"Hoan Kiem Lake" Hoan Kiem Lake Tip by Blatherwick

Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi: 104 reviews and 228 photos

  Hoan Kiem Lake
by Blatherwick

Hoan Kiem Lake is the heart of Hanoi. The lake is always busy with people sitting around, walking, exercising, or selling crap to tourists.

On the south side of the lake is a three-tiered pavilion on a tiny island in the lake. This is known as Tortoise Tower. Legend has it that a giant golden tortoise reclaimed a magical sword lent to King Le Loi by the king of sea. According to the legend the sword is still in the lake is a reminder of their history in repelling foreign invaders. Giant tortoises have occasionally been spotted in the lake and they say that it is good luck to spot one.

The north side of the lake has and island where you cross an arched red Hun Bridge to get to Den Ngoc Son (Temple of the Jade Mound). There is a $1 toll to get there.

Directions: South of the Old Quarter

Review Helpfulness: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Written Oct 10, 2004
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