Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

Last update at 11/11/2012 11:11. By Hanoi Local Guide.

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake
By Hanoi Local Guide

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 temple on it. It seems you can't actually visit this seemingly abandoned temple on a tiny island space in the middle of the lake. This is Turtle Tower

Turtle Tower (Vietnamese: Tháp Rùa), also called Tortoise Tower is a small tower in the middle of Sword Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam.


This delightful tower stands on its own little island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. It was erected in 1886 on Turtle islet, the former fishing site under King Le Thanh Tong. Before it was built, the Restored Le Dynasty (17th and 18th centuries), known as the Trinh Lords, had Ta Vong Temple built on the islet, but this left no trace into the Nguyen Dynasty.

Anyway, Turtle Tower was built in the 19th century as a reminder of the mystical happenings. The tower has 3 floors, and its ground floor was originally built in the 18th century. The other floors were built in 1884. This is seen as a place in which the turtles live, born eggs, sun exposure...

The name “ TurtleTower” attracts many visitors.  They wonder that  there are real tortoises in the lake? The surprising answer is yes - and some are huge ones, like the one which was retrieved in 1968 that weighed 250 kilos and was 2.1 meters long. How they got there or whether they are indeed descendants of Le Thai To's golden tortoise remains a mystery.

Hoan Kiem Lake is in habitat by rare giant fresh water Tortoises, presumably the largest fresh water tortoise in the world. Every now and then the giant turtle do come up out of the murky water.

It is a pretty place to escape (some) of the noise that is Hanoi. People come there early in the morning to excersise...I prefer to sit, drink coffee, and watch. Too much excercise can't be good for you...at least not in all that smog!

Styles: Historical, Romantic, Adventure, Pagoda

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Location Hanoi
Basin countries Vietnam

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