Hoan Kiem Lake and West Lake are the most popular lakes in Hanoi. Cycling around these lakes, you will have chance to admire a different beauty of Hanoi in the morning.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Ho Hoan Kiem was once part of the Red river. Throughout thousands of years of geographical changes, the lake moved eastward to its present position kilometers from the river.
Before the famous historical legend of King Le Loi here, Hoan Kiem Lake used to be called Luc Thuy Lake (or Green Water Lake) since the water was green all the year round. As dawn breaks, be prepared to get swept up in the buzz of activities during the morning rush hours. Catch a glimpse of Hanoi’s residents performing their morning exercise routines on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake and, perhaps, join a tai chi class to stretch your tired limbs.
Ho Tay (West Lake)
This lake is the largest in Hanoi with a shore length of around 17km (10.6 miles) and is a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. One legend suggests that the lake was shaped after a battle between Lac Long Quan and a night-tail fox spirit, which is why the lake was once called “Fox Corpse Swamp”.
The lake is bordered with many significant places in history of Hanoi such as Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, built in 6th century and located on a small island in the middle of the lake, plus Quan Thanh Temple, one of the Four Sacred Temples of ancient Hanoi.
In the early morning, you can see people jogging, fishing and doing exercise. Here, you can also stop and catch poetic photo when the sun rising or flower street vendor heading the the old quarter to sell.