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Truc Bach Lake in Hanoi city, Vietnam

Located next to the West Lake area, Truc Bach is currently well-known one of the most famous tourist destinations in Hanoi. The name “Truc Bach” means small creamy white bamboo. West Lake was formerly very large area. Therefore, in 1620 the residents of Truc Yen, Truc Quang, and part of Yen Phu nowadays, built a dyke across this lake, which was called Co Ngu dyke. This dyke later is named Thanh Nien Street. This lake was then divided into two separate lakes. The western part of the lake is West Lake and the eastern side is Truc Bach Lake. The origin of Truc Bach Lake was named in the reign of King Le and Lord Trinh (17th and 18th centuries). Since there were plenty of small ivory bamboo planted around the lake.

During the Lê Dynasty, there were 12 villages west of the lake belonging to Vĩnh Thuận and Phụng Thiên (Tây Hồ) districts. They were: Yên Phụ, Nghi Tàm, Tây Hồ, Quảng Bá, Nhật Tân, Xuân La, Bái Ân, Võng Thị, Trích Sài, Hồ Khẩu, Yên Thái and Thuỵ Chương. To the east were the villages of Trúc Yên and Yên Quang of An Thành, Vĩnh Thuận District (now Ba Đình District). Trúc Yên was called Trúc Bạch and, because it was a combination of the two villages of Trúc Yên and Lạc Chích, it was also called Trúc Lạc. These villages are now part of Trúc Bạch, Phó Đức Chính and Yên Ninh precincts in Ba Đình District. This is a quaint and poetic description of the working class villages and hamlets. With the gorgeous spot and cultural features, West Lake greatly contributes to the grace of Thang Long.

Truc Bach Lake has a very special topography. In the middle of the lake there was a pearl-shaped knoll called Chau Long, a whirlpool, and a dragon conjuring gems. Moreover, there are many famous historical monuments including Quan Thanh, An Temple and Tran Quoc Pagoda. The citizens living in this area have witnessed many changes in life, nature, and society over the years. Every single natural scenery or historical monument located in Hanoi is spectacularly related to a legend, and sometimes a legend is relatively connected with another or social and natural phenomena become mixed up. From the combination of legends, we can learn a lot from the fascinating and abundant oral history about West Lake.

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