Hoan Kiem Lake be known as the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is a go – to place for this city that any visitors to Vietnam should not miss. Hoan Kiem Lake means Lake of Returned Sword or Lake of Restored Sword with a legend along from the magnanimous history
The Lake is special for not only its history but also the watercolor and animal diversity, particularly for the tortoise. There is a variety of activities that you can enjoy at Hoan Kiem Lake from early morning to very late night. Whether you are alone or being with more than two, you still find many interesting and attractive things to do here. The more you spend your time at Hoan Kiem Lake, the more you discover the delightful hidden beauty of this place.
In the days of old, when the name of Vietnam even has not officially formed and other countries continuously attack to invade. One day, Le Loi King (one of the most talented and well – Known King in the history of Vietnam) visited a friend who lived by fish catching day by day. Le Loi accidentally saw a metal bar at the corner of his friend’s house, which was found in one of his friend attempts for fish. The King asked for this bar, brought it home and made it clearer. It turned out a sword with two words printed on as “Thuan Thien” which means “harmonious with heaven”. Le Loi King realized that this was a present from heaven sending down to help him bring peace back to his country. Therefore he used it to battle against enemies for many years, pull the country’s peace back. In 1428, after reigning peace, Le Loi took a short boat trip on Thuy Quan, there was a tortoise suddenly rising above the water and asked Le Loi turned the sword back to Dragon King. Le Loi restored the sword back right of the bat without hesitation. The tortoise took the sword and dived under water immediately. Hoan Kiem Lake’s name was born since this legend and has become a relic lake for Vietnamese thanks to its magnanimous legendary history.
About the Lake
The water of Hoan Kiem Lake is so special that it has been green almost the year which is quite out of ordinary in Vietnam. The Lake also is “home” for many tortoises in which there were hundred years - old tortoises live there but the oldest one has passed away. When you come to Hoan Kiem Lake, your first impression will definitely be a small tower standing right in the center of the lake. That is Turtle tower, which was built in the middle of 1884 and completed in 1886 with French architectural features. This tower has become a symbol of Hoan Kiem Lake and made people never forget about it. On the north of the lake, Ngoc Son temple majestic stays above the water and connects with lake shore by The Huc Bridge. Ngoc Son temple worships a distinguished general and King along with a master of the literature of Vietnam. The Huc means the place where the sun shines in the morning. The Huc Bridge has always attracted both Vietnamese and foreigners to visit every day. Around the lake, there are many types of flowers for decoration and attraction. On special occasions, Hoan Kiem Lake has been decorated with so many beautiful plants that totally attract you from the first seen. Moving a bit further is Le Thai To statue, Ba Kieu Temple, the Old Quarter, etc. with a great deal of amazing things awaiting you.
Activities at Hoan Kiem Lake
Hoan Kiem Lake is peaceful and fresh in the morning. You should try waking up early in the morning at 5 A.M, walking around the lake to enjoy the blissfully peaceful, watching the older doing yoga or tai chi, the younger doing jogging or aerobics, looking street traders hustling prepare for their first trade, etc. or you just need to bring an iPod, take a seat on a stone chair and enjoy yourself with your melody and very fresh atmosphere of Hoan Kiem Lake. From 7:00 AM, the Lake becomes more bustle and hustle with hundred means of transportation moving around, you should take a cyclo to go around and discover Hanoi in a deeper way. When the darkness falls, Hoan Kiem Lake seems to become more sparkling with lights setting around the lake. This is time for people going around the lake, chatting with friends, family of hand on hand with their lovers. Hoan Kiem Lake is totally a good choice for releasing stressful after a long day at work. From Friday to Sunday, streets and roads around Hoan Kiem Lake become walking streets. Vehicles are not allowed in this area all day long so you can easily wander around with no doubt of traffic jam, rush hours or dangerous cases when you are crossing streets. Whether you are an early riser or a night owl, Hoan Kiem Lake still is a perfect choice for you to enjoy the life.
Hoan Kiem Lake is physically and symbolically center of Hanoi where cultural, historical and human being value has shown clearly. You will definitely miss this place even though you just stay in Hanoi for few days. Just come, see and feel a typical of Hanoi by taking hanoi tours