Hanoi West Lake is located in the northwest of within the city with an area of about 500 hectares and the lake circumference is about 17 kilometers. The historical geography proves that the lake is a section of the Red River. West Lake is also known as Mu Suong Lake, Trau Vang Lake (Kim Nguu lake), Xac Cao lake. Each name holds a story of the origin of the West Lake.
The beauty of West Lake
West Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam is the most romantic corner of the picture of Hanoi and the world of cool breezes, liberality and poetry. For this reason, this lake has become the endless inspiration for poets, writers and artists to produce songs, poems about West Lake.
The West Lake is attractive by the vast blue water, the purple of Queen’s flowers, the red of flamboyants in summer, willow trees hanging down in the winter afternoons and the shimmering lake in early morning, Moreover, West Lake is one of the typical images that symbolizes the beauty of Hanoi capital and Hanoi people.
West Lake in daily life
In every early morning, hundreds of people including young and old people take a stroll around the lake to breathe the fresh air and take exercise. At the top of Thanh Nien Street is the gateway of bicycles carrying full of flowers and the carriers of street food flowing into Hanoi.
West Lake becomes a destination for many Hanoi people. Thanh Nien street, also called Co Ngu street, which was previously the border between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake, is often crowded with people, especially in late afternoons. Some people look for a corner at the lake to take some wind; sip a cup of coffee in a roadside restaurant; enjoy the shrimp cake – a speciality of West Lake; enjoy a glass of ice cream; or enter luxury restaurants near the lake or in the middle of the lake or on the yacht. Meanwhile, some others just like walking around the lake to breathe the air and then go somewhere else or return home. West Lake is packed with people at weekends. A large number of people converge on the West Lake, which leads to the traffic jam along Thanh Nien road. On the deck of a large ship at the lake, a couple is smiling happily on their wedding day and receiving numerous wishes of relatives and friends. On a bench along the bank, an old man with gray beard and hair is holding a walking stick in his hand looking towards the West Lake watching the sunset.
West Lake is not only an ideal tourist destination but also contains national cultural values. Around the lake, there are 21 communal houses, temples and pagodas in total. Many of them are highly ranked with various famous relics and valuable traditional objects such as 102 stone steles, 165 couplets, 140 horizontal lacquered boards, 18 ancient bells, 60 jarligs and over 300 statues of bronze, wood and stone. Of endless temples and pagodas, Hanoians and tourists as well usually choose to go to Quan Thanh Temple, Tran Quoc Pagoda and Phu Tay Ho. Coming here, they have an occasion to admire the unique architectural features of ancient temples. In addition, they can pray for the luck and happiness. The number of visitors significantly increases on special days, for example, full moon day and the first day of lunar month and Tet holiday. The west of the West Lake is still home to many villages, each of which is associated with a famous place or a historical trait.
In addition to West Lake, Hanoi has many other tourist attractions such as Hoan Kiem Lake, Museum of Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi Old Quarter and ancient villages in the suburbs.