10 beautiful and famous lakes in Hanoi

The lakes in Hanoi are very plentiful, formed through the tens of thousands of years because of geological fluctuations of the Red River, and the flow of other rivers through the territory of Hanoi from the To Lich River, the Kim Nguu…

Thus, Hanoi has the beauty of a thousand years of civilization, not only because of Hanoi old quarter, architectural works but also by the incredibly beautiful lakes.

Now let’s explore the charm of these famous lakes with Vietnamdrive.

Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake)

hoan kiem lake hanoi
hoan kiem lake hanoi | ©vietnguyenbui/pixabay

Referring to the famous lakes in Hanoi, the first one is Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as the Sword Lake.

This lake is related with a historical significance with the legend of Le Loi who returned the magic sword, and it is associated with the life and spirit of Hanoian.

So, Hoan Kiem Lake is considered a sacred symbol of the Hanoi capital. With gentle and poetic beauty, this site is the writing inspiration of many writers, poets, and photographers of Vietnam and the world.

Hoan Kiem Lake has an area of ​​about 12 hectares, the deep green four seasons staying in the center of the capital, being the heart of Hanoi.

In the lake, there are Ngoc Son Temple and Turtle Tower, which have unique features about the historical and architectural value.

Sword Lake is surrounded by 3 streets of Hang Khay – Le Thai To – Dinh Tien Hoang. Previously, the lake also had other names, such as Luc Thuy lake (blue lake) or Thuy Quan lake (because this site used to be a place to train marines to fight).

By the fifteenth century, the lake was renamed Hoan Kiem lake (returned the sword), associated with the legend of King Le Thai To returning a treasure sword to the golden turtle.

Hoan Kiem Lake is the ideal meeting place for four seasons: Brilliant in peaches and traditional festivals in spring; windswept away the hot summer heat; infatuated with willow branches in the fanciful mist of autumn; splendid in golden leaves and the drizzle of winter raindrops.

West Lake

west lake hanoi
West Lake Hanoi | @dulcie79__

West Lake, the largest natural lake in Hanoi, used to have many other names such as Dam Xac Cao, Ho Kim Nguu, Lang Bac, Dam Dam, Doai Ho. 

West Lake is beautiful by the immense water surface, the purple color of Bang Lang flowers, the red rose petals of flamboyants when the summer comes, and the sadness of the space and the willow plants around the lake.

It can be said that West Lake is the most romantic corner in the multicolored picture of Hanoi; freedom and dreaming.

West Lake has long been a famous scenic spot of Hanoi Capital. This lake is said to be a part of the Red River when the river changed current, forming this charming one.

The lake has a width of 500 hectares and a circumference of up to 18km, so it can be considered that West Lake is the largest one in Hanoi.

In addition, around the lake, there are many old relics, including communal houses, and famous temples of Hanoi; typically, there are a lot of famous spiritual tourist spots, such as Tran Quoc Pagoda, Phu Tay Ho… 

Coming to this area, you can find entertainment areas such as West Lake water park, flower valley, the palaces of ancient kings.

West lake becomes a relaxing place for the local people and domestic and international tourists.

Truc Bach Lake

truc bach lake
Truc Bach Lake @hydu_choan

Truc Bach Lake is located in Ba Dinh district, formerly part of West Lake but the southeast of the city.

Truc Bach Lake was formed in the 17th century. And, By the time of Trinh lord (1545–1787), a palace was built in the south of the lake as a resting place, called Truc Lam Vien.

And a few years later, the palace became the area holding the guilty ladies. The maids had to weave silk to make a living and the silk they made is famous throughout the region, called “Truc Silk Village.” In Vietnamese, Bach means silk, so people called “Truc Bach Lake”.

Truc Bach Lake becomes an attractive place for domestic and foreign tourists. It is because around the lake are a modern Hanoi with skyscrapers embracing the lake and many famous historic relics.

Typically, in the southwest corner of the lake, there is the Quan Thanh temple on Thanh Nien street. Quan Thanh temple takes a very important role in Hanoi for the feng shui technique.

In the east, there are Than Quang pagoda (in Ngu Xa street) and Chau Long pagoda (Chau Long street), built in the Tran dynasty (1224-1400). Chau Long pagoda is the religious place of Princess Khiet Co-daughter of King Tran Nhan Tong (1279-1293).

When coming to Truc Bach Lake, you can sit down and sip a cup of coffee at the lakeside shops, take a boat ride, enjoy duck riding to admire the lake scenery or walk on Thanh Nien street shady with plenty of green trees.

Bay Mau Lake

bay mau lake
Bay Mau lake. @yvain.masson

Bay Mau Lake is located in Thong Nhat Park, surrounded by Dai Co Viet and Le Duan routes.

With a lake surface area of about 28 hectares, there are two islands in the middle, of which Thong Nhat Island is like a floating flower garden with vivid colors, and the other is Hoa Binh Island that is a quiet place for relaxation, each island has an area of about 600m2.

Like other lakes in the city, Bay Mau Lake becomes a green lung in the heart of the city, surrounded by a spacious and airy park.

When we come there, not only can you admire the pure and irresistible natural beauty of the lake, but also you can participate in entertainment activities in the lake.

Bay Mau Lake is also one of the famous tourist attractions in Hanoi. It is also bustling because of the number of pedestrians, especially in the morning and evening.

Thien Quang Lake

thien quang lake
Thien Quang Lake. @damian.harper

Thien Quang Lake is also known as Lake Halais (Ha-le) following the name of Nguyen Du Street during the French colonial period. Thien Quang means “light”, the light of meditation, which is named after the village of Thien Quang.

