behind.
“Many people think we are sick”
Not all Hanoi residents know about this “beach”. Even if they know, not everyone has enough “courage” to come here to join the club.
In the eyes of many “decent” people, the nude bathers here are “screwballs” or even “morbid”. They think that only men having sexual problems can comfortably be nude in front of each other, showing off their bodies and sometimes they even talk about their penises.
But the fact is different. They are not “unhealthy” as others thought but thanks to nude bath and tuning themselves into the nature, their health is improved.
Many men who suffered from various diseases before joining this club are now very healthy. They said that this beach is like a miracle to change their lives.
“That’s the reason why, despite the temperatures in the winter falling to 5 degrees Celsius, we still gather at this beach,” said teacher Binh.
Here, nude men swim and do exercise together. Some people meditate, some others practice yoga, others run along the river bank. It seems that when tuning into nature, many diseases caused by the age and life have gradually vanished.
“When having a nude bath, we are listening to our bodies,” a club member analyzed. “So, nude baths brings a lot of benefits in terms of feeling and mental, not just physical.”
“If you care about yourself and your own health, then this is a great address. Two hours a day, regularly for a few months, you will see changes in your health in a very positive direction,” many members said.
There is one more interesting detail: all of them use bicycles and most of them are “original” Hanoians, not immigrants.