Vietnam Travel Guide

The West Lake In Hanoi

The West Lake, also known as Ho Tay, covers a vast part of the northwest Hanoi. In its heyday, the lake was round by royal palaces, now mostly replaced by high-end housing and luxury hotels. Walking around the lake from the Hanoi Old Quarter is surely an interesting experience for any tourist who Travels to Hanoi.

Escaping the busy and noisy streets of Hanoi, the lake also provides a chance to see the fishermen at work, or to see very pretty temples and to enjoy a cup of coffee or beer while enjoying the breeze that comes across the lake. The views across the lake on a sunny and windy day are very impressive as well. Cycling around the 17 km shoreline is extremely good idea for anyone would like to enjoy the beautiful view of the lake.

West Lake Hanoi Tours - Journey Vietnam

West Lake Hanoi Tours – Journey Vietnam

How to get to the lake

From Hanoi Old Quarter, head north past Dong Xuan market, wiggle your way around the rather strange junction – look out for the red brick tower – and go west along Quan Thanh street. Then you reach the junction with Thanh Nien Street which runs between Truc Bach Lake and West Lake and goes straight across. Now you can ride diagonally across the small park on the right.

West Lake Hanoi Tours - Journey Vietnam

West Lake Hanoi Tours – Tran Quoc Pagoda

The southern Stretch

The first part of this road is very quiet, and don’t forget to avoid at rush hours and keep your wits about you. Attractive gardens lie along one stretch of the road and offer perfect photo stop points and there are a number of coffee shops and stalls. And you can’t miss the well-positioned bia hoi place, look out for the blue signs reading “Bia Cuong Hoi” and hosting a picture of what looks like a World Cup trophy.

West Lake Hanoi Tours - Journey Vietnam

The southern Stretch

Temples

At the end of this stretch of the road turn right onto the main road for about 200 meters then right again, back onto the lake road. There’s a particularly attractive temple not for down and then, 5 minutes further on, Hanoi’s water park.

If you are there near sunset you will have to negotiate around the hordes of lovers sitting on bikes, smooching and looking out to the lake.

At one point you will come away from the edge of the lake a bit and will see a small lake on your left before reaching a crossroads. You will then have the option to do a small loop round to the right or to go straight ahead and rejoin the lake road. It’s worth going right, especially if you’re peckish, as the restaurants along here specialize in Banh Tom – s shrimp cake type thing- which you will see piled up outside the restaurants. There’s also an important temple along this loop

Temples

West Lake Hanoi Tours – Journey Vietnam

Joining the main road

Finally, you pass a couple of Western restaurants – Don’s and Le Petit Bruxelles – and at this point turn right onto the path next to the lake and the right again at the Sheraton. Should of prefer you can go up onto Xuan Dieu and cut off a corner but the lake path is quite. This road loops round and brings you out by the Intercontinental. Follow it round, ride up the slope and immediately right onto Yen Phu then right into the hotel entrance and left onto the lake path again.Go past the Hanoi club and out onto Thanh Nien Street

Now you can choose to continue to going around Trac Bach Lake or cycling along Thanh Nien Street and return to the starting point.

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