Monday, October 26, 2009

The West Lake

It is a large and beautiful lake in the northwest of Hanoi. It is a famous tourist attraction. Around the lake are so many beautiful buildings. Recently a road running around the lake has been being built. Last weekend I had a chance to go on a tour half the lake. My first place is Quang Ba. This place used to be famous for flowers and bonsai for Tet holiday, for restaurants and now a residential place for the rich and for foreigners. It is so peaceful with a lot of houses with high fences next to each ther. I think long time ago neighbours knew each other but now just stepping out of your house you meet a stranger. It is this place I saw some ponds of lotus. It must be beautiful in the summer, season of this kind of flowers. I also travelled along the new waterfront road, which is called Japan Habour road. I do not know why it has got that name. But the name sounds so romantic. My friend said that in the evening, especially at weekends this long road is full of couples. I went past the Tay Ho pagoda, up to the Ho Tay Villa and along the road near the dike, past Sheraton Hotel to the end of the road near Intercontinetal Hotel.

The next stop was Sunset Bar in the Intercontinental on the water. I has been there once before, in the evening. But this time in the afternoon. The bar was closed. I remember when we were there we just drank juice and tea. Terribly expensive.

After the Sunset bar, I paid a visit to Tran Quoc pagoda and had some ice cream in Banh Tom Ho Tay restaurant. The location was perfect but the ice cream was not high quality. This restaurant serves shrimp ricecake, speciality. I tried it but it was too oily, not my type. It was here a ride on the water swan was decided.

I did not know the name, something like water bicycle (explained by my friend). Imagine you are on the water, far from the shore, in the middle of nowhere. Wonderful, isn't it? Soooooo peaceful and windy and fresh. You just want to fall asleep there, believe me.