With one of the prettiest settings of Vietnamese temples, Ngoc Son garners its fair share of both local worshippers and tourists but somehow retains a nice quiet atmosphere and with its shady island location, it is a great place to escape the heat of the midday sun. We were lucky to have got out here on our only truly nice weather day in Hanoi. The red bridge’s name translates as Rising Sun and early morning is the time to get the best photos of reflected images of both structures.
If you stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake you will find Ngoc Son Temple. It is located on a small island on the north end of the lake. The temple is dedicated in honorary to the brilliant scholar in literature Van Suong and National hero Tran Huong Dao who defeated the Mongols on the battle of Bach Dang River in the 13th century (1279).
In the temple you will find a preserved turtle corpse (see photo). Hoan Kiem Lake is home for fresh water giant turtle that can live for long time. Some of the local believe the turtle corpse is the actual turtle that appear in the mythology. Inside the temple you can admire the view of the lake and you will be surprise how quite it is from the hustle and bustle of the outside.
The admission:10,000 dong.
Open: 8am –6pm
I decided to visit the Ngoc Son (Jade Mountain) temple, which is on a small island on Lake Huan Kiem. The temple is relatively small, but yet interesting. It's dedicated to the scholar called Van Xuong, General Trang Hung Dao, who defeated the Mongols in the 13th century, and La To, patron saint of physicians. It was a most relaxing place and I stayed there for quite a long time and enjoyed the tranquillity, the lake view and the exotic plants in the garden.
Ngoc Son Temple is the spot where you can see the tortoise found in Hoan Kiem Lake in 1968 - the one that is said to be the one from the legend. Located on a small island at Hoan Kiem's upper end, the temple is a good place to relax and cool down in the soft breeze over the lake. The temple is dedicated to Van Xuong (a wise man), Tran Hung Dao (a famous general from the 13th century) and La To (the patron of doctors) and was built in the 18th century. In order to reach Ngoc Son Temple you have to cross a red wooden bridge which is one of the places where every tourist takes a picture - but it's worth it.
Entrance fee: 3000 VND.
Cross over the red foot bridge on Hoan Kiem Lake and you will find the entrance to the Ngoc Son Temple which stands on an island in the middle of the lake. Remember to buy your ticket for a small fee (3000 dong approx.) at the start of the bridge. The temple is named after a golden turtle which you can see a statue of once inside. In the 15th century, the mystical turtle was said to have returned a magic sword to it's home in the lake, after it had been stolen.
The temple is open daily from 8am-5pm.
Nice small temple situated at the corner of the Hoan Kiem lake in middle of Hanoi. Cross the bridge to reach the temple. The temple is very pretty from a far but is nothing special inside. Still worth a look and a handy source of shade from the sun!
An oasis of calm in the hurly burly of the road around Hoan Kiem Lake. Ngoc Son Temple means Jade mountain and is built on an island at the northern end of Hoan Kiem Lake. It is accessed across the Flood of Morning Sunlight Bridge. One of the displays in the temple is a 6ft long stuffed turtle supposedly caught in the lake. Rumour has it that some ofthese turtles (descendants of the great golden tortoise) still live in the lake and indeed some have been spotted. But so infrequently there is some doubt as to whether they live there or one is sometimes released into the lake.
This temple is on a small island on Hoan Kiem Lake. It's very picturesque but moreso when there aren't any group tours going through.... I was there at sunset and there was hardly anyone about.
If Tan Quoc Temple is on the West lake, Ngoc Son temple is on Hoan Kiam lake. You will reach the temple via the infamous red bridge. Entrance fees is 2000 dongs.