West Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam
Explore the biggest freshwater lake in Hanoi
Rated 4.5/5 (based on 166 reviews)
Best time to visit
Mar - Apr, Sep - Nov
- Ideal for friends
About West Lake in Hanoi
West Lake is the largest fixed water body of Hanoi, stretching for over 17 km in its shoreline and an area of 500 hectares within. A 15 minutes’ drive away from the cacophonous old quarters of Hanoi, West Lake offers a more peaceful and tranquillity alternative to the visitors. Also known as Ho Tay Lake in the local language, this place is an absolute gem of a destination if your goal for the day is to simply soak in the urban fabric of Hanoi and spend time relaxing.
The origin of the lake is shrouded in several folklore and legends and, thus, not really known. One popular legend is the story of the battle between local deity Dragon King Lac Long Quan and a wicked fox spirit with nine tails, whom he had defeated and laid down here where the lake stands. Another one and the more widely believed one is the story of the buffalo calf, which confused the bell of a pagoda with his mothers and ran so fast that his hood created a crater for the lake.
But these are mostly myths. In its actual heyday, West Lake in Hanoi was lined with royal palaces and houses of the elites, and the lake was used as a centre for recreation and relaxation. The second part still remains, but the surroundings have transformed into a more contemporary look with shops, restaurants and skyscrapers around.
There are several West Lake attractions around for a visitor to explore. Vietnam’s oldest temple Tran Quoc Pagoda built in the 6th century as a symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism is located in a small island. Other than West Lake Pagoda Hanoi, Quan Thanh Temple is also there, which is one of Vietnam’s Four Sacred Temples. For refreshment purposes, one can visit the south side for a street-full of the best seafood restaurants and to the northern side for more sophisticated diners.
Cycling around West Lake Hanoi along the beautiful pathways is a very rewarding activity to do here, as a dose of health for the body and the mind, as well as for exploring the area properly.
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FAQ's of Hanoi
Read on to find out why our customers love us!
The rental cost depends on how long you will be riding. It starts around USD 5 to 6 for a whole day’s rent.
Yes, there are plenty of accommodations near Lake Hanoi. But most people prefer to stay in the old quarter and travel by taxi or on foot to the lake.
The early mornings during spring and autumn months are the best time to visit Lake Hanoi.
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