Tay Ho District (West Lake)-A Popular Place For Recreation

By Onetrip | Hanoi Attractions

Oct 27

Tay Ho District is known for housing the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi called West Lake. With the circumference of 17 km, Tay Ho has a variety of historic places of interest, five-star hotels, stylish restaurants, cafes, and nightlife venues all of them are worth exploring along the shoreline.

It takes 15 minutes to start from  Hanoi Old Quarter, many locals and tourists seeking a break from the busy city find their way to this upscale area as it offers a wonderful nature reserve with plenty of tranquil spots in its vast botanical garden. 

Tourists are impressed by not only its beauty of large freshwater but also historical value here. Here are some famous historic places of interest that can’t miss when visit West Lake Hanoi.



How To Get There – West Lake in Hanoi

  • By bus: 13, 33, 50, 70 ( Cost: 7.000 VND/ ticket)
  • From The Old Quarters:    
    • Taxi (11.500 VND – 17.500 VND/kilometer)
    • Motorbike (30 mins)

West Lake Hanoi Things To Do

Completely different from the center of Hanoi, visiting West Lake is a chance for tourists to join interesting activities while breathe the fresh air 

Cycling around West Lake

By renting a bike (with very cheap cost 40,000 to 70,000 VND/ bike), you will have a great experience when cycling in the West Lake, explore the whole beauty of the lake and enjoy the cool fresh air here 

Enjoy a date on a Duck Pedal Boat in West Lake

If you want to have a private moment and escape from the hustle and bustle of the city, Duck Pedal Boats on the West Lake is the ideal place for a date night by enjoying the peacefulness while you cruise across the lake! Just note about the weather: the sun can quickly make the moment  heat up to uncomfortable

Water sports activity in West Lake

West lake also has many water sports, so you can join energetic activities in West Lake. Kayaking on the lake is the most popular activity here with the price of renting a kayak ranging from 100000 to 200000 VND/ hour. 

Sightseeing in the West Lake

There is a speech that “Hanoi is the most beautiful in the evening”, and West lake  is too, moreover its beauty also appears in the early morning and the late afternoon, all of which is the best time for you to come and relax by seeing the beautiful building on the other side of the lake and the locals life along the lake or take some pictures 

Entertainment places in West Lake

West Lake Hanoi is a great place to relax and sip a cup of coffee in a coffee shop or a roadside restaurant. There are also many great pubs along West Lake so you can have some cocktails and some fun there.

Enjoying typical cuisine of West Lake area

Ho Tay ice-cream is a must-try and typical dessert in this lake. This kind of This ice-cream shop is always crowded so you must queue to buy ice cream.

Another street food you must try when coming here is famous Shrimp cake. The unforgettable flavor of shrimp cake at floating restaurants on the this Lake really make you impressed 

Additionally, Bo Bia cake is also a street food that can’t miss in West Lake and it can be found in any hawkers on Thanh Nien Street.

John Sidney McCain Memorial (Hanoi) – Remembering John McCain in Hanoi

There is a small stone monument on Truc Bach Lake, memorizing the spot in the central Hanoi where pilot John McCain crashed his plane during bombing Vietnamese capital 51 years ago.

 Located along a busy road between Truc Bach and nearby West Lake, the memorial has an airplane pilot kneeling in his hand alongside letters USAF, an ironic mistake to think that a Marine veteran McCain Army, who died on Saturday of brain cancer, is the admirable son and grandson of the Navy.

 Dubbed the Hanoi secondment, the Hilton hotel, by McCain and his American prisoners, the prison was built by the French colonialists in 1896. Most of the original complex was demolished to make room for an office building and high-rise apartment building – currently rumored to be haunted – and the other museum has become one of the city’s top tourist attractions. Through a gift shop, narrow corridors lead to windowless boxes where Vietnamese dissidents are shackled with shackles, and the Vietnamese translation of Hoa Lo is like a hole in hell. It seems terribly accurate.

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Fantastic stories and facts about Hanoi West Lake that not everyone knows about

About the origin of the wonderful West Lake, there are many mysterious legends. So this is the reason the lake has plenty of interesting names. Each name of West Lake represented a legend of the origin of the legendary West Lake.

Fox Corpse Swamp (Đầm Xác Cáo)

A legend says that West Lake was formed when the Dragon King Lac Long Quan, known as the second Hung King of the ancient Hong Bang Dynasty of Vietnam, fought against and engulfed an evil spirit. evil with nine tails in his lair

After the victory of Lac Long Quan and the death of the evil fox, West Lake was named as Fox Corpse Swamp to remember this event.

Golden Buffalo Lake (Kim Ngưu Lake)

Another folklore source said that a large buffalo confused the temple bell and its mother tongue and ran violently into a small niche and died. After that, the lake was formed from the struggle of the mother to the death of her calf.

Foggy Lake (Dâm Đàm Lake)

In the 11th century, West Lake was trapped in a long fog for a very long time. Therefore, the name of the lake was changed to Foggy lake that is similar to its special condition, also known as Dam Dan Lake

West Lake (Tay Ho Lake)

In 1973, to avoid the name of King Le Thanh Tong, its name was changed into West Lake 

Tran Quoc Pagoda – one intriguing point of interest at West Lake

Built-in the sixth century by King Ly Nam De, Tran Quoc Pagoda is known as the most ancient temple of Vietnam. The pagoda is located on a small island in the middle of West Lake, a convenient location.

Tran Quoc Pagoda has a unique structure with a spectacular tower at the entrance including 11 floors and very impressive with a height of 15 meters.

If you visit Tran Quoc Pagoda in the afternoon, you can immerse yourself in the particularly beautiful scenery of the temple at sunset and take memorable photos here.

Particularly, coming to this place, you can understand more about Vietnamese religion since it is considered as a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism.

Quan Thanh Temple

Quan Thanh Temple is another attraction located at West Lake ’s crossroads.  

Quan Thanh Pagoda

Quan Thanh Pagoda Gate

One of the most sacred ancient temples in Vietnam( built in the 11th century), Quan Thanh is symbol of religion of Vietnamese northern. In the 19th century, Quan Thanh temple was renovated and became more impressive with three gates and a large yard.

Quan Thanh Temple is opened for locals and visitors to pray for luck, health, and happiness in their life.

Local Tips to Ho Tay Lake (Hanoi West Lake)

  • Appropriate time: Early morning and evening is the best time for enjoying the fresh air.
  • West Lake is very large so you should hike a bike to go around to see the beauty of the lake, meanwhile saving a lot of money.
  • Dress code:to join in outdoor activities, you should choose the comfortable clothes to make you the most convenient. If you have an intention of visiting pagodas in West Lake, remember to put on formal clothes.
  • Be careful with pickpockets and thieves in public places.

If you want any further advice and information, feel free to contact us, the Onetrip with Local team. It is our pleasure to help you!

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