Hoàn Kiếm Lake In Hanoi: Discover The Symbol Of The Capital, Hoàn Kiếm Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is a relic that has seen many ups & downs in the history of Hanoi. As one of the symbols of the capital, it is an unmissable destination for visitors lớn the capital.

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1. About Hoan Kiem Lake in Vietnam3. What to lớn see in Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi?4. Other touristy destinations near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

In Hanoi, there are so many beautiful places worth seeing. However, the "essence" of an ancient gentle Hanoi is most clearly shown in Hoan Kiem Lake, a Hanoi symbol. Here, tourists can walk around the lake to sightsee và visit the surrounding Old Quarter. You will have the opportunity lớn discover the quality features of Vietnamese architecture, cuisine, lifestyle và learn about the typical culture of Hanoi.

1. About Hoan Kiem Lake in Vietnam

Hoan Kiem Lake or Ho Guom Hanoi is a natural freshwater lake in the heart of Hanoi. Previously, the lake was also known as Luc Thuy Lake (rough translation: Emerald Lake) because of its year-round green water or Thuy quan liêu Lake (rough translation: Naval Lake) because it was used in naval drills. Around the 15th century, it was renamed Hoan Kiem Lake (Sword Lake) because it was associated with the legend of King Le Thai to lớn (1385 – 1433) returning the magical sword to the turtle deity.


This signature Hanoi lake is the intersection between many popular streets in the Old Quarter such as: Hang Dao, Luong Van Can, Hang Ngang, etc. Thanks to lớn its prime location, this is a very convenient destination for tourists. You can walk around the lake, visit nearby famous landmarks as well as learn about the typical culture of the surrounding Old Quarter.

1.1. Location

Address: Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi

Hanoi Sword Lake is about 12 hectares wide, with a length of 700 meters, a width of 200 meters và an average depth of 1 - 1.4 meters.

There are many ways khổng lồ get to lớn Hoan Kiem Lake, including taxi, motorbike và public transport. In Hanoi, there are many bus routes with stops near the lake, therefore this is considered the most economical means for those who are far from the thành phố center. You can also rent a xe đạp from your khách sạn or other rental businesses to go around by yourself. Chú ý that you should ask the price and kiểm tra the vehicle carefully beforehand.


1.2. What makes Hoan Kiem Lake one of Hanoi"s most beloved tourist attractions?

In 1884, when the French colonialists invaded Vietnam, they rebuilt & substantially changed the scenery around the lake, including the Old Quarter. Although the war has ended, Vietnam still keeps the wonders of French architectural works. This place represents a tragic và monumental historical period of the country.

Today, there is still one old turtle living in the lake. It is estimated lớn have lived for several hundred years. Is this the Hoan Kiem Lake turtle in the legend or just a normal old turtle? This question remains a mystery, và that is also why this lake has a certain attraction khổng lồ international tourists.

In particular, Hoan Kiem Lake is associated with the walking street of Hanoi. On weekend nights, this area is lượt thích a giant fair with all kinds of commodities và activities. In addition lớn shopping, you can dine at nearby restaurants. In a part of the street is a dedicated area for folk games. Everyone plays together so you can join if you want. Along the street, you can see buskers singing & playing music for free.

2. Hoan Kiem Lake"S legend: The story of a magical sword

Legend has it that in the 15th century, Vietnam had khổng lồ struggle under the oppression & exploitation of the Northern invaders. Witnessing the predicament, the Sea God lent a magical sword to lớn King Le to fight the enemy & successfully chase away the foreign invaders. After that, the country entered an era of peace.

One day when the King was boating on the lake, a turtle suddenly surfaced và demanded that he return the sword that the Sea God lent him. The king returned the sword to the turtle, and the turtle dived under và disappeared. Since then, Luc Thuy Lake has been renamed Hoan Kiem Lake. This legend along with the turtle living in the lake is still an unsolved mystery even lớn this day.


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3. What to see in Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi?

At and around Hoan Kiem Lake, there are many famous landmarks attracting not only tourists but also locals. Some of which are:

3.1. Turtle Tower

Turtle Tower is a small tower located on a tiny isle of about 350 square meters in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Built during the French colonial period, Turtle Tower has the imprints of both French & Vietnamese architectural styles with the multi-story structure representing French architecture while the curved roof representing Vietnamese one. Turtle Tower has 3 storeys with each upper story smaller than the lower one.

