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West Lake leisure activities: Tourism boost for Hanoi
Jenna Duong 13:57, 2024/03/01
Hanoi's iconic lake would be an ideal destination for water recreation and sports, helping to diversify local tourism offers.

A plan to resume some of the tourist services at West Lake has recently been announced by the Municipal People's Committee.

West Lake at sunset. Photo: Doan Bach

Accordingly, the newly issued "West Lake Management Regulation" lists 10 types of services and entertainment activities that would be allowed to operate on the surface of the West Lake, including golf services (on the floating golf course); cruises (tourist boats, cruises, canoes, water bicycles during daytime only); boating services (including kayaking, sup and traditional boating); swimming; windsurfing and sailing; and scuba diving.

Water music performances, hot air ballooning, and paragliding services are also permitted.

Electric vehicles, tricycles, and bicycles are also allowed on the shore around West Lake.

Hanoi requires these services to be operated in accordance with strict environmental protection regulations, including wastewater management, lake surface cleaning, ecological protection, landscape conservation, construction, and architectural planning.

Kayaking on the West Lake. Photo: Yeu Ha Noi Page   

In February, the West Lake Management Board was set up to tap the potential and value of the West Lake effectively, especially in the development of tourism and services.

As an agency of the Tay Ho District People's Committee, this public service unit is responsible for leading and coordinating with relevant units to develop projects and plans for the management, investment, and use of the West Lake and its surrounding areas; to preserve historical cultural relics, landscapes, and the environment; and to ensure the sustainable development of the West Lake area and its surrounding areas.

In the past, a number of tourist services were allowed to operate on West Lake, such as yachting, floating restaurants, and swan boat rides. Since 2017, the Hanoi People's Committee has ordered the closure of the lake's tourist dock and the suspension of boat services there, citing deteriorating environmental risks and fire hazards.

The annual Hanoi Open Dragon Boat Racing Tournament on the West Lake. Photo: Huy Pham/The Hanoi Times

Located in the northwest of Hanoi, with nearly 18 km of shoreline and 500 hectares of water surface, West Lake is the largest lake in Hanoi.

The lake is said to have beautiful scenery and various historical and cultural sites of Hanoi and Vietnam along its shores, such as Tran Quoc Pagoda, the city's oldest Buddhist temple; Quan Thanh Temple, one of the four sacred temples of ancient Hanoi; Nghi Tam Village, with its silkworm, bonsai, and ornamental fish trade; or Nhat Tan Village, famous for its flower planting trade.

The new tourism services on and around West Lake are expected to help promote Tay Ho District as a major cultural and tourism hub in the capital.

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