Being a subtropical coastal country, Vietnam receives plenty of rainfall and has a lot of bodies of water. Some large lakes are natural, while others are artificial, manmade reservoirs. Visit a few of Vietnam’s lakes for a relaxing time in nature and break from the hustle and bustle.
Lakes and bodies of water in Vietnam
While there are destinations like Ba Be National Park, which holds the largest body of water in Vietnam, you don’t always have to go far to discover a lake to enjoy. Several cities like Hanoi and Da Lat have a lake as its center piece. There’s also a slew of rivers going through Vietnam, often going in and out of the lakes.
Guide to the Biggest Lakes in Vietnam
As if Vietnam wasn’t enchanting enough with its world-famous tiered rice fields and miles of pristine beaches, the country also offers visitors plenty of options for a day on the shores of a lake. There are numerous kinds of lakes throughout the land, both natural and manmade, but all of them have something unique for travelers to experience.
These are among the most famous lakes in Vietnam, which are sure to add a lovely memory to your itinerary.
West Lake – West Lake, also known as “Tay Ho Lake“, is a large body of freshwater that covers more than 10.5 miles in circumference right in the heart of Hanoi. The property has a lot to offer visitors as it is surrounded by several pagodas, temples, fancy hotels, luxurious neighborhoods, and opportunities for outside recreation activities like biking and walking along the paved perimeter of the lake.
The lake’s southern end is where numerous seafood restaurants are located, serving up items like shellfish cakes and soups. West Lake is is a short drive from Hanoi’s Old Quarter, making it a must-see for anyone staying in the city.
Hoan Kiem Lake – Set in the busy city of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a modest-sized body of water that locals and tourists alike visit for a bit of refuge from the hectic metro life. One of the lake’s most popular attractions is the Ngoc Son Temple, a temple perched on an island in the center of the water that has to be accessed by a footbridge. The 30-acre lake is a trendy place to go for a speed walk or to do some Tai Chi in the morning, or catch a painted sunset in the evenings.
Ba Be Lake – Situated just north of Hanoi, the Ba Be Lake is one of Vietnam’s biggest freshwater lakes. Even though it’s possible to make a day trip out to the lake for those staying in the capital, many people choose to find accommodations in the area to take in the surroundings of the Ba Be National Park. Ba Be Lake is home to various wildlife and tribal people, but it’s also near the famous cascading Dau Dang Waterfall.
Lak Lake – Located in the Dak Lak Province in the Central Highlands, Lak Lake is Vietnam’s second-biggest freshwater lake with a surface area of about five square kilometers. Lak Lake is also believed to be the country’s deepest lake and is a great spot to participate in some outdoor recreation like hiking, boating, fishing, and canoeing.
Xuan Huong Lake – Set right in Dalat, Xuan Huong Lake is a manufactured body of water that has become one of the city’s icons. Walking around the entire lake will take a couple of hours, but it is a great way to soak in some of the serene atmospheres and get some exercise, especially during the evening hours. Visitors can also explore the surface of the lake by swan boat.
Bien Ho Lake – Situated in the Gia Lai Province near the Central Highlands region, Bien Ho Lake has a reputation for having some of the most transparent waters in the area. The environment around the water is exceptionally tranquil and draws in tourists looking to see more of Vietnam’s natural beauty away from the cities. Due to the elevation being over 2,900 feet, the atmosphere is relatively cool year-round compared to hotter areas at lower heights.
Thac Ba Lake – Famous for its 1,300 hill islands that somewhat resemble Halong Bay, Thac Bac Lake is the biggest artificial lake in Vietnam. The lake is located roughly four hours or less by car from Hanoi and covers an area of 23,000 hectares. Thac Ba Lake’s general region also holds some historical value as it was where a battle with the Mongols took place.
Tuyen Lam Lake – For some of the most picturesque lakeside views in the country, head out to Tuyen Lam Lake for its teal waters, stunning pine trees, and breathtaking panoramic sights. This lake is an artificially made one but offers locals and tourists alike a space to get outdoors and enjoy some recreation in nature. Tuyen Lam Lake provides a peaceful, serene environment that makes for a relaxing day trip and fantastic photo opportunities.