As the day goes on, the lake changes and that is the beauty, as anytime you want to visit from 5am to 9 or 10pm there is something to see. Also at other lakes around town, it is like a magnet where people get drawn to. The color of the lake changes, the seasons change, festivals are celebrated and reflection of the city lights at night is just beautiful.
5am to 7am
Early morning gym workout which is set up every morning near the ANZ Bank on Le Thai Tho, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.
The whole area turns into an exercise arena, groups of all descriptions walking, running, playing badminton, doing Tai Chi, practicing ballroom dancing, aerobics, hackie sack, praying and even a gym can be seen.
7am to 9am
A few late comers exercise; plus the visitors who got out of bed too late for the real action.
10am to 4pm
Still lots of people walking around, in the late afternoon men are playing chess; some drinking Vietnamese tea out of a glass, people reading the newspaper, having a smoke and even sleeping (even though it’s not permitted). If you need a rest especially in the heat of the summer, it is time to go and sit in the café by the lake and people watch.
4pm-ish till after dark
It’s a great place to exercise again or go on a date, have a snuggle up with such a romantic back drop, almost makes you want to write some poetry or practice your latest hip-hop moves under the watch of Ly Thai To statue. Hanoi is very safe and the lake and surrounding buildings are lit beautifully, depending on the season and festival, so go and enjoy the evening, eat some ice cream and take a wander.
On a Friday or Saturday night go up to one of the restaurants at the North or top of the lake and watch the street from above. I love it !! Traffic watching !! I can’t get enough of it, cars, buses, 1 million motorbikes (ok a slight exaggeration, but it feels like it), people, couples, tourists, bicycles, taxis all maneuvering themselves around each other. Plus you get a great view of the lake.