Hoan Kiem lake represented the spiritual heart of the city, reminds Vietnamese people of a legendary story about the name Hoan Kiem, and reminds the traditional education and the dedication of General Tran Hung Dao.
As well as Hoan Kiem Lake being the focal point of Vietnamese people’s lives, it is also the focal point for tourists. Around the lake, there are accommodations, restaurants, cafes, shops, and museums making it convenient for a first-time tourist in Hanoi to get around.
Depending on what you are into, you can choose your activities and where to eat. There are choices of very cheap local Vietnamese food to luxurious hotel restaurants. Hoan Kiem Lake is a good starting point for anybody visiting Hanoi for the first time.
Doing exercise in the morning in Hoan Kiem Lake
Fridays to Sundays is the recommended weekly period for tourists to visit Hoan Kiem Lake and the Tuttle Tower. Thanks to the fact traffic is banned from the area from 7PM to midnight, public fun fair vibe takes over the place. If you are looking for a good morning walk or peaceful coffee joyment during your stay in Ha Noi, Hoan Kiem Lake would be a good spot for you to blend in the locals.
Located in the middle of one of the busiest streets of Vietnam capital, Hoan Kiem Lake offers plenty of trees and shaded spots in which to escape the busy life outerwards. The temple attracts many visitors from locals to foreigners to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Considered as the heart of Ha Noi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a legendary spot, which explains much of its reputation and makes it outstanding among many other lakes in the North of Vietnam.
Legend tells that the Heaven King sent Emperor Ly Thai To a magical sword, which he used to fight against Chinese colonization and got his distinguished victory. After the war, Ly Thai To returned the magical sword to a giant turtle, which grabbed the sword and disappeared into the depths of this lake to restore the sword to its original owners. Being faithful and inspired, the locals name the lake after the highlighted milestone of Vietnam history – “Ho Hoan Kiem”, which means “Lake of the Restored Sword”.
In the center of the lake
In the center of the lake, there is a small island with an ancient building called the “Turtle Tower”, which is in memory the legend. The island is known as Jade island, accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge.
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Even the bridge is a charming icon itself with scarlet-painted wooden material. Crossing through Huc Bridge, Ngoc Son Temple appears to your eyes. Built in 18th century, Ngoc Son templaye is prdominately dedicated to war hero General Tran Hung Dao, who defeated an armed force of 300,000 soldiers sent by Mongolian Emperor Kublai Kham om the 13th century to invade Vietnam.
Inside the temple, there are altars dedicated to Tran Hung Dao, some ancient artefacts includings ceramics and a preserved specimen of a gian turtle once found weighing 250kg. There are also endangered large soft-sell turtles living in Hoan Kiem lake, to see one of these gentle giants is kind of auspicious.
Sightseeing around Hoan Kiem Lake
Sightseeing around Hoan Kiem Lake / Sword Lake
To experience the most complete tour around Hoan Kiem Lake, you can use some of the following vehicles:
Motorbike:It is a compact vehicle, very suitable for individual or group travelers who want to explore Hoan Kiem lake area by themselves. There are many motorbike rental locations in Hanoi to choose from.
1: Ngoc Son Temple
Ngoc Son temple is one of the destinations not to be missed when visiting Hanoi. Situated on an island north of Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple is connected to the shore by the bright red The Huc Bridge.
To Ngoc Son Temple, visitors not only admire the magnificent architectural works in the traces of nostalgic time, watch the panoramic Hoan Kiem lake. But also have the opportunity to learn about the culture as well as Little known story associated with the history of the temple.
2: The Huc Bridge:
Along with Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge is a symbol of the charm of Hoan Kiem lake in general of Hanoi. With unique architecture and many cultural values, long history. The Huc Bridge has become an indispensable destination for every tourist tours in Hanoi Vietnam.
At the beginning. The Huc Bridge has a curved shape shrimp, made of very rudimentary wood and red paint – the color of life. Specially prosperity Legend has it that at the end of the 19th century the bridge was broken and rebuilt with foot made of reinforced cement, flooring, wooden balustrade and retaining its characteristic red color.
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