The lake, with an area of about 5.6 hectares in Hai Ba Trung district, Hanoi, is surrounded by 3 streets Tran Binh Trong – Tran Nhan Tong – Quang Trung, and Nguyen Du. This area is famous for its rows of milky flowers in autumn.

With rows of ancient trees shady along the Thien Quang Lake, this area is an ideal place for the people of Ha Thanh on hot summer days.

In the 1831 Hanoi map, the lake was named Lien Thuy, wider than the current lake, and connects with Bay Mau lake.

Around the lake are Lien Thuy village in the north and west, Thien Quang village in the southeast (at the beginning of Nguyen Dinh Chieu street), Quang Hoa village in the southwest, and Phap Hoa in the south.

There are small flower gardens on the three sides around the lake, with benches for people to rest and admire.

Thien Quang Lake together with Bay Mau Lake is a green space that helps the climate for a residential area in the south of Hanoi.

It is a place for people to stay cool on hot summer days, an area for the locals to do morning exercise, breathe fresh air, and organize entertainment during holidays and New Year.

Van Lake (Ho Van or Ho Giam)

ho van lake
Ho Van Lake. @merenwen77

Van Lake, also known as Giam Lake, is located on Quoc Tu Giam street in Dong Da district, Hanoi, with a relatively small area of ​​about 12,000m2, right in front of the relic of Van Mieu – the Literature of Temple.

In the middle of the lake, there is Kim Chau mound, which is the place where the poetry commentary of ancient capital’s scholar takes place.

Ho Van is a part of the Temple of Literature – Quoc Tu Giam, a symbol of education of the Vietnamese and a famous cultural tourist destination in Hanoi.

As an inseparable part of Van Mieu Quoc Tu Giam, but in recent years, activities at Van Lake are almost very few. People often only witness exciting scenes from the Tet holidays. On weekdays, this area does not seem to have outstanding activities and very few visitors come to visit.

Currently, to promote the value of the relic, Van Mieu has cooperated with related units to organize many activities, such as painting teaching, fun activities, drawing competitions…

Linh Dam Lake

linh dam lake
Linh Dam Lake. @dqnguyen15

Linh Dam Lake belongs to Hoang Mai district, east of Thanh Tri Bridge. The lake is located in the modern urban area Linh Dam and Linh Dam peninsula.

Linh Dam Lake looks like an air-conditioned site for the urban area, and the luxurious villas are well planned, creating a charming landscape that captivates the hearts of people.

This lake has a water surface area of ​​more than 73 hectares, with a U-shape surrounding the Linh Dam peninsula. Around the lake, there are many amusement parks and dense greenery, creating a very fresh atmosphere.

In the lake, Phu Linh Dam is a famous relic for worshipping the Nguyen Dynasty (1802 – 1945), which becomes one of the attractive destinations for the locals.

Ngoc Khanh Lake

ngoc khanh lake
A road around Ngoc Khanh Lake. @minhbem

Located in Ngoc Khanh ward, Ba Dinh district, surrounded by two streets Nguyen Chi Thanh, Pham Huy Thong, Ngoc Khanh lake looks like a green lung to cool down for hot summer days.

The lake is a famous public entertainment spot in Hanoi, surrounding the lake with a nice brick pavement. It attracts a large number of people to come to visit every day.

Ngoc Khanh Lake is also listed as one of the large lakes of the Hanoi capital. Many trees are also planted around the lake, creating a very poetic landscape, which is an ideal place for the local people, especially the elderly for a relaxing walk.

Coming to Ngoc Khanh Lake, you will be spoiled for the choice of cafes with interesting entertainment spots that have attracted young people for decades.

The beautiful landscape of Ngoc Khanh Lake is considered one of the jewels of the city, a destination for the locals and tourists.

Thu Le Lake

thu le lake
Thu Le Lake. @rachelselee

Thu Le Lake was formerly known as Linh Lang lake that is the name of the god worshiped at Voi Phuc Temple, one of four holy temples in Hanoi.

The lake with an area of ​​8.7 hectares is one of the most beautiful lakes of the capital. Around the lake, there are many hotels and modern buildings.

In the middle of the lake is a large strip of land shaped like a tear, since then has the name, Thu Le, meaning to keep tears inside.

The lake is located in Thu Le Park, a favorite place for children to visit because many wild animals are nurtured and preserved.

Previously, the lake was famous for hundreds of years old trees surrounding the campus. But, when the overhead railway was built, these trees were moved to another location by the authorities.

Currently, Ho Thu Le is one of the tourist attractions attracting hundreds of tourists, especially children every summer.

Thanh Cong Lake

thanh cong lake
Thanh Cong Lake . @hang_tran_253

Thanh Cong Lake is nearly 6ha wide, located in Indira Gandhi Park in Ba Dinh district, Hanoi.

The lake has clear blue water and is an ideal place to exercise for people living in this area. Seen from above, the lake has a poetic beauty with a beautiful construction landscape around.

Thanh Cong Lake is not only a place to walk, admire the scenery but also helps to make the atmosphere of the capital Hanoi more fresh.

Thanh Cong Lake is close to O Cho Dua ward and west of Kim Ma ward. The lake was established in 1990, creating a nice view and good feng shui for the local area.

Take a walk around the lake to enjoy the fresh air or take pictures is the most interesting thing to do when coming to visit Thanh Cong Lake.


Above are the most beautiful lakes in Hanoi. They are famous not only for their shimmering beauty but also for the historical stories and cultural meanings.

If you travel to Hanoi, please range your time to visit one of these lakes to know more about the natural beauty and attractive landscapes in the capital of Vietnam.

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    About the author

    The editorial staff of Vietnamdrive is a team of travel experts managed by Mr. Thom who has worked in tourism for 14 years. Trusted by thousands of tourists from all over the world.