Hanoi cycling tours are usually organized around popular places like traditional villages, Hoan Kiem Lake or West Lake. But it can be boring if you don’t know where to go and you just cycle around, following the crowd. Here is the solution: 9 must-see stops for the best West Lake cycling tour! Let’s hop on the bike and start pedaling, shall we?
1. Hanoi Botanical garden:
First of all, let’s start with some greenery at a so-called abandoned park! If your Hanoi cycling tours starts from the Old Quarter or Hanoi Centre, Hanoi Botanical Garden is most likely your first stop. It Used to be an exhibition of nature, beauty and contemporary art, but the garden now gives off a much more antique vibe. Although some might say it’s unadorned, this is a great destination if you’re a fan of moss-covered statues and century-old tree trunks – a pretty cool destination for gothic or ghostly style pictures.
- Address: 3 Hoang Hoa Tham Street, Ngoc Hoi, Ba Dinh District
- Cost: 15,000 VND /entrance fee
Hanoi Botanical Garden (Source: Internet)
2. Quán Thánh Temple:
Speaking of ghosts, are you interested in visiting religious sites? If you are, a few meters to the east of the Botanical Garden is Quán Thánh Temple. As a matter of fact, West Lake is a land of worshiping, so you can find a temple or pagoda every few meters. But Quán Thánh Temple is definitely the first on the list. The reason? This is the biggest, oldest and most popular temple, not only in West Lake but in the entire city! The temple is a well-reserved heritage site, containing a collection of centuries-old stone and copper statues. Step inside and you will be submerged in the atmosphere of a Buddhist festival, one that happened a thousand years ago. Don’t miss out!
- Address: 13 Thanh Nien Street, Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh District
- Cost: 10,000 VND / entrance fee
Quán Thánh Temple (Source: Internet)
3. Trấn Quốc Pagoda:
If one temple is not enough, let’s go to another religious structure, a place even more adorned and adored. Trấn Quốc Pagoda is right next to Quán Thánh Temple (as I said, one temple every few meters). The place is famous for the eleven-storey tower in which each window is decorated with Buddha’s statue. The special thing about Trấn Quốc is the fact that it is secluded on a small island on West Lake. Thus, being over 15000 years old, Trấn Quốc Pagoda brings a combination of solemn religious architecture and marvelous lakeside beauty. For those who look for tranquility in a chaotic Hanoi bike tour, this is the place to visit.
- Address: Thanh Nien Street, Quan Thanh, Ba Dinh District
- Cost: Free
Trấn Quốc Pagoda (Source: Internet)
4. Vietnam Museum of Literature:
Historical visits aren’t for most tourists, but there is one museum guaranteed to satisfy every customer. From the Trấn Quốc Pagoda, move along the Au Co Street for about 20 minutes to get to the Vietnam Museum of Literature - the museum is not small, you’ll see it right away. In fact, it is a large and newly constructed building consisting of 3 floors. The 1st floor is for displaying works of literature from the Middle Age, consisting of writings on papyrus paper, fabric, metal or even leaves! The 2nd floor exhibits the works of the 19th and early 20thcentury, and those that had a big propaganda role in the Vietnam War. Finally, the 3rd floor is for further understanding of Vietnamese culture and global stand. With 4000 artifacts and materials, as well as iconic scenes in the most familiar Vietnamese literature work being reenacted, this place is sure to blow your mind or even urge you to pick up a book and read.
- Address: 20B 275, Lane 399 Au Co, Quang An, Tay Ho District
- Cost: Free
Vietnam Literature Museum (Source: Internet)
5. West Lake Shrimp Fritters Restaurant (Nhà hàng bánh tôm Hồ Tây)
After a brain-wrenching and possibly emotional adventure, you must be super hungry! So it’s time for lunch, and what better way to satisfy your hungerthan to enjoy a West Lake specialty: shrimp fritters. Shrimp fritters are shrimps freshly caught in West Lake, fried in batter, then eaten with rice paper wrappers and vegetables. Besides this best-seller item, the restaurant also serves a variety of traditional Vietnamese delicacies, such as clam porridge or stir-fried watercress. If you’re vegetarian, there is a spring roll restaurant right across the lake, which you can get to by cycling or boat-riding, but there is no restaurant with a better view than West Lake Shrimp Fritters as it sits right on an islet of this very lake.
