Hoan Kiem Lake: The heart of Hanoi, Vietnam

Last update at 09/13/2011 23:11. By Hanoi Local Guide.

Hoan Kiem Lake: The heart of Hanoi, Vietnam
By Hanoi Local Guide

Hoan Kiem lake means “lake of the returned sword”. The story behind the name is a legend. In 1418, the Vietnamese emperor Le Loi fought a war against the Chinese. It wasn’t going too well for him so when he walked by the lake one day, he saw a giant tutrtle coming out of the water with a magic sword in its mouth. He took the sword and eventually defeated the Chinese army with it. When he was having his victory parade at the shores of Hoan Kiem, the turtle appeared again and demanded the sword back. Before he could do anything, the sword flew away from his hands to the tortoise’s mouth. It disappeared in the water. The emperor had a temple built which can still be seen today.

The lake is one of the major scenic spots in Hanoi, Vietnam and serves as a focal point for its public life as it’s located right in the middle of the Old Quarter. It is a large lake surrounded by urban landscape, roads, businesses and walkways.

This lake is a central gathering place in the center of the city. People come here to socialize, to talk, to do business, and to relax.. As early as pre dawn on any given day hundreds of people are exercising and have already started they’re days here, you will see locals of all ages jogging and practicing tai chi. Later in the day, you will find grandparents wheeling kiddies in strollers, and young couples strolling around holding hands.

Styles: Romantic, Photography, Lake

View more other reviews of Hoan Kiem Lake (7 reviews)

Lake of the Restored Sword

Ho Hoan Kiem (or Lake of the Restored Sword) was once part of the Red river (song Hong). Throughout thousands of...

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Hanoi is a city of lakes, brought about over the centuries by the Red River's myriad floods, expansions, and...

Ngoc Son Temple

Located in the centre of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake (‘Lake of the Returned Sword) is regarded as the heart of the...

Ho Hoan Kiem (Ho Guom)

Ho Hoan Kiem or Lake of the Returned Sword was once a part of the Red river (song Hong). Through thousands of years...

Useful locator for navigating the city

I flew from Sai Gon to Hanoi to visit this attractive place in Vietnam - Hoan Kiem Lake. Hoan Kiem is a useful...

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

If you do happen to walk around the Hoan Kiem Lake in the centre of Hanoi, you'll see a very small island with a...

Photos of Hoan Kiem Lake
Location Hanoi
Basin countries Vietnam

Top Hotels