West Lake (Vietnamese: Hồ Tây) is a freshwater lake in the center of Hanoi, Vietnam. With a shore length of 17 km (about 10.6 miles), this is the largest lake of the capital and a popular place for recreation with many surrounding gardens, hotels and villas. A small part of West Lake is divided by Thanh Nien road to form Truc Bach Lake. One district of Hanoi is named after the lake, Tay Ho district.
This is the historical central area of Hanoi, capital of Hanoi. Hanoi estimated population 3,398,889 (2007), is the capital and second-largest city of Vietnam. From 1010 until 1802, with a few brief interruptions, it was the political centre of an independent Vietnam. It was eclipsed by Huế during the Nguyen Dynasty as the capital of Vietnam, but Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1887 to 1954. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Vietnam.