If you are in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, you may wonder what are the things to do in West Lake. Going to coffee shops, eating at traditional restaurants, visiting pagodas: there are many activities to do there. That’s why we will provide you the must-do activities in West Lake. You probably heard about West Lake as it’s the biggest lake of the capital, with a shore length of 17 km. This place is liked by both tourists and local people because of its peaceful and fresh atmosphere. Indeed, it will change you from the bustling and noisy Old Quarter. West Lake is located 15 minutes of drive away from the Old Quarter. To go there you can take a taxi, a Grab (motorbike taxi) or rent a motorbike in order to feel free to go around as its a huge lake.
Eating ice cream
Eating ice cream is also among the things to do in West Lake. As you probably already seen in Trang Tien plaza during the week end, Vietnamese people are crazy of ice cream. The weather is very hot in the country and eating ice cream is a way for Vietnamese people to refresh themselves. You will find many ice cream parlours in West Lake but we advise you to go to West Lake Ice Cream or “Quán Kem Hồ Tây” in Vietnamese, which is located just in front of the Tran Quoc Pagoda. Indeed, you will have the choice to eat your ice cream sitting quietly on a table or to take it away to explore the lake surrounding.
Address of West Lake Ice Cream (Quán Kem Hồ Tây): 1 Thanh Niên, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
Eating Pho Cuon at Huong Mai restaurant
Eating Pho Cuon is also among the things to do in West Lake. You probably heard a lot about Bun Cha but Pho Cuon stays maybe something unknown for you. Pho Cuon looks like spring rolls from the outside but is totally different inside. It’s made from rice paper as you will see with its white colour. Inside you will find herbs, greens and sliced beef. It is a fresh dish and when you will eat it, you should put the rolls into the broth (made of fish sauce, sugar and vinegar). Local and tourists like this dish a lot, especially during hot weather as it’s a fresh dish. The price for 10 rolls at Huong Mai restaurant is 60,000 VND so approximately $3.
Huong Mai restaurant is the best place to enjoy Pho Cuon. Huong Mai is a restaurant chain and you will also find them in other districts in Hanoi. The advantage of going to Huong Mai restaurant in West Lake is that there are two Huong Mai restaurants facing each other. Indeed, you will be sure to find a seat. If you want to know more about Pho Cuon, please watch our vlog at Huong Main restaurant.
Address of Huong Mai Restaurant (West Lake): 25 Ngũ Xã, Trúc Bạch, Ba Đình, Hà Nội
Enjoying Lotus Pond
Going to the Lotus Pond in West Lake is also among the things to do in West Lake. If you like natural places you must go there. Lotus flower is one of the symbols of Vietnam and is a very important flower in the Asian culture. Indeed, you should take advantage to go to the lotus pond in West Lake in order to take wonderful and original pictures. It’s even better if you go there between May and June when the flowers will be blooming.
Exploring Tran Quoc Pagoda
Exploring Tran Quoc Pagoda is also among the things to do in West Lake. Have you ever heard about this pagoda? You should, because this pagoda is the oldest pagoda of Hanoi, built between 544 and 548 by the Emperor Ly Nam De. This impressive pagoda is located on a small island just next to West Lake. This place is very awesome and quiet where you will have the chance to take wonderful pictures. We advise you to go there during the sunset in order to take unique pictures of this wonderful place. If you want to see have a better idea of how this pagoda is looking, you should watch our vlog where we visited the most popular places of the capital.
Address of Tran Quoc Pagoda: Thanh Niên, Yên Phụ, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội 100000
Exploring West Lake by Duck Pedal Boat
Exploring West Lake by duck pedal boat is also among the things to do in West Lake. Indeed, when you will go around West Lake, you will probably see a lot of people exploring the lake thanks to duck pedal boats. It’s a good way to rest and to explore every aspect of the lake. Moreover, you will have the opportunity to take unique photos with these original boats shaped as ducks. You will spend a very private moment with the one you will choose to go with.
Sipping a coffee at Santorini Vibes Café
Sipping a coffee in West Lake is for sure one of the things to do in West Lake. You will find plenty of coffee shops with wonderful views on West Lake. It could be hard for you to choose the best one. The choice is maybe easier for the ones who know Santorini Vibes Café. Have you ever heard about Santorini Island in Greece? This island is very famous and a lot of tourists go there during their trip to Greece. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Greece. Santorini Vibes Café is made with the same type of architecture as Santorini Island.
Indeed, you will recognize the same colours as Santorini architecture with white and blue walls. At this coffee, you will see a lot of people taking pictures with the wonderful scenery of the coffee shop. If you are lucky, you can have a sit outside and enjoy the fresh air and the wonderful view on West Lake. Otherwise, you can also sit inside and enjoy the good music and the cool atmosphere of this place. Images talk more than words, have a look at the picture of Santorini Vibes Café below and you will see by yourself.
Address of Santorini Vibes Café: 181 Nhật Chiêu, Nhật Tân, Tây Hồ, Hà Nội