There are many beautiful lakes in Vietnam. There are natural lakes, but there are also a lot of lakes formed by dams to generate electricity. As a result, rivers have turned into huge lakes, and hill and mountain peaks have turned into islands in these lakes. One thing is for sure, it gives an impressive view.
1. Ta Dung Lake
Ta Dung Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in Vietnam, and one of such lakes that is created by a dam. The water level of the river went rising after building the dam and started forming a lake around the mountains and hills, creating hundreds of islands. The view of all these islands in the lake makes many travelers remind them of one of the most famous attractions in North Vietnam and this lake is therefore also called Halong Bay of the central highlands. There are a number of beautiful viewpoints and it is possible to take a boat trip on the lake and visit various islands.
2. Ba Be Lake
Ba Be Lake is the largest natural lake in Vietnam and is also part of the protected Ba Be National Park. The lake is hidden in dense jungle and high mountains, which gives it a mysterious atmosphere. The best way to explore the lake is on a boat trip, which also includes a visit to a huge cave, villages of the ethnic inhabitants and a waterfall. It is also a great place for cycling and a trekking through the forest of the national park. A visit to this lake is often combined with the Ban Gioc waterfall.
3. Hoa Binh Lake
Hoa Binh Lake is located in the same named province of Hoa Binh, which is best known for the beautiful valley of Mai Chau. You can therefore easily visit this lake from Mai Chau. A boat trip over this lake can bring you to floating fishing villages and caves. There is a waterfall next to the lake that is worth the visit and if you are not on a budget, you should stay at one of the resorts along the lake with stunning views.
4. Tuyen Lam Lake
Tuyen Lam Lake is located near Dalat and is one of the most beautiful lakes in Vietnam. This is mainly due to its unique location, between the mountains and many coniferous forests. It’s a great place to take walks around the lake and through the forest, hire a boat trip or kayak to explore the lake and just completely unwind in the beautiful countryside.
5. Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is without doubt the most famous lake in Vietnam. It is located in the middle of Hanoi’s Old Quarter. Besides having a unique location in the middle of the old city, the two temples that are located on an island in the lake make it extra magical. Come here early in the morning or late in the afternoon to get a taste of the quintessential local life, where locals of all ages come to train, date and socialize.
6. West Lake
The second lake in Hanoi in this list is West Lake, which is also the largest lake in this city. The lake is a place where Hanoians can take a break from the hectic city. In the right season you can see vast fields of water lilies. Definitely recommend having a drink at one of the lakeside cafes or restaurants with a rooftop terrace. Make sure to be here late in the afternoon as you have one of the best sunsets in town here. As a last tip, be sure to visit the Tran Quoc Pagoda which is located on the lake, this is the oldest temple in Hanoi.
7. Thac Ba Lake
Thac Ba Lake is enormous and in fact one of the three biggest man made lakes in Vietnam. The total area covers more than 23,000 hectares, including more than 1300 islands that can be found in the lake. The length of the lake is 80 kilometres with a maximum width of 10 km and was created by the first hydro power plant in Vietnam. The lake also ensures that the area is very green, with wooded banks and islands.
The area is also home to many ethnic minorities who have kept their long traditions. It is therefore an authentic experience to visit villages here and to spend the night in a local homestay. The lake is also best combined with a visit to the most beautiful rice fields in Vietnam, because they can be found in this province (Yen Bai), but 200 kilometres further up, in Mu Cang Chai.
8. Lak Lake
Lak Lake is one of the most largest natural lakes in the Central Highlands. Around the lake you will find a unique culture of ethnic minorities, who used to be known for taming elephants. Elephant rides have always been possible here, but we strongly advise against this for animal welfare reasons. Fortunately, there is plenty to do in and around the lake, including kayaking, boat trips, visiting ethnic villages, and exploring the area’s forests and waterfalls.
9. Thang Hen Lake
Thang Hen Lake is not just one of the most beautiful lakes in Vietnam, but the location of the lake makes this place extra special. It can be found in a hidden valley in the province of Cao Bang, far off the beaten track, with towering mountains, rural countryside and local villages of ethnic minorities. Combine a visit to this lake with Nui Thung Mountain, a mountain with a hole in the middle.
10. To Nung Lake
To Nung Lake is the fifth lake in the central highlands to be included in this list of most beautiful lakes in Vietnam. More precisely, you can find this lake near the town of Pleiku, capital of the Gia Lai province. The lake is actually in the crater of an extinct volcano. The water from this volcano is connected to another lake called Tien Son lake. The second mentioned lake may not be in a crater, but it does have an even better view of the mountains and another extinct volcano.