West Lake stands as an enchanting oasis that captivates both locals and visitors alike, nestled in the heart of Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city. Renowned as the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi, this picturesque water body boasts a circumference of approximately 17 kilometers (10.5 miles), creating a serene expanse that has become an integral part of the city’s landscape. Beyond its sheer size, West Lake carries a rich tapestry of history and natural wonders.
Today, West Lake serves as more than just a body of water; it is a cherished haven where locals seek refuge from the urban clamor, finding solace in its tranquil shores. With its scenic beauty and historical significance, West Lake emerges as a timeless retreat, inviting all who visit to immerse themselves in its storied charm.
Where is the West lake ?????
West Lake (Hồ Tây in Vietnamese) is located in the northwest part of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. It is situated relatively close to the city center and is a prominent feature in the landscape of Hanoi. You can search the location on Google Map.
Getting to West Lake in Hanoi is relatively straightforward, and you can use various modes of transportation depending on your starting point. Here are some general guidelines:
- Motorbike/GrabBike: If you’re comfortable riding a motorbike, you can use GrabBike, the motorbike version of the Grab app. This can be a convenient and quick way to navigate through Hanoi’s traffic.
- Public Bus: Hanoi has an extensive public bus network. You can check with locals or use online maps to find a bus route that passes by West Lake. The bus system may have different routes, so be sure to check for the one that suits your location.
- Cyclo or Xe Ôm: These are traditional Vietnamese modes of transportation. Cyclos are pedal-powered tricycles, and xe ôm are motorbike taxis. Negotiate the fare before starting your journey.
- Walking or Cycling: If you’re staying in the city center or nearby, consider walking or cycling to West Lake, especially if you enjoy exploring the city on foot or by bike.
Some facts about West lake
- Size: West Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi, covering an area of approximately 500 hectares (about 1,235 acres).
- Circumference: The lake has a circumference of about 17 kilometers (10.5 miles), making it a significant body of water within the city.
- Islands: West Lake is home to several small islands, with the most notable being the Trấn Quốc Pagoda situated on a small island in the lake.
- Depth: The average depth of West Lake is around 5 meters (16 feet), providing a habitat for various fish species.
- History: West Lake has a rich history and was originally a part of the Red River until it was separated and became a distinct lake. It served as a royal area for recreation, including hunting, during the Ly and Tran dynasties.
- Sunset Views: The lake is known for its stunning sunset views, attracting locals and tourists alike to enjoy the peaceful atmosphere as the sun sets over the water.
- Local Hangout: West Lake is a favorite spot for locals to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. Many people come here to relax, unwind, and enjoy the natural surroundings.
What you should do in West lake – Exciting experiences in West lake
There are a variety of interesting activities you should do at Tay Ho (West lake Hanoi). Here are some recommendations for you.
Experience a delightful check-in at the charming Flower Valley near West Lake.
Nestled at the crossroads of Nhat Chieu Street in Tay Ho District, just a short 600-meter stroll from the water park, this spot offers a perfect blend of convenience and scenic beauty for your exploration. The destination unfolds with a stunning array of flowers, including daisies, lavender, roses, and captivating landscapes, providing an ideal backdrop for creative check-in photos that capture moments of sheer beauty.
This versatile location can be enjoyed throughout the year, each season showcasing a unique selection of flowers in vibrant hues. Lotus enthusiasts should plan a visit between June and September, while July promises a virtual feast with sunflowers and windmills. From November to February, witness the blooming of daisy flowers. If violet flowers hold a special place in your heart, kick off the New Year with a visit.
Find us at the intersection of Nhat Chieu Street, Nhat Tan Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi. Operating hours:
- Monday: 09:00 – 22:00
- Tuesday – Sunday: 07:00 – 22:00 Ticket prices range from 80,000 to 120,000 VND per ticket.
Take a leisurely stroll down Trinh Cong Son Pedestrian Street
One of the vibrant pedestrian avenues in Hanoi. This charming thoroughfare pays homage to the legendary musician Trinh Cong Son by featuring captivating artworks inspired by his legacy. Imbued with a timeless charm, both the street and its stalls are meticulously designed in a classical architectural style, creating a distinctive ambiance that promises unforgettable moments for visitors exploring its length.
Despite its relatively short span of about 900 meters, the street unfolds a myriad of enchanting corners for travelers to immerse themselves in extraordinary virtual experiences, including an umbrella-adorned walkway, a lively water fountain plaza, and captivating art murals tucked beneath the road.
- Address: Alley 431 Au Co Street, Nhat Tan Ward, Tay Ho District,
- Hanoi Opening hours: Friday evenings, Saturdays, and Sundays.
Hop on a bike for a fun combo of exercise and enjoying the scenery around West Lake!
When you’re at West Lake, make sure not to miss the joy of cycling around and exploring every little spot. The best times for a leisurely bike ride are in the early morning and evening. The weather is usually nice and cool, making it the perfect opportunity to get a good workout while soaking in the gorgeous sunset or the lovely sunrise. And as the evening rolls in, the peaceful and romantic atmosphere under the twilight sky adds an extra touch to your bike adventure, making it super memorable!