In addition khổng lồ the architecture, Turtle Tower is also special thanks khổng lồ its location & significance. Although small, it has stood in the middle of the lake for hundreds of years. This brings a strange beauty to lớn the tower as, to visitors, it seems so near và yet so far. There are no boats khổng lồ Turtle Tower. You can only look at it from the banks around the lake, so it remains even more curious to lớn the beholder.


3.2. Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple is located on an isle right in the heart of Hoan Kiem Lake. Built in the 19th century, this temple was originally dedicated lớn Guan Yu (a famous Chinese general) lớn suppress misfortune. Then it was turned into a pagoda to worship Buddha, and finally restored into the temple as it is today.

Going inside, you will see 2 main temple buildings. They feature the architectural style of temples in the northern region of Vietnam. In the 2 temple buildings are 2 large statues. The statue of Tran Deity is placed on a stone pedestal of more than 1 meter high, and the statue of Van Xuong Deity holds a brush in his hand with a relaxed stance.

In addition khổng lồ those two buildings, a highlight of this place that visitors should come khổng lồ admire is the glass cabinet which holds a mã sản phẩm of Hoan Kiem Lake’s turtle. The dignified turtle will surely make tourists awed in curiosity when they come here.


3.3. The Huc Red Bridge

To enter the above-mentioned Ngoc Son Temple, you need lớn cross The Huc Bridge. Built in 1865, this red bridge made of wood connects the ngân hàng with Ngoc Son Temple in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake.

The Huc Bridge has many ancient architectural features. It is modeled after a wooden house of the people of the Red River Delta. During its history, The Huc Bridge has seen many memorable stories. Legend has it that since The Huc Bridge was built, Huong chạy thử takers (a local academic test in the past) crowded Ngoc Son Temple lớn pray for good results. When the time of the kiểm tra was near, the temple keeper would have khổng lồ remind the thử nghiệm takers not lớn jostle so that the bridge would not collapse.

The bridge has undergone two restorations in 1897 and 1952, after a bridge span broke on the New Year"s Eve due to visitor overcrowding at Ngoc Son Temple. The bridge was then rebuilt, this time with cement foundation instead of wood.


3.4. Temple of King Le

The Temple of King Le bầu To, located in an architectural complex at No. 16, Le Thai to street (Hang vào Ward, Hoan Kiem District), has one of the oldest monuments in Hanoi. The statue of King Le & the memorial architectural complex were constructed in 1894 to lớn commemorate the king"s merits for defeating the enemy and to mark the legend of returning the magical sword khổng lồ the turtle deity at Hoan Kiem Lake.

The complex includes 3 main structures: the entrance, the communal house & the monument. The entrance was built with bricks in the style of three doors - four pillars & is close lớn the sidewalk. The communal house is xuất hiện on four sides. The 1.2-meter-high bronze statue is placed on đứng đầu of a stone pillar, holding a sword like he is about lớn return the sword khổng lồ the lake.

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4. Other touristy destinations near Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi

4.1. Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street

Hoan Kiem Lake Walking Street area opens from 7 pm on Friday to lớn 11:59 pm on Sunday every week. This area extends through most of the Old Quarter streets around the lake.

Although there are no modern games or services here, the walking street area attracts visitors with traditional activities that represent the national identity & cultural spirit of Vietnam. You will see groups of people playing Vietnamese mancala, tug of war, shuttlecock kicking, etc. The many community activities taking place here have gained the attention và participation of many young people.

Along the streets in the walking street area, you will easily come across groups of artists performing many genres of music with various styles, from the vibrant Latin American music khổng lồ pop music, from group performance to traditional performance. In addition, as mentioned at the beginning of the article, while walking around Hoan Kiem Lake, visitors can also go shopping, take pictures, have dinner, etc.


4.2. Hanoi Opera House

Located at No. 1, Trang Tien street, Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi Opera House is an architectural work built by the French in the years 1901 - 1911 (during the colonial period in Vietnam). At that time, the opera house was a place specializing in performing luxurious classical art repertoires such as opera, chamber music, drama, etc. For French officials or elites và a few Vietnamese business people.

Outside the opera house, we can feel the "breath" of Europe through delicate decorations và classical patterns. Entering the main hall, visitors can"t help but feel overwhelmed by the splendor of this place. The whole room is paved with trắng stones imported from Italy và covered with red carpets along the aisle which will make you feel as if you were in a British royal palace. The ceiling and walls are decorated with a system of small copper-plated or gold-plated chandeliers in a vintage style.


