Picturesque lake attracts day trippers from Hanoi

The romantic name attracts a lot of visitors to Tien Sa (The Fairy Descends) Lake, located about 60km from Hanoi at the base of Tan Vien Mountain in Ba Vi District. It’s an ideal destination for a relaxing day or weekend in the fresh air in a quiet atmosphere that’s hard to find in the city.

Tien Sa Beach

There is much to see around this lake where, according to local legend, fairies once descended to earth to bathe. When they returned to heaven, one hurriedly followed them, leaving her scarf blowing in the wind. The scarf then turned into a white cloud above Tan Vien.

Due to the topographical and geologic conditions, the lake is clear all year round. The surrounding mountains and forests, along with the floating houses on the lake, create a dreamlike and idyllic landscape.

The green forests covering part of the mountain and surrounding the lake have created a cool, pleasant and romantic atmosphere, said Banh Thanh Ban, head of the area’s management board.

“Many young couples visit on the weekends where they relax and enjoy the quiet atmosphere together,” Ban said.

The couples can explore the lake by boat, enjoy a leisurely walk around the hills or sit in the shade of a tree to read a book, he said.

In the summer, tourists enjoy bathing at Nhi Long Waterfall nearby or at the water park, which has three pools and nine water slides, as well as recreating facilities for tennis, football, volleyball and badminton. An amusement area includes electric cars and rides, and a resident troupe of monkeys.

Nhi Long Waterfall

Pham Hung Anh and his friends have come to the site many times to enjoy it at different seasons of the year.

“I prefer visiting the lake in summer,” Anh said. “I can swim at the waterfall, which is dry in the winter. I can also check out the lake by boat and enjoy the cool air. After driving in the dust and heat, reaching the lake is a wonderful feeling.”

In winter, the weather is fairly cold, but tourists from Ha Noi still choose Tien Sa Lake for weekend getaways because they love the cosy atmosphere. Sauna and massage services are available featuring herbal remedies of Dao ethnic people, which help relax and refresh the muscles after a long day of climbing and trekking.

Folk dances

At night, visitors can enjoy folk dances and songs by the Muong ethnic people, or join in a bonfire and try such local specialities as baked maize and sweet potatoes.

In addition to the natural beauty, the tourism site features architecture built in a traditional style with rich detail and harmonised colours. A hotel with a red roof sits among green leaves beneath the blue sky, and the surrounding structures are given romantic names like Ngu Phuc (Five Good Fortunes) Gate, Thuan Thien (Following God’s Order) Bridge, Lien Hoa (Lotus) House, Uyen Uong (Inseparable Couple) Pavilion, and Vien Son (Mountain’s Garden). 

“We intend to invest more and increase services to lure more tourists to stay longer,” Ban said. “This is a wonderful place to rest. Tourists can live in harmony with nature and enjoy our entertainment services away from work and ordinary worries.”

At 400m above sea level, the Tien Sa Lake tourism area has a total area of 150ha, including 120ha of forest and 20ha of water. The tourism site was developed in 2003 by the Cuong Thinh Company with a total investment of VND60 billion (US$3 million) over ten years.

Last year, the site attracted more than 90,000 visitors, according to the director’s statistics.

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