Explore the charming ancient villages
Did you know that, despite the ever-changing and developing world, there are still many beautiful ancient villages right next to West Lake in Hanoi? These villages maintain their original architecture and timeless ambiance. When you visit these places, you not only get to tour and discover the ancient architecture but also indulge in the serene scenery, temporarily forgetting the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Instead, you’ll find yourself in a tranquil and peaceful old Hanoi. Some ancient villages worth a visit include Xuân Tảo Village, Nghi Tàm Quảng Bá Village, Trích Village, Nhật Tân Village, and more.
Indulge in the charm of West Lake with a cup of coffee and a picturesque lakeside view.
While exploring the area, make sure to pause at the West Lake cafés. Whether you’re enjoying the rich aroma of a delicious coffee or sipping on a warm cup of West Lake lotus tea, take the opportunity to engage in lively conversations with friends. Revel in the serene and dreamy atmosphere, experiencing a moment of absolute tranquility amidst the hustle and bustle of the capital city. The options are plenty, with delightful coffee spots like 6 Degrees, Maison de Blanc, LeMarz Coffee Roastery, Platform coffee & cake, and more, offering beautiful and romantic settings for you to choose from.
Explore some attractive pagoda or Vietnamese cultural sites
West Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, is surrounded by several famous places and attractions. Here are some notable ones:
- Trấn Quốc Pagoda: Situated on an islet in West Lake, Trấn Quốc Pagoda is the oldest Buddhist temple in Hanoi, dating back to the 6th century. It’s known for its historic and cultural significance.
- Quán Thánh Temple: Located on the shores of West Lake, Quán Thánh Temple is a Taoist temple with a history dating back to the 11th century. The temple is dedicated to Tran Vu, the God of the North.
- Water Puppet Theatre: While not directly on West Lake, the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre is nearby and offers traditional Vietnamese water puppet performances, providing a unique cultural experience.
- Xa Tac Temple: This temple is dedicated to the God of the North, Xa Tac, and is located on a small island in West Lake. It’s known for its serene setting and traditional architecture.
- Cao Pagoda (Trấn Quốc Pagoda): Often confused with Trấn Quốc Pagoda, Cao Pagoda is another significant Buddhist site on a small island in West Lake. It features a unique combination of traditional and modern architecture.
- Phu Tay Ho Temple: Perched on a small hill overlooking West Lake, Phu Tay Ho is a well-known temple dedicated to the Mother Goddess. It’s a popular pilgrimage site and offers panoramic views of the lake.
What to eat at West Lake?
Not only renowned for its captivating attractions, but West Lake also captivates visitors with its diverse culinary culture. Below are some distinctive dishes from West Lake that promise to take you on a delightful culinary journey.
West Lake shrimp cake on Thanh Nien Street The shrimp cake is the most famous dish here, as evidenced by the familiar saying, “Visit West Lake and enjoy shrimp cakes.” West Lake’s shrimp cake is enveloped in a crispy golden layer of fried batter, with firm and succulent shrimp inside. It is typically enjoyed with a touch of pickled vegetables, fresh herbs, and a harmonious sweet and sour dipping sauce.
Address: 1 Thanh Nien Street, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Reference price: 90,000 VND per portion.
Savory fried doughnuts on Lac Long Quan Street To get a taste of the savory fried doughnuts on Lac Long Quan Street, West Lake, be prepared to join a long queue of eager patrons. These sizable fried doughnuts boast a generous filling and a flavorful sauce, making the wait worthwhile.
Address: Alley 242 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Reference price: 3,000 – 10,000 VND per piece.
Canned chicken, chicken noodle soup at An Duong Alley Canned chicken is an ideal choice for your evening meal at West Lake. This dish not only provides nutrition with the addition of mugwort and tender chicken pieces but also offers a delicious and enticing flavor.
Address: 31, Alley 115 An Duong, Yen Phu Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Reference price: 25,000 – 30,000 VND per serving.
Hot Snails at 107 Thuy Khue Hot Snails at 107 Thuy Khue make for an intriguing choice for your nocturnal culinary adventure around West Lake. The establishment serves piping hot, deliciously fresh boiled snails, generously accompanied by a perfectly balanced sweet and sour dipping sauce. In addition to snails, you can also order various other dishes such as sautéed quail, fried fermented pork rolls, and more.
Address: 107 Thuy Khue, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Reference price: 15,000 – 50,000 VND per serving
Grilled Lemongrass Skewers at 161 Yen Phu Grilled Lemongrass Skewers at 161 Yen Phu captivate diners with their perfectly charred, fragrant, and tender grilled meat, boasting an irresistibly sweet flavor. The venue also earns points for its spacious and airy setting, along with a variety of fresh and tasty accompanying raw vegetables.
Address: 161 Yen Phu, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Reference price: 14,000 – 23,000 VND per serving
Grilled Skewered Meat at Quang Ba The Grilled Skewered Meat at Quang Ba always attracts a crowd of diners with its affordable price of only 5,000 VND, yet it offers an irresistible, aromatic taste. The meat is marinated with intricate spices, grilled to a golden hue, and enjoyed with a flavorful chili sauce.
Address: Next to Quang Ba Flower Garden, Quang An Ward, Tay Ho District, Hanoi Reference price: 5,000 VND per skewer