Hoan Kiem Lake

Overview of Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is a fresh water lake also known as sword lake or lake of the returned sword. This is the best place to get away from the noise and crowds of the city. It is a very peaceful place with a small island in the mid of the lake. This is a historical place that dates back to the 14th century. It is said that a magical sword from a dragon was given to the Emperor Le Loi to fight against Chinese oppressors.

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Emperor Le Loi visited the lake on a huge boat after winning the battle against Chinese invaders. A golden turtle emerged from the lake water who told the emperor that he was sent by his master dragon to bring back the sword. Turtle took the sword from emperor Le Loi and disappeared in the water. Emperor named it Hoan Kiem Lake or “Lake of the returned sword”. It is an extremely beautiful and serene area to enjoy relaxing time.


Things to do at Hoan Kiem Lake

There are many things to do around the lake.

 Walk around the lake

Environment of the lake appears to be different, every time of the day. Early in the morning, many people gather around the lake to catch fresh air, walk, jog or exercise. Some people do tai chi or use exercise machines around the lake. From the afternoon until evening, people visit the lake to escape from the city noise and relax. The temples, red bridge and turtle tower areas are beautifully lit in the evening. Many locals and tourists visit the area from morning until evening to walk, run and relax.


Huc Bridge & Ngoc Son temple

Iconic bridge and temple are the most popular and prominent areas of the lake surroundings. The bridge has a bright red color. Jade island is located in the center of the lake and it is the place where the temple is located. It was built in the memory of 13th century military leader Trang Hung Dao. There are many artefacts and altars in the temple complex.

ngoc son temple

This lake is known for a type of turtle that lived in the lake. It was a huge soft shell turtle named Yangtze softshell turtle. It is said that this is the reincarnation of the mythical turtle that appeared to take the sword. The turtle passed away in 2016 and people of Vietnam mourned its death. Preserved turtle is placed in the temple complex.

Turtle Tower or Thap Rua

Thap Rua is located in the mid of the lake. This is a very beautiful tower that was constructed in the honor of the magical turtle that guards the sword in the lake. It is said that, after returning the sword to the dragon master, turtles revered to the lake.


Water puppet show

You can watch the Vietnamese traditional water puppet show in Thang Long theatre. Different artists participate in the puppet show with a small orchestra containing traditional Vietnamese instruments. They hold puppets and stand in the water to show the culture, history and everyday life of Vietnam through the performance.


Accommodation budget moderate and expensive

Little Hanoi hotel

It is a casual hostel that is perfect for solo and budget travelers. There is a bar and restaurant in the building and many eating places near it. Rooms have mini fridges, Wi-Fi, private bathrooms and safes.


Royal holiday Hanoi hotel

It is a moderate budget accommodation with parking, free Wi-Fi, restaurant and many other facilities. There are non-smoking rooms, bicycle hire and full service laundry.


Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi

High end hotel is located in a neo classic building with trees and shops near it. This is the best place for luxury seekers. Every room has Tea and coffee making facilities, flat screen TV, hard wood floor and modern interior.


Places to eat

Le Terrasse Du Metropole

It is a luxury fine dining restaurant located in one of the finest hotels in Vietnam. It serves many Vietnamese and international cuisines such as French cheese, Oysters, steaks and many other delicious items.

Sen 60 Ly Thai

It is budget friendly sophisticated eatery in Hanoi. This is a buffet restaurant that impresses everyone even those people who are not a fond of buffet dinner. This is a neoclassical architecture located in the French quarter.

Xuan Xuan

It is the best place to have traditional Vietnamese Bar B Que cuisines. There is a variety of meats in different styles that are served with sauces and vegetables.

Airport info

All domestic and international airlines are operated from Noi Bai international airport in Hanoi.



You can take a taxi or cab from the airport to Hoan kiem Lake. Hanoi has different types of transportation such as buses, private cars and many more. You can access tourist destination from different parts of the city very conveniently.

Hoan Kiem Lake is a very interesting and stunning tourist attraction with a unique history. It is the best place to visit with family and spend very relaxing, fun time.

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