- Address: 1 Thanh Nien Street, Truc Bach, Ba Dinh District
- Cost: 80,000 – 150,000 VND/ person
Shrimp fritters – a West Lake specialty (Source: Internet)
6. West Lake iced tea:
This is not a destination, more like an experience, a must-try-once-in-a-life-time experience in West Lake. After a full meal, it is likely that you’re looking for some place to relax and digest your food before continuing with your Hanoi cycling tours. You could go to some fancy café, or you could try to do what every Vietnamese person does when they go to West Lake: order a drink and sit down on a plastic chair or canvas mat somewhere. Anywhere you want on the lake’s bank there are vendors with chairs every few meters. Enjoy the autumnbreeze from the lake with a lovely traditional beverage. What’s a better pastime?
- Address: West Lake, Ba Dinh District
- Cost: 20,000 VND - 50,000 VND
Lakeside iced tea is a must-try (Source: Internet)
7. West Lake Flowers Valley:
After lunch, it is time to rest the brain and ease the eyes. Did you know that there is a flower valley near the famed West Lake? Seriously, it’s only a few meters away from our previous location. From roads of vibrant sunflowers to the rare tropical flower, cleome, this garden will give you the sensation of being bathed in beautiful hues and shapes. Designed for visitors to capture the best photographs, the valley is also equipped with Vietnamese rural sceneries such as straw-roof houses or bamboo benches, making it the ideal location to have a couple/ family photoshoot or simply a cute selfie!
- Address: Nhat Chieu intersection, Tay Ho District
- Cost: 120,000 VND/adult, 80,000 VND/child/student discount
West Lake flowers valley (Source: Internet)
8. Mặt trời mới Amusement Park:
After a day full of cycling, don’t you just want to go somewhere fun with ice cream and cotton candy? Well… fortunately, West Lake also has an amusement park! Actually, at the mention of West Lake, Vietnamese people don’t usually think of the lake, they think of the amusement park next to the lake. This is one of the biggest amusement parks in Hanoi, maybe the biggest. With thrilling rides such as the roller coaster and “The Crazy Waves”, visitors are guaranteed to have the time of their lives. Even if you’re not an amusement-park-person a ride on the Ferris Wheel, to see the whole West Lake light up at night, will certainly be the utmost romantic experience on your Vietnamese bike tour. The Amusement Park leads us to the last, but not least, destination of our adventurous West Lake Hanoi bicycle tour today.
- Address: 614 Lac Long Quan Street, Tay Ho District, Hanoi
- Cost: 125,000 VND – 185,000 VND/ person ( depending on height)
Thrilling rides at the amusement park (Source: Internet)
9. Sen Tây Hồ buffet restaurant:
And…here’s the big finale – Sen Tây Hồ buffet restaurant. If you travel in a group, you will probably hear enough complaints about dinner at this point! So if what you’re looking for is a fancy but not over-the-top restaurant, which can accommodate and please many people with different diets and preferences, a buffet is the perfect choice. in business for over ten years, Sen Tây Hồ buffet has gained the trust of many Hanoians as well as tourists from all over the world. They offer all types of cuisine, from Vietnamese to French, from vegan to barbecued meat, and cater for dietary requirements. Enjoying a relaxing dinner with a view of the West Lake sparkling under the street lights will surely end your adventurous Hanoi cycling tours on a high note!
- Address: 614 Lac Long Quan, Tay Ho District
- Cost: 230,000 VND – 420,000 VND (3 sets of buffet & price increases at the weekends)
Sen Tây Hồ buffet luxurious setting (Source: Internet)