4.3. Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Water puppetry is a traditional art khung in Vietnam. Performers will use puppets to act on the water. While normal puppetry is available in many countries around the world, water puppetry can only be found in Vietnam. Established in 1969, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is a tourist attraction near Hoan Kiem Lake that has experienced many ups và downs. There were times when the theater faced difficulties that seemed insurmountable because water puppetry was getting less và less popular.

Thanks to the efforts of artisans who love this traditional art form, in 1990, Thang Long Water Puppet Theater made a big step forward when it decided to invest in restoring this art & performing for domestic and foreign tourists. Currently, most tours in Hanoi include visiting the theater và enjoying water puppetry shows. Therefore, the theater is mở cửa year-round & the shows are always available.


4.4. Vinpearl Aquarium

Located in Vincom Mega Mall Times City, Vinpearl Aquarium is a destination dedicated lớn families with kids. Here, children will have the opportunity to explore a colorful world of the ocean at one of the most modern aquarium systems in Vietnam.

Address: Vincom Mega Mall Times City, No. 458, phố minh khai Street, Vinh tuy Ward, Hai bố Trung District, Hanoi

Vinpearl Aquarium has attracted a lot of locals and tourists coming to sightsee và explore with its series of records:

The first tunnel aquarium in Hanoi
The first aquarium in Vietnam khổng lồ have species such as: penguin, giant spider crab, etc.The aquarium that phối a Vietnamese record with the theme painting "Joining hands to lớn protect rare animals" made from the most photos (more than 7,000 photos taken by visitors at the Aquarium)The birthplace of the first penguin in Vietnam

Vinpearl Aquarium has an area of ​​​​nearly 4,000 square meters with a capacity of nearly 3 million liters of sea water and more than 30,000 creatures from around the world. This place is not only for entertainment purposes but it is also a tourist destination with great educational significance. Besides having a chance to admire a variety of strange & shimmering aquatic animals, visitors can also participate in many shows & tours designed to lớn provide useful and interesting knowledge about the ocean world.

4.5. Vin
KE Times City

Located in Vincom Mega Mall Times City, Vin
KE is another destination dedicated to families with kids. Here, children will have the opportunity lớn experience their dream career at Vin
KE & have fun at the modern game area.

Address: Vincom Mega Mall Times City, No. 458, phố minh khai Street, Vinh mặc dù Ward, Hai ba Trung District, Hanoi

VINKE is designed with the aim of creating a "play và learn" space for children lớn experience their dream career, explore & gain knowledge about their favorite field and become more confident with the world around them. Vin
KE focuses on developing career-oriented games such as: Fire Department, Traffic Police, Special Forces, Hospital, Television Station, Fashion Star, Dance Club, Kid Chef, Agricultural Academy, tự động hóa Repair Workshop, etc.


In addition, there is also an area for modern & physical games for kids & parents to "play hard". Vin
KE has a “Game World” with the most modern games. Your whole family will have a chance khổng lồ immerse yourselves in the mysterious Mirror Maze with magic mirrors or the thrilling & engaging 5D cinema. Other fun games such as Bumper Car, Minicar, Royal Ferris Wheel, etc. Will also provide visitors with interesting & unforgettable experiences.

KE to have lots of fun with your family!

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5. How to get to lớn Hanoi Sword Lake?

There are multiple convenient và captivating transportation options available for reaching the enchanting destination of Hanoi Sword Lake:

By bus: You can take a bus lớn reach Hanoi Sword Lake. The thành phố has a well-connected bus network that can take you lớn your destination.

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By taxi: Taxis are readily available in Hanoi & offer a convenient way to lớn reach Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi. You can easily find taxi stands or hail a xe taxi on the street.By cyclo (xich lo): Another option is to take a cyclo, a traditional three-wheeled bicycle taxi commonly found in Hanoi. It can be a fun and unique way lớn travel around the city and enjoy the sights.

Though ever-changing, Hoan Kiem Lake is still a relic with great historical significance to lớn the people of Hanoi in particular & Vietnamese people in general. The lake can always give visitors interesting experiences, make you curious about the mysterious legends of the country and leave a deep impression on everyone about a long-standing cultural identity.

