A Walk Around Hanoi’s Truc Bach Lake
Do you fancy a stroll around one of Hanoi’s finest lakes, Truc Bach…?
You do…? Ok, let’s go…
Three kilometres northwest of Hoan Kiem Lake, Truc Bach Lake is accessible by foot or bike and whether you’re in the mood for a cup of joe, a beer or a hearty meal, you’ll find plenty to do along its banks.
From Quan Thanh Temple on the south eastern shore of the lake, go across Duong Thanh Nien, the large road that connects West Lake and Truc Bach Lake. If you need a break, visit Tran Quoc Pagoda or Kem Ho Tay for an ice cream.
Turn onto Truc Bach Street, where you’ll find a smattering of coffee shops and restaurants serving up lau ech (frog hotpot) on rush mats by the lake, all with stunning views of the lakes. In the daytime, they’re less common, so it’s likely to be quieter than in the evenings and you can enjoy a beer and samosa on the rooftop patio of Foodshop 45 in Truc Bach.
You should avoid walking along the narrow stretch of the lake that connects Truc Bach and the island because it can get quite stinky and unpleasant to breathe in.
It’s possible to go to the bia hoi place on Pho Duc Chinh at the top of the street if you don’t fancy a beer from Foodshop or one of the other cafes nearby where you can get an excellent beer for a fair price and the cuisine is pretty decent too.
Go for a stroll around Ngu Xa after crossing the island’s little bridge and if you’re in the mood for pho cuon, this is the place to go or alternatively, stroll along Tran Vu to the lakeside for a coffee or fruit shake.
You can exit the island via the bridge on Tran Vu and continue around via the Chau Long Pagoda and the Chau Long market and if you’ve never been to a wet market before, this is a good place to take a look around although for me, the sight of seeing my meat being prepared from live animals right in front of me was something i gave a miss too.
You’ll also find a lot of fruit vendors near the market’s perimeter and it’s always worth haggling over the prices.
Finally, you’ll come at Tran Vu Street, which runs along the lake’s southern shore and where you’ll find a few seafood restaurants towards the eastern end of the street and there are additional cafes and an ice cream shop named Hai Me Sophie Ice Cream at the 60th street location.
You can enjoy the view of the lake while you eat your sundae on the upper level if you fancy a bit of a break and a sit down.
And while you’re here, don’t miss out on a romantic swan boat ride where you can have delicious cakes with a stunning backdrop in addition to some original Vietnamese fare at Happy House Restaurant.
Happy swan boating!!