Hanoi West Lake, Vietnam - Quan Thanh temple, Tran Quoc pagoda and Tay Ho temple

Lakes

Hanoi’s biggest freshwater lake, West Lake has a circumference of 17km and houses many of the city’s historic places of interest around its perimeter – counting Vietnam’s oldest pagoda and one of Vietnam’s four sanctified temples. The lake attracts many locals and tourists in quest of respite from the busy city, providing an asylum of great natural beauty with plenty of quiet spots in the generous lush gardens neighbouring the lake. Known locally as Tay Ho Lake, the actual creation of West Lake still remains a mystery although one legend claims that it was created when the Dragon King Lac Long Quan drowned an evil fox spirit with nine tails in his lair. An alternative folklore source claims the lake was shaped when a large Chinese buffalo mistakenly baffled a pagoda temple bell with its mothers call and ran so ferociously into a small hollow that the lake was made.

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