June – when iconic lotuses are in full bloom in West Lake, Hanoi

Lotus season in West Lake, Hanoi, is a breathtaking period marked by the vibrant bloom of lotus flowers, transforming the lake into a picturesque scene reminiscent of traditional Vietnamese art.  

West Lake, known as Hồ Tây in Vietnamese, is the largest freshwater lake in Hanoi and a significant cultural and historical site. It has long been a source of inspiration for poets, writers, and artists, especially during the lotus season when the flowers enhance its charm, attracting locals and tourists alike. 

The season typically occurs from late May to early September, with June being the peak time when the flowers are in full bloom. During this period, the lake’s surface is adorned with thousands of lotus flowers, their pink and white petals creating a stunning contrast against the green foliage and the tranquil waters. 

Visitors to West Lake during lotus season engage in a variety of activities

🔹Photography: The lake becomes a prime spot for photographers, both professional and amateur. The serene beauty of the blooming lotuses, often captured in the soft light of dawn or dusk, makes for stunning images. Many visitors dress in traditional Vietnamese attire, such as the ao dai, to take pictures among the flowers, creating a timeless and elegant aesthetic. 

🔹Boat Rides: Small boats are available for hire, allowing visitors to get up close to the lotus flowers. A boat ride offers a unique perspective of the lake and an intimate experience with the blooms. 

🔹Lotus Tea and Delicacies: The lotus plant is integral to Vietnamese culture and cuisine. During the season, visitors can enjoy lotus tea, a fragrant and calming beverage made by infusing green tea with the scent of lotus flowers. Other lotus-based delicacies, such as lotus seed sweet soup (chè sen), are also popular.

🔹Cultural Experiences: The lotus is a symbol of purity, resilience, and enlightenment in Vietnamese culture and Buddhism. During the lotus season, various cultural events and exhibitions may take place around West Lake, celebrating the significance of the flower and its role in Vietnamese traditions. 

The lotus season in West Lake is not just a visual delight but also an opportunity to experience a deeper connection with Vietnamese culture and nature. The ephemeral beauty of the lotus flowers, blooming briefly but gloriously, serves as a poignant reminder of the fleeting yet precious nature of life. For those visiting Hanoi during this period, the lotus season at West Lake is an enchanting experience that captures the essence of Vietnam’s natural and cultural heritage. 

Lotus in daily life 

The lotus plant is highly valued for its numerous functions and benefits across culinary, medicinal, cultural, and ecological domains. 

The lotus is not only a versatile plant with numerous practical uses but also holds significant cultural and symbolic meaning, making it an important part of various traditions and practices around the world. 
The lotus is an integral part of Vietnamese cuisine, and many dishes feature various parts of the lotus plant, such as its seeds, roots, and flowers. In Hanoi, several restaurants not only serve these unique dishes but also celebrate the cultural significance of the lotus.  

Some favorite traditional Vietnamese dishes made from lotus

🔹Gỏi Ngó Sen (Lotus Stem Salad): 

A refreshing and crunchy salad made from lotus stems mixed with shrimp, pork, herbs, and a tangy dressing of fish sauce, lime, and sugar. It’s often garnished with crushed peanuts and fried shallots. 

🔹Canh Chua Ngó Sen (Sweet and Sour Lotus Stem Soup): 

A light and tangy soup featuring lotus stems, tomatoes, pineapple, and a variety of herbs, often cooked with fish or shrimp. The lotus stems add a unique texture to the soup. 

🔹Hạt Sen Hầm Gà (Chicken Stewed with Lotus Seeds): 

A nourishing and flavorful dish where chicken is stewed with lotus seeds, creating a rich and comforting meal that’s often enjoyed for its health benefits. 

🔹Cơm Gạo Sen (Rice Cooked in Lotus Leaves): 

Rice is steamed inside lotus leaves, absorbing the subtle fragrance of the lotus. Sometimes the rice is mixed with lotus seeds, chestnuts, and other ingredients for added flavor and texture. 

🔹Chè Sen (Lotus Seed Sweet Soup): 

A popular dessert made with lotus seeds cooked in a sweet syrup. It’s often served chilled and is prized for its delicate flavor and health benefits. 

🔹Chè Hạt Sen Long Nhãn (Lotus Seed and Longan Sweet Soup): 

This dessert features lotus seeds stuffed inside longan fruit, served in a sweet, clear syrup. It’s a delightful combination of textures and flavors.

Lotus Dishes at Spice Viet Restaurant in Hanoi 

We invite you to Spice Viet Restaurant located in Flower Garden Hotel Hanoi, known for its authentic Vietnamese cuisine prepared farm-to-table, to try local dishes that incorporate the lotus as a key ingredient. 

Following a cooking demonstration, savour a menu of Hanoian signatures such as Lotus Stem Salad (Gỏi Ngó Sen), Steamed Rice in Lotus Leaf (Cơm Gạo Sen), Lotus Seed Sweet Soup (Chè Hạt Sen), and slow-cooked chicken or pork stewed with lotus seeds, creating a rich and comforting dish often enjoyed for its health benefits. 

The best way to immerse in the culture of lotus season is to taste the unique flavors of Vietnam’s lotus-based dishes. The lotus, a symbol of purity and resilience in Vietnamese culture, adds a layer of depth and significance to any cultural and culinary experience in Hanoi. 

Whether you’re exploring the historic streets of Hanoi, the imperial city of Hue, or the bustling metropolis of Ho Chi Minh City, Spice Viet offers a dining experience that will delight your senses and leave you with lasting memories. Join us for a meal and embark on a culinary journey through the diverse and vibrant landscape of Vietnamese cuisine.

🍴Spice Viet Hanoi

Address: 46 Nguyen Truong To Street, Ba Dinh District, Hanoi, Vietnam

🍴Spice Viet Hue

Address: 15 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Phu Nhuan Ward, Hue City, Thua Thien Hue, Vietnam

🍴Spice Viet Hoi An

Address: 187 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, Cam Pho Ward, Hoi An City, Quang Nam, Vietnam

🍴Spice Viet Saigon

Address: 142-144 Le Lai Street, Ben Thanh Ward, District 1, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Contact us at [email protected] to learn more about Vivu Journeys’ Experiences