Finding out things to vày in Hoan Kiem Lake (also known as Ho Guom) – the heart of Hanoi. This is not only a place khổng lồ let their souls take a walk and enjoy it, but also associated with the people of the capital in many aspects of cultural history as well as going into poetry.

Situated at the heart of Vietnam’s capital, Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake stands renowned for its tranquil allure and its rich cultural & historical significance.

to vày in hoan kiem lake

A plethora of enchanting adjectives – from picturesque and splendid khổng lồ ethereal & enigmatic – are employed to lớn capture the lake’s captivating charm. Its unparalleled beauty serves as a magnetic draw, enticing not only locals but also a multitude of international visitors. This enduring appeal firmly establishes Hoan Kiem Lake as a perennial favorite among the myriad options for exploring Hanoi’s attractions.

For those considering a visit lớn Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi, Vietnam, this article offers a comprehensive exploration of its historical background and the array of activities to lớn partake in during your visit.

Hoan Kiem Lake – History & Legend

Hoan Kiem Lake, a freshwater body toàn thân situated at the heart of Hanoi, carries a legend that has been ingrained in the collective consciousness of all Vietnamese people. From a young age, they learn of the tale that centers around revered figures: a colossal turtle và a magical sword.

The story recounts a bygone era when Le Loi, the King of Vietnam, reigned. During a visit to lớn a friend, he stumbled upon a resplendent metal rod that his companion had caught while fishing. The King took possession of this extraordinary find, transforming it into a sword inscribed with the words “Thuan Thien,” signifying harmony with the heavens.

to bởi vì in hoan kiem lake

Convinced of the sword’s celestial origins, he wielded it in a triumphant battle against the occupying Ming army. Subsequently, while enjoying a leisurely boat excursion on the lake, an unexpected interruption occurred. Emerging from the water was a majestic golden turtle, beseeching him to return the sword khổng lồ the rồng King. The King, without hesitation, returned the sword khổng lồ the turtle.

To commemorate this extraordinary occurrence, he rechristened the lake from its former name “Luc Thuy,” meaning “Green water,” to “Hoan Kiem Lake,” signifying the Lake of the Returned Sword.

Beyond its historical significance, Hoan Kiem Lake possesses chất lượng characteristics not commonly found elsewhere in Vietnam. The hue of its waters varies according to the sky’s reflection, transitioning between shades of green, darkness, and light.

Notably, Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi serves as a sanctuary for tortoises. Fortunate visitors may witness these grand creatures emerging from the water to lớn bask in the sun.

Things To vày In Hoan Kiem Lake?

1/Ngoc Son Temple – khổng lồ see in Hoan Kiem Lake

Sited on the northern shores of the lake, once referred to lớn as the Elephant Ear Lake, Ngoc Tuong Island underwent a name transformation during the reign of King Ly bầu To, becoming Ngoc Son Island. During the Tran dynasty, the island’s nomenclature shifted once more, this time to lớn Ngoc Son.

Ngoc Son Temple – to vày in hoan kiem lake

Founded by the benevolent Tin Trai, Ngoc Son Temple was established atop the remnants of the old Thuy Khanh palace. This palace had been ravaged by the flames ignited by Le Chieu Thong in 1787, a vengeful act directed at the Trinh lords. Within the sanctum of Ngoc Son Temple, reverence is directed towards Van Xuong, the celestial patron of literary endeavors, và the venerated figure Tran Hung Dao.

2/Turtle Tower – to lớn see in Hoan Kiem Lake

Situated at the lake’s heart, this construction stands as a sản phẩm of the years 1884 to lớn April 1886. Perched atop Turtle Mound và influenced by French architectural elements, it takes the khung of a rectangular tower.

The initial cấp độ spans 6.28 meters in length for both its eastern & western sides, each adorned with three doors. Its width measures 4.54 meters, with two doors gracing each side. These doors are uniformly adorned with rolling mechanisms, capped by tapering summits.

Hoan Kiem Lake – Thing to do in Hoan Kiem Lake

Ascending lớn the second tier, a span of 4.8 meters in length and 3.64 meters in width mirrors the architecture found on the floor below.

The third floor spans 2.97 meters in length và 1.9 meters in width. This cấp độ exclusively features a circular door on its eastern facet, boasting a diameter of 0.68 meters. Positioned above the door, three words read “Quy Son Thap” (Nui Rua Tower).

