Ho Hoan Kiem (or Lake of the Restored Sword) was one part of the Red river (song Hong). Throughout thousand years of geographical changes, the lake moved eastward to its present position from the river.
Before having become the famous historical legend of King Le Loi here, Hoan Kiem Lake used to be called Luc Thuy Lake (or Green Water Lake) since the water was green all the year. As dawn breaks, be prepared to get swept up in the buzz of activities during the morning at rush hours. Catch a glimpse of Hanoi's residents performing their morning exercise routines on the banks of Hoan Kiem Lake and, perhaps, join a tai chi class to stretch your tired limbs.
Ho Tay (or named West Lake). This lake is the largest in Hanoi with a shore length of around 17km (10.6 miles) and is a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. One legend suggests that the lake was shaped after a battle between Lac Long Quan and a night-tail fox spirit, which is why the lake was once called "Fox Corpse Swamp". The lake is bordered with many significant places in history of Hanoi such as Tran Quoc Pagoda, the oldest pagoda in Vietnam, built in 6th century and located on a small island in the middle of the lake, plus Quan Thanh Temple, one of the Four Sacred Temples of ancient Hanoi.
In the early morning, you can see people jogging, fishing and doing exercise. Here, you can also stop and catch poetic photo when the sun rises or flower street vendor heading the the old quarter to sell.
6:00 AM, meet up at your hotel, the guide will give a short briefing about the bikes such as how to change the speed drivetrain and locations to go. We bike around Hoan Kiem Lake to see the early morning activities of local people. Then, we head to the biggest lake of Hanoi, West Lake. On the way, we stop at Ho Chi Minh mausoleum and the Presidential Palace for photo taking. Arrive the West Lake, we bike around the lake in approximately 1,5 hours. A lot of local people choose the place for the morning exercise and jogging. After cycling the lake, we have a short visit to Tran Quoc Pagoda.
9:00 AM. The trip ends with a bowl of Pho (beef noodle) or café at lake view place. We bike back to your hotel.
Tour Cost includes:
Bike hire and helmets
All entrances to museums and sites mentioned
Vietnamese English speaking guide
01 bottle of water each 2 hours cycling
Tour Cost excludes:
Alcoholic and other beverages in the evenings
Personal travel insurance
Any services not mentioned in itinerary