West Lake (Hồ Tây in Vietnamese) is the largest lake in the northwest center of Hanoi with a perimeter of 17 km (about 10.6 miles). It is deemed to be an oxbow lake, created from a curved part of the Red River after it had changed its course many centuries ago.
West Lake has an area of over 800 hectares. It is a former section of the Red River. There are many legends about this lake. Formerly this lake was called "Dam Dam" (Misty lake). Around the lake, stand many palaces of feudal kings and lords. Numerous ancient and beautiful pagodas and temples are also seen in the surroundings of West Lake. In the old times, in the area around West lake there were craft villages specializing in paper and silk production, etc., and villages providing the city with flowers or vegetables. At present, many hotels, restaurants and villas have been built around the lake.