The 8 Most Beautiful and Famous Lakes in Vietnam
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Vietnam is home to a lot of miraculous lakes that surely offers you the opportunity to not only explore the best of untouched scenery in Vietnam but also learn more about local culture. Let's travel with us to find the most famous and beautiful lakes in Vietnam to start your memorable and enjoyable excursions.
1. Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake or Sword Lake is one of the most recognizable and beautiful lakes in Hanoi, which located right at the heart of this beautiful city. Legend has it that Emperor Le Loi found a sword in the movement against the invasion of Ming army (1417 – 1883). Thanks to the holy power of the sword, Le Loi’s army has a glorious victory and gain the independence for Vietnam people. One day, the emperor wanders with his court in the dragon ship on Ta Vong Lake. Suddenly, a golden turtle comes to the surface. He said that it is the precious sword of dragon king. When the nation is peaceful, the god of sea wants to ask for the holy sword. After receiving the sword from the emperor, the turtle disappears. From that time, Ta Vong Lake is called as Sword Lake.
Turtle Temple - The Sacred Structure in Hoan Kiem Lake
Indeed, Hoan Kiem Lake does have some giant tortoises living under its dark water. They are Cantor’s giant softshell turtles – a very rare species which are now only found in a few countries in the world including Vietnam. However, the last giant turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake just died on January 19th 2016 due to its extreme old age of over 100 years.
Hoan Kiem Lake is definitely the place to witness the true lifestyle of Hanoi people and a lot of exciting activities. Local people like to gather around the lake to enjoy fresh air and cool breeze in the morning, stunning sunset at dusk. You can easily encounter old Hanoians doing taichi in groups, youngsters taking selfie photos, yokes full of flowers on literally every corners and much more.
For religion enthusiasts, a visit to Ngoc Son Temple, which is located right at the northern bank of the lake, is a must. The temple, dedicated to the famous Vietnamese General Tran Hung Dao, is a great piece of architecture that you should not skip.
» Consider our Hanoi Tours to start your trip to this charming city at the lowest cost
Local People in Hanoi Doing Taichi by the Lake
2. West Lake, Hanoi
West Lake is also one of the most famous lakes in Vietnam, which is located in Hanoi. It was once considered as one of the strategic places of the ancient capital of Vietnam.
A part of West Lake, Hanoi (Photo: Prabster Photography)
With a perimeter of about 18km, it is an ideal place for us to take a bike ride to find freshest breeze from Hanoi City Center as well as contemplate the stunning sunset over this beautiful lake. West Lake Hanoi is also home to the best cafes and restaurants in Hanoi with great lake views for local Hanoians, expats and foreign tourists. The lake is one of the biggest inspirations for Vietnamese poets, music composers and photographers for decades.
Read more: West Lake - The New Soul of the Capital
The Oldest Pagoda in Hanoi - Tran Quoc by West Lake (Photo: Duc Keu)
3. Ba Be Lake, Bac Kan
Located in Bac Kan, Ba Be was recognized as one of the largest freshwater lakes in the world. Ba Be in Vietnamese means three lakes due to its broad area of water surfaces connecting a lot of small lakes, cannals, water rice paddies, forests. All of these features reunite and create a best places for Vietnam trekking tours.
Ba Be Lake belongs to Ba Be National Park – one of the best natural reserves in Vietnam – with a rich biodiversity of various fauna and flora. The lake is surrounded by lush tropical forests, breathtaking foggy mountain ranges and a few of idyllic ethnic villages. Hence, it is understandable that the scenery here is totally bizarre, literally different from anywhere you’ve been to before in Vietnam.
Visiting Ba Be, there is a wide range of activities for you to choose. You can do trekking into the forest, experience caving to one of the most mysterious grottoes in the area – Hua Ma, fishing over windows of the homestays, do farming with the local, join a boat tour on the lake or seeing local temples etc. Undoubtedly, nature in Ba Be National Park is still unspoiled. Thus, you do not want to miss the chance to set foot in this land.
How to get to Ba Be: Ba Ba is 230km far from Hanoi city center. Therefore, it will take you around 5 hours to get there at normal speed. You can easily book the Ba Be National Park tour in Hanoi Old Quarter and the shuttle bus for $15 per person per way.
4. Thac Ba Lake, Yen Bai
Thac Ba Lake is recognized as the largest artificial lake in Vietnam, which is situated in Yen Bai. It is not only the main source of Thac Ba hydropower plants but also well-known as a picturesque picture in the Southern Vietnam. There are more than 1,300 islands in a variety of sizes and features that you can freely discover. Along with the wild beauty of pretty islands, a system of caves in Thac Ba Lake certainly offers a brand new experience the miraculous beauty of Vietnam’s nature.
The Peaceful Landscape in Thac Ba Lake
5. Tuyen Lam Lake, Lam Dong
Tuyen Lam Lake is far 10km from the center of Da Lat with an area of 350 hectares. Like other tourist attraction in Da Lat, Tuyen Lam Lake lures visitors’ soul by romantic beauty. There are many kinds of terrain that tourists can enjoy different outdoor activities such as sightseeing, climbing, camping, and other healthy activities. It is likely that the scenery of lake is extremely breathtaking. It seems that Tuyen Lam Lake is a perfect masterpiece of nature: the endless space of pine trees around combining with the crystal water and dim layers of smog covering in every corner of forests.
6. Bien Ho, Gia Lai
Located in Gia Lai- an area of the Highland in Vietnam, Bien Ho offers a taste of complete comfort for visitors. The atmosphere is always cool although Vietnam is in summer. Standing at the lakeside, you can feel breezing winds flowing through every inch of skin, the colorful space of wild flowers, and the tranquility of nature.
7. Yen Phu Lake, Quang Binh
Yen Phu Lake becomes one of the most attractive lakes in Vietnam when it was chosen as a setting for the Hollywood Bomb “Kong - Skull Island” – by the talented director Jordan Vogt-Roberts. The landscape around Yen Phu Lake is really enchanting with giant limestone mountains, vast space of grass and tropical forests and serene water surface. Wandering around the lake, you will easily encounter a lot of water buffalos, cows and various wild birds. During any of the Phong Nha Tours, apart from caving, you will have a chance to see the Yen Phu Lake as well as breathtaking scenery in Quang Binh.
8. Lak Lake, Dak Lak
Situated on a peaceful highland of Dak Lak Province, Lak Lake is the second largest natural lakes in Vietnam, after Ba Be Lake. Lak Lake, stretching in a broad area of 5km square, is surrounded by stunning mountains, untouched primitive forests with a wide range of species. This is the deepest lakes in Vietnam, even deeper than Bien Ho in Gia Lai (over 50 meters).
This land is also the one and only place in Vietnam that you can spot some unique traditional longhouses of M’nong ethnic people. The ethnic villages here are not known very well by the tourists. Hence, if you’re interested in learning more about culture of ethnic minorities without being annoyed by loads of tourists, I suggest you choose Jun Village of M’nong people in Lak Lake.
On a tour to Lak Lake, you will have an opportunity to join in a lot of activities with local people such as fire dancing, singing, elephant riding, boating, etc.
Hopefully, our article helps you a bit to choose the best lakes in Vietnam to travel to. Consider one of our Vietnam Excursions to get more experience for your trip in Vietnam!