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City & Culture

East and West in West Lake

Translated by Bing
The sacred mystery of Asian culture, the idyllic lifestyle of Vietnamese people, the new modernity of the West, West Lake are all enough. You can spend a whole day exploring this place. Hanoi is not in a hurry, you have heard!


Romantic West Lake


Temple view around West Lake


Hanoi has more than 100 large and small pagodas, of which, many of the oldest are located along West Lake. The nearly 1500-year-old Tran Quoc Pagoda is located right on Thanh Nien Street, the road between West Lake and Truc Bach Lake is cool all year round. The Bodhi tree in this temple is extracted from the same Bodhi tree sacred to the Buddha in India.


Tao Sach Pagoda or Yen Phu village pagoda are quiet facing the lake, still retaining the rustic and unpretentious look. Phu Tay Ho with a large courtyard under the shade of an ancient si tree. You don't have to believe in Buddhism to visit the West Lake Pagoda, you just need to believe in beauty. Behind the temple gates, cultural and historical stories and melancholy scenery are always open to everyone.


Tran Quoc Pagoda – famous landscape on West Lake.


Attractive seasonal cuisine


The weather in Hanoi changes with the seasons very clearly, so the dining culture here also revolves with the clouds.

In winter, the most interesting thing is to choose a grill on Quang Ba Street, sitting by the lake almost picking up greasy pieces of meat placed on the fiery red charcoal stove.


Go on a spring date to fusion restaurants like Pépé La Poule, The Fat Pig, The Republic in Quang An, with its beautiful rooftop terrace overlooking a corner of West Lake, or have a brunch together in the courtyard of Maison de Tet Decor or Ma Xó.


In summer, many iced tea shops spread mats right next to the lake from Quang Khanh Street to Nhat Chieu, in the evening to sit and drink iced tea with the wind, watching the moon extremely serene. One thing that cannot be missed on summer days is getting up early to buy lotus and enjoy lotus tea.


The autumn days are short, but they are great for coffee chatting along Ve Ho Street, Quote Sai or Nguyen Dinh Thi. And snails, shrimp cakes, snail noodles, are you ready for a very Hanoi culinary discovery? Rest assured, every season West Lake welcomes you with delicious food and drink.



Health promotion sport


In addition to two extremely popular sports, running and cycling, West Lake is also the playground of Paddle Station Cafe & SUP Club, one of the first SUP (stand up paddle board) rowing clubs in Hanoi. The days are calm, the lake is calm, perfect for beginners to learn this subject. In summer, when the sunset of West Lake is brilliant with the rays of purple-yellow sunshine at the end of the day, nothing is more glorious than floating on the SUP watching the sunset. Summer is also swimming season. Swimming pools like Thang Loi or Sao Mai have all been associated with the dreamy West Lake scenery next to it. If you want to try a new terrestrial sport, you can also go to The Hanoi Club golf course or BRG Golf Center to polish a private lake.


I said you can spend a few days around West Lake, in fact, I myself have spent several years not fully exploring this place. Every visit is a new encounter, a small corner. So Hanoi has to go around the lake, to see the West, see the East, and see all the pleasures between those two poles.



Image source: Multiple authors
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