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Tay Ho District is well known as the Hanoi’s largest freshwater lake, called this name: West Lake. It’s a large amount of water – it has a perimeter of 17 km – and there are an amount of historic places of interest, five-star hotels, modish restaurants, cafes, and nightlife places that are worth discovering along the shoreline.

Ho Tay - Hanoi West Lake
Ho Tay area

Ho Tay is the largest freshwater lake of northwest center of Hanoi, Vietnam. With a shore length of 17 km and 500 hectare in area, this is the biggest lake of the capital and a common place for entertainment with many surrounding shops, hotels and villas. A small part of West Lake is separated by Thanh Nien road to follow Truc Bach lake. One district of Hanoi has the same name with the lake, Tayho district

Entering within a 30-minute walk from Hanoi Old Quarter, many residents and expats looking for respite from the crowded city make their way to this high-end district as it gives a shelter of fantastic natural beauty with a wide of peaceful spots in the sizeable botanical gardens.

Ho Tay - Hanoi West Lake
Ho Tay – Hanoi West Lake

Known traditionally as Tay Ho Lake, the real history of West Lake keeps a mystery to this very day, 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. Another folklore source claims that the lake was formed when a wide Chinese buffalo mistakenly confused a pagoda temple bell with its mothers call and ran so fiercely into a small hollow that the lake was made.

West Lake is a beautiful place to while away an afternoon: there are boats for hire and lunch on a floating restaurant makes a novel dining option. Notable points of interest at West Lake include Tran Quoc Pagoda which was built in the 6th century, making it Vietnam’s oldest temple.

Tran Quoc Pagoda
Tran Quoc Pagoda

Tran Quoc Pagoda are located in a small island constructed by King Ly Nam De as a traditional symbol of Vietnamese Buddhism. The pagoda is specifically amazing when viewed early evening or in the morning. 

The other main attraction is Quan Thanh Temple, which is located at the West Lake crossroads of Thanh Nien Street and Quan Thanh Street. One of Vietnam’s ancient Four Sacred Temples built during the reign of King Ly Thai To from 1010 to 1028, the temple features detailed wood carvings of sacred animals, trees and flowers in its structure. Quan Thanh Temple is open for all to enter with sightseers encouraged to pray for health, luck and happiness during their visit.

Quan Thanh Temple
Quan Thanh Temple

When it comes to dining options, the southern part of West Lake is the place to go for seafood bites, with a whole street dedicated to local seafood restaurants while the northern side is where you can find the affluent residential neighbourhood and five-star hotels in Tay Ho District. 

Hemispheres Steak & Seafood Grill offers specialties from both the northern and southern hemispheres, complemented by an extensive wine list for affluent visitors in Hanoi. Located within Sheraton Hanoi Hotel, this elegant steakhouse features expansive views of the fountain courtyard and West Lake, while the kitchen is headed by Australian chef Patrick Morris.

Nightlife in Tay Ho District is limited compared to Hanoi Old Quarter and French Quarter, but there are several quality nightlife venues that stay busy until late. Savage Club Hanoi, open between 18:00 and 04:00, is an industrial-style nightlife venue where travellers can enjoy house and techno music spun by renowned international and local DJs during their holiday in Hanoi.

Nightlife in Tay Ho
Nightlife in Tay Ho

The Summit Lounge, located on the 20th floor of Pan Pacific Hanoi, is perfect if you’re looking to enjoy a wide range of cocktails with panoramic views of Tay Ho Lake and Hanoi. Signature cocktails include Lip Stick (Absolut Mango Vodka, Malibu, raspberry, cranberry and lime sugar), Zacapa le Rouge (Zacapa 23, Creme de Cacao Dark, raspberries, lime juice, honey and ginger), but the rooftop bar’s menu also comprises single malt whiskies, premium spirits, wines and champagnes by the glass and bottle. 

Summit Lounge on the 20th floor of Pan Pacific Hanoi
Summit Lounge on the 20th floor of Pan Pacific Hanoi


The area to the south side of West Lake is the place to go for seafood bites with a whole street of seafood restaurants available to choose from. Heading north from West Lake is the residential and hotel part of the Tay Ho District.

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