West lake - Ho tay ( Hanoi )

West Lake – Ho Tay ( Hanoi ) which is Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake has a circumference of 17 kilometers and houses many of the city’s historic places of interest around its perimeters such as Vietnam’s oldest pagoda and one of Vietnamese 4 sacred temples. The West Lake attracts a plenty of locals and tourists seeking respite from Hanoi-the busy city, providing a sanctuary of great natural beauty with numerous quiet spots in the sizeable lush gardens surrounding the lake.

West lake - Ho tay ( Hanoi )

West lake – Ho tay ( Hanoi )

Known locally as Tay Ho Lake, there is a host of stunning architectural gems surrounding this lake in addition to some entertainment venues and a smattering of high-end hotels. The actual creation of West Lake still remains a mystery though one legend claims that it was formed when the Dragon King Lac Long Quan drowned a wicked fox spirit with nine tails in his lair. In addition, an alternative folklore source claims that a large Chinese buffalo mistakenly confused a pagoda temple bell with its mother’s call and ran so fiercely into a small hollow, that is the reason why the lake was made.

Nighttime West lake - Ho tay ( Hanoi )

West lake – Tay Ho at Night

West Lake in Hanoi is a beautiful place to while away an afternoon, there are some boats for hire and lunch on a floating restaurant makes a novel dining option. One of the interesting points of interest at West Lake is Tran Quoc Pagoda which is Vietnam’s oldest temple was built in the sixth century. The Pagoda resides on a small island which was built by King Ly Nam De as a cultural symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. Tran Quoc Pagoda is especially stunning when viewed early evening at sunset. The other attraction which located at the West Lake crossroads of Thanh Nien Street and Quan Thanh Street is Quan Thanh Temple. Being one of Vietnam’s ancient four sacred temples which were built in 1010 to 1028 during the reign of King Ly Thai To; the temple features detailed wood carvings of sacred animals, flowers and trees in its structure. Quan Thanh Temple is opened for people to enter with sightseers encouraged to pray for luck, health, and happiness in their life. The lake used to be a part of the Red River when it was a retreat reserved for the relaxation of kings and mandarins. Nowadays, the lake offers so much to enjoy with a unique fusion of nature and a plenty of historic cultural sights in the whole of Vietnam.

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West Lake – Ho Tay ( Hanoi )
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