Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

4 out of 5 stars 103 Reviews

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  • The Turtle Tower (Thap Rùa)
    The Turtle Tower (Thap Rùa)
    by akkipaa
  • The Huc Bridge
    The Huc Bridge
    by akkipaa
  • Hoan Kiem Lake
    by akkipaa
  • worldkiwi's Profile Photo

    The Loch Ness of Vietnam?

    by worldkiwi Written Jul 21, 2005

    Hoan Kiem Lake is a murky, rather toxic green looking body of water at the southern edge of Hanoi's old quarter. The lake has quite a wonderful and intriguing legend attached to it. In ancient times a King threw a great sword into the lake and it was caught and taken down to the bottom by a giant turtle (most versions of the legend say a swimming tortoise). It is supposed to be good luck if one sees a turtle and the last sighting was way back in 2000. There is a lovely little temple (Ngoc Son Temple) to explore at the north eastern corner of the lake and an information room, in the temple complex, has some good photos of that sighting as well as the restored body of a dead turtle from 1969. It's a massive beast. To get to Ngoc Son Temple, you have to cross a fetching red wooden bridge, dating back to the 19th century.

    A mural on the gate to Ngoc Son.
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    Hoan Kiem Lake

    by jujub Updated Aug 3, 2004

    Hoan Kiem means "the lake of the restored sword," in referral to a legend in which a nobleman who fought against the Chinese, received his sword from a magic turtle living in the lake. One day, the emperor was cruising in the lake, and the magic turtle appeared and demanded the return of the sword. The emperor then, built the Tortoise tower on an island in the lake, in memory of this event.

    Hoan Kiem Lake

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    Ngoc Son Temple

    by sunnywong Written Feb 25, 2003

    The temple was built on an island at Hoan Kiem Lake in the 19th century. A great Hanoi writer, Nguyen Van Sieu had a large pen-shaped tower built at the entrance of the temple. On the upper section of the tower, also called Thap But, are three Chinese characters Ta Thanh Thien, which literally means "to write on the blue sky is to imply the height of a genuine and righteous person's determination and will"; Dai Nghien, meaning "ink stand", is carved from stone resembling a peach placed on the back of the three frogs on top of the gate to the temple; and The Huc, meaning "where rays of morning sunshine touch".

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    The Huc Bridge at Night

    by munapong Updated Jun 25, 2006

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    Many people visit The Huc Bridge in day time. At night, it is also as beautiful. On Sunday night, the Bridge has special lightings - worth a visit in day and night time.

    Huc Bridge at Night Emperor Ly Statue
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    a relaxing wander around

    by Tattugran Written Jun 23, 2009

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    This lake is in the centre of the city and it attracts many people every day. There is a coffee shop where you can sit on the edge of the lake and watch the world go by.

    Ho An Kiem Lake
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    Pagoda in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake

    by Starsa Updated Mar 24, 2007

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    You get to the Ben Ngo Son Pagoda by crossing a red bridge. It isn't too big, but had a couple rooms for prayer and another that told the tale of a giant turtle that lived in the lake.

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  • KhanhLy's Profile Photo

    Ngoc Son Temple

    by KhanhLy Written Oct 11, 2005

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    On Hoan Kiem Lake is Ngoc Son Temple. Pay your entrance fee and cross over the red bridge to see the temple.

    Ngoc Son Temple early morning at Ngoc Son Temple entrance Ngoc Son Temple at night 2nd entrance to Ngoc Son Temple

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  • Ah_jack's Profile Photo

    Hoan kiem lake

    by Ah_jack Written May 23, 2008

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    Visit this famous lake. nice places to take photo and have a nice chill out at the restaurants nearby.

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    Hanoi By Night

    by kphstar Written Jul 13, 2005

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    Take a stroll around the Lake at night and you understand the charm and the romance the city has to offer.

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  • kenningst's Profile Photo

    Hoan Kiem Lake

    by kenningst Updated Apr 13, 2008

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Its hard to miss Hoan Kiem Lake as it is situated in the middle of everything. You will for sure pass by this lake for more than once.

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  • Nice red bridge near Lake Hoan Kiem

    by oerkenbo Written Dec 15, 2007

    2 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    This bridge reminds me of the one in Nikko, Japan -- similarly graceful and beautiful. The bridge can be seen from many different vistas around the lake.

    Bridge over Lake Hoan Kiem

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  • deeper_blue's Profile Photo

    Chill out at the lake

    by deeper_blue Written Jan 26, 2012

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    Hoan Kiem Lake is a nice relaxing place to unwind in Hanoi, beautiful bridges and peaceful settings.

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  • chrisvandenbroucke's Profile Photo

    Hoan Kiem Lake

    by chrisvandenbroucke Updated Nov 26, 2004

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    The pillars of the entrance to the Tortoise Pagoda in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake.

    It's nice but certainly is overrated in all the travel guides

    Hoan Kiem Lake
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