West Lake is a freshwater lake in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam. With a shore length of 17 km (about 10.6 miles), this is the largest lake of the capital and a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. A small part of West Lake is divided by Thanh Nien road to form Trac Bách Lake. One district of Hanoi is named after the lake, Tay Ha District.(Attractions in Hanoi)
West Lake was created from a curved part of Red River and appeared in several Vietnamese legends. One legend suggests that West Lake was shaped after the battle between Lac Long Quan and a nine-tailed fox spirit, that’s why the lake was once called “Fox Corpse Swamp”. Another folk story claimed that original name of the lake is “Golden Buffalo Lake” because it was formed from struggle of a buffalo after the disappearance of her calf. In the 11th century, the lake was named “Foggy Lake” from its misty condition and ultimately its name was changed to “West Lake” in 1573 to avoid the given name of king L Thánh Tong which was Duy am.
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West Lake is bordered with many significant places in history of Hanoi and Vietnam. Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, was built in the 6th century by Ly Nam De and is located on a small island in the middle of the lake. Near Tran Quoc Pagoda is Quan Thanh Temple, one of the Four Sacred Temples of ancient Hanoi. Chu Van An High School, one of the oldest high schools in Vietnam, is also located close to the lake.
As Hanoi’s largest lake, located right in the center of Hanoi, West Lake is abundant with many gardens, hotels, restaurants and other entertainment centers. For this reason, real estate prices near West Lake are staggering and the surrounding quarters are often full of many imposingly large edifices occupied by wealthy Vietnamese people andexpatriates.
Source: West Lake (Hanoi)