Things to see on my daily run around Hanoi’s West Lake

The nice thing about where I live in Vietnam is my daily running route. Normally I go around the east side of Hanoi’s West Lake (or Tay Ho) and here’s an assortment of things I can see on my run:

Phu Tay Ho Temple

My run normally brings me past Phu Tay Ho pagoda, a popular destination for unmarried people to come and present offerings on Sundays and the first and fifteen day of the lunar month to pray for good fortune.

Photocopied money to be burnt as an offering - there's even a wad of Euros in there.

And outside the temple there are food markets, their speciality being pretty deep fried prawns in batter. Though admittedly I’ve never been tempted to stop and eat some on my run.

Deep fried prawns in batter.

There’s all sorts of things that can bought along Yen Phu where I run.

Yen Phu Arch

There’s loads of fruit, watermelon, oranges, dragon fruit, papaya, giant grapefruit, custard apples, bananas…

Fruit sellers on the roadside, peddling their wares on their bikes.

There’s flower sellers, everything from roses to lilies and peach blossom, a bunch costing around 1 US dollar.

Flower sellers on the road.

There’s also the sweet smell of banana fritters to be bought on the roadside for 4000 Vietnamese Dong or around 20 US cents.

Fried banana fritter roadside vendors.

At the moment, there’s loads of Tet trees being transported to homes. They are the traditional tree used to decorate homes to welcome in the Chinese new year.

A cumquat Tet tree being transported by motorbike - our equivalent of a Christmas tree.

But what’s nicest about my route is the run around the lake.

Tay Ho Lake or West Lake, Hanoi

And you’ll always see guys fishing in it, and even though everyone says the water is badly polluted, they still manage to catch huge fish.

Fisherman on Tay Ho - he's standing on a small plinth, not walking on water!

So as you can see, there’s lots of interesting things to look at and distract me as I do my daily run.

Another small pagoda on my run with the Vietnamese flag proudly displayed.

Even a city run on tarmaced roads can admittedy be quite a fun route.

Google map of the route.

9 thoughts on “Things to see on my daily run around Hanoi’s West Lake

  1. Thank you for this.
    Ho Tay is most beautiful place in Hanoi. I have a target running 1 round of Ho Tay. Hope that I can do that when I come back Vietnam next year:D.

    P/s: as a Vietnamese, I hope people call Tet Holiday or Lunar New Year instead of Chinese new year:D

  2. Hello Miss Moire,

    I’m Lester a traveler from the Philippines, I just want to say thanks for this post, you just gave me a running route! I’m planning to visit Hanoi next year for the Mid-Automn Festival. So I hope it would be a great experience.

    Thanks again! ciao

    1. No problem Lapiskamay. You can go around the whole of West Lake too – think its around 15km. West side is along a busy road, but still very runnable. East side (where my map is) is much quieter, hence why I used to run there. Enjoy Hanoi!

      1. thanks for the additional inside tip! NOw i’m really excited to visit Hanoi. Do you still live in Hanoi? do you still run?

  3. Hi Moire,

    Are you still running around West Lake? I am Vietnamese but live abroad. I’m heading home for the summer and am looking for a running group or running buddy to continue my training for a fall 2010 marathon. Looks like a lap around West Lake is almost 9 miles, so that’s perfect for a long run. Let me know if you are still in Vietnam, and I’d love to meet up for a run!

    – Trang

    1. Hi Trang,

      Thanks for the post. Unfortunately I no longer live in Vietnam. However if you want a group to meet up with for a run, I’d highly recommend the Red River Runners – they have a google group here . They meet on Saturday afternoons for runs around West Lake and Chiputra. A lot are into marathon running.

      Best of luck for your 2010 training!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s