West Lake - Asia Travel & Leisure

Asia Travel & Leisure

West Lake

Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake, West Lake has a circumference of 17km and is bordered with many significant places in history around its perimeter – including Vietnam’s oldest pagoda (Tran Quoc Pagoda) and one of ancient Hanoi’s four sacred temples (Quan Thanh Temple). The Lake has an area of 500 hectares that is located on the northwest of downtown Hanoi.

West Lake was created from a curved part of Red River and appeared in several Vietnamese legends. One legend suggests that West Lake was shaped after the battle between Lac Long Quan and a nine-tailed fox spirit, that's why the lake was once called "Fox Corpse Swamp". Another folk story claimed that original name of the lake is "Golden Buffalo Lake" because it was formed from struggle of a buffalo after the disappearance of her calf. In the 11th century, the lake was named "Foggy Lake" from its misty condition and ultimately its name was changed to "West Lake" in 1573 to avoid the given name of King Le Thanh Tong.
At the reign of Ly-Tran, the King built many palaces around the lake such as: Thuy Hoa Palace of Ly dynasty, Ham Nguyen Palace of Tran dynasty. On the quite windy day, boating on West Lake is elegant sense. If you have a walk around the lake, you will visit many relics and landscape. Nghi Tam Village, hometown of poet "Ba Huyen Thanh Quan" with Kim Lien Pagoda, has unique architecture. Nhat Tan Village, where Lac Thi gave birth to 7 dragons has peach blossom spring. Xuan Tao Village has Soc Temple, Trich Sai Village has Thien Nien pagoda… West Lake along with Truc Bach Lake enriches the poetry of Hanoi and also enrich for Hanoi economy.
Besides, West Lake also attracts customers for having the range of restaurant with the famous Banh Tom West Lake and Bun Oc (noodle of shellfish soup). Shrimp and shellfish are caught right in the West Lake. Tourists will have opportunity to enjoy traditional Ho Tay Shrimp Cake. A special trait of culture is versed in food Thang Long Hanoi and also special meals of Asian - Europe full of poetries delight of water, cloud, wind and Vietnam green trees.