Sprawling to the north-west of Hanoi’s Old Quarter, West Lake is an immense body of water known locally as Tay Ho Lake. It’s surrounded by historic landmarks, temples and restaurants, as well as the city’s Botanical Garden on its southern shores.
Rent a boat to slowly paddle across West Lake and enjoy lunch at one of the floating restaurants, then explore the historical points of interest along the shoreline. Visit the 6th-century Tran Quoc Pagoda and admire the intricate wooden carvings at Quan Thanh Temple, which is one of Vietnam’s ancient Four Sacred Temples.
Stretch your legs along the walking trails through the Hanoi Botanical Garden, home to rare trees and a variety of native plant species. If you’re a seafood lover, head to one of the restaurants on the southern shores of West Lake or dine at one of the upmarket hotels on the northern edge.
West Lake is located in the centre of Hanoi, easily accessed by public buses that stop along its perimeter. Noi Bai International Airport is a 35-minute drive from the lake.