Whether it is Fred Flintstone or Jeffrey Lebowski, sometimes a man just wants to go bowling. It was with this in mind that Chào made a Sunday afternoon visit to Hero World Bowling at the Royal City Vincom Mega Mall to see if any of us could rack up a perfect score of 300. Sadly no one managed such a heroic feat, but two of our team of six did score more than 100. Baby steps, and all that. Nevertheless, Hero Bowling does provide an absolutely great day out whether you are an amateur or pro.
Despite being located in one of Hanoi’s busiest malls, the 14 lanes offered here mean even you rarely have to queue. Chào went on a crowded weekend and only had to wait 30 minutes. During this time we took advantage of the fancy massage chairs available at the bowling alley (there are a couple of pool tables here too), as well as quick visit to the huge arcade next door, where you can win all the cuddly toys you will ever need. It is easy to burn time at this gigantic mall, which even has a large ice-skating rink downstairs, a great place to impress (or scare off) a date, perhaps.
The bowling itself was not too heavy on the wallet at 400,000 VND per hour Monday to Friday, and 500,000 VND on the weekends. It is an extra 20,000 VND to rent the bowling shoes. Split this among up to six people and you are looking at a cheap, yet highly fun day out.
The feeling of clattering down every single pin is hard to beat, so we consulted a few “experts” on how to rack up those beloved strikes. Advice was myriad but a few things that came up were: practice your run up a couple of times before you start, to get the feel for releasing the ball at the right moment. Use the heaviest ball you are comfortable with; if it feels a struggle go for a lighter option. Apparently, it is important not aim for the exact center as if this often results in a split. Instead aim very slightly off center using the arrow markers on the lane. Check out a few more bowling tips here.
For the thirsty, a limited range of drinks are on offer at the alley (it turns out bowling and beer pair very well, who knew?), including cans of Tiger and Heineken at 40,000 VND per pop. A few people had even brought their own snacks and exotic drinks with them to the center and nobody seemed to mind. For Chào’s next visit we are going to take a few pre-made cocktails to keeps us nice and loose. White Russians probably.
Vincom Mega Mall, Royal City
72A Nguyen Trai, Thanh Xuân, Hanoi