The crowning màn chơi resembles a gazebo, presenting a square kiến thiết with dimensions of 2 meters on each side.

3/ Watching Water Puppet Show in Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre – lớn see in Hoan Kiem Lake

The one-hour spectacle unfolds within the premises of the Thang Long Water Puppet Theatre, showcasing an array of 17 succinct vignettes that feature the artistry of traditional puppetry.

The performances are orchestrated by a Vietnamese ensemble, who provide a musical backdrop to the narratives. Accompanied by the resonating notes of wooden bells, drums, bamboo flutes, cymbals, và horns, these musicians contribute to lớn the immersive storytelling experience.

Show in Thanglong water puppet theater – to bởi vì in Hoan Kiem lake

The puppetry display commences with a prelude enacted by the whimsical character Teu, a puppet characterized by its comically exaggerated hair. As you observe this captivating presentation, your curiosity will inevitably be piqued by the enigmatic mastery of the Vietnamese puppeteers, who maneuver the puppets with remarkable precision, seemingly detached from the screen.

Evidently, this theater exerts an irresistible pull on the local Vietnamese populace as well as foreign visitors, all drawn by the desire to gain deeper insight into Vietnam’s venerable & legendary traditional art form.

4/Flower Garden, Ly Thai to lớn Statue – to lớn see in hoan kiem lake

The statue of King Ly Thai lớn finds its residence within the Ly Thai to Flower Garden, nestled along Dinh Tien Hoang Street in Hoan Kiem District, at the heart of Hanoi, the capital city. This sculptural masterpiece stands as a tribute to and commemoration of King Ly bầu To, the visionary leader who laid the seminal groundwork for the establishment of the Thang Long Citadel.

Flower Garden, Ly Thai khổng lồ Statue – to vày in hoan kiem lake

The site’s significance extends beyond its historical & architectural merits. The combination of the historical narrative, the allure of the flower garden, & the presence of the Ly Thai khổng lồ monument collaboratively create an enchanting atmosphere. It has garnered a special place in the hearts of both locals và tourists, particularly during the serene hours of late afternoon.

Following explorations of the monuments within Ngoc Son Temple, visitors can saunter over to this location lớn immerse themselves in the tranquil essence of the capital city. It provides a glimpse into a markedly different facet of Hanoi, one that contrasts with the bustling & more commonplace depiction of the city’s vibrant existence.

5/Eating Trang Tien Ice Cream – to vì chưng in hoan kiem lake

Amidst the vibrant culinary offerings of Hanoi’s đô thị center, it’s neither the renowned ‘Pho’ nor the flavorful ‘Bun Cha’ (grilled pork with noodles) that springs lớn the forefront of people’s minds. Instead, it’s the allure of Trang Tien ice cream that captures their attention.

Eating Trang Tien Ice Cream – to vì in hoan kiem lake

With Hanoi making strides in relaxing social distancing measures as the grip of the Covid-19 pandemic gradually subsides, local residents have once again begun forming queues outside the Trang Tien Ice Cream Shop. This phenomenon is especially noticeable among the younger populace and families.

Their eagerness is palpable as they patiently await their turn, driven by a yearning to lớn relish the extraordinary & refreshingly delectable flavors that define one of Hanoi’s quintessential culinary delights.

6/Hoan Kiem Walking Street in the weekend – to vày in hoan kiem lake

Hoan Kiem Lake stands out notably, especially on weekends, deserving a dedicated mention. As the late afternoon settles in during this time, a transformation takes hold. Several streets encircling the lake are cordoned off, effectively barring the entry of cars, buses, and motorcycles. This alteration imbues the entire vicinity with a distinct and vibrant ambiance.

Hoan Kiem Walking Street – to vì chưng in hoan kiem lake

Local inhabitants are drawn to the lake during these weekend hours. The thoroughfares undergo a remarkable metamorphosis, turning into a lively stage for various recreational pursuits. Children engage in jovial escapades, maneuvering small toy cars, while the older ones indulge in games of ball or skip ropes.

Among the adults, the traditional Vietnamese thể thao of domain authority Cau comes lớn life—a spirited exchange where participants skillfully kick a shuttlecock-like object back & forth, ensuring it remains aloft without contacting the ground. This dynamic scene adds a new layer of vitality và community spirit lớn the shores of Hoan Kiem Lake during the cherished weekends.

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