This largest urban lake is a favorite location for tourists and Hanoi residents alike. It is where the high-end homes of Hanoi’s wealthy live, and contains a large number of hotels, restaurants, and luxury shops as well.
It has been a popular location for residents here for thousands of years, and is home to one of Hanoi’s four sacred temples, as well as the oldest pagoda in the city. This pagoda, dating back to the sixth century, can be found on an island in the center of the lake. Boating, sightseeing, and shopping along the boardwalk are common activities here, and well worth the trip.
History of West lake
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 Lạc Long Quân and a nine-tailed fox spirit, that’s why the lake was once called “Fox Corpse Swamp” (Đầm Xác Cáo). Another folk story claimed that original name of the lake is “Golden Buffalo Lake” (Hồ Trâu Vàng, orHan Viet: Hồ Kim Ngưu) because it was formed from struggle of a buffalo after the disappearance of her calf.
As Hanoi’s largest lake, located right in the center of Hanoi, West Lake is abundant with many gardens, hotels, restaurants and other entertainment centers. For this reason, real estate prices near West Lake are staggering and the surrounding quarters are often full of many imposingly large edifices occupied by wealthy Vietnamese people andexpatriates.