Hoan Kiem Lake is the first thing come to people' mind when mention Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake is regarded as the heart of Hanoi, and this lake has been through the long history with people here. Although Hanoi is a bustling, noisy city, Hoan Kiem lake is still a place people go to in order to find out the peace in their mind.
Hoan Kiem lake map
Public place and free
*Ticket price for Ngoc Son Temple is 15.000 VND
You can come to Hoan Kiem Lake by bus, taxi, motorbike or bike.
For bus: take bus line 09, 14, 36 and stop at Hoan Kiem Lake Bus Stop
For motorbike/bike: as a walking site, you are recommended to park your vehicles at the parking line, which is parallel to Cau Go Street.
Parking fee: 10.000 VND
Historically, the lake is part of Hồng River, the main river as water supply source of the capital. Through the change in architecture and layout of the capital, the water line is separated, and the lake is formed in two divided lakes, Tả Vọng and Hữu Vọng lake. In the French invasion, Hữu Vọng lake is blocked, while the other lake remained.
It is not until the 15th century when Tả Vọng lake has the updated name, as Hồ Hoàn Kiếm (Returned Sword Lake) or more common name Hồ Gươm (Sword Lake), with the legend after the victory over the Ming Dynasty intruders.
A view of Hoan Kiem lake in the past
Hoan Kiem lake is an old complex, consists of 5 different architecture
Hoan Kiem lake nowadays
Keep walking around the lake, the first thing you will see is Turtle tower.
It was said that, in the French Colonists time, there was a small replica of Liberty Statue brought from France. However, it was taken away
Another thing that you can easily find is The Huc Bridge.
The Huc Bridge
Vietnamese primary students usually describe The Huc in an adorable way which compares it with a shrimp.
Going passing by the The Huc Bridge, you will see Ngoc Son Temple
Outside of Ngoc Son Temple
The present architecture reflects the Chinese style favored by the Nguyen dynasty at the time. The design of lake, surrounded by the green water, directs the energy towards the pagoda.
Located at the heart of the city, Hoàn Kiếm Lake has been part of daily life of the people who lives around the lake and also the Hanoian around the city for decades. Therefore, the lake is always crowded with many people, and never seemed to get bore for the chains of activities happened all days.
In the early morning, many people, mostly the old, come to the lake and practice Tai Chi. The youths come here to run around the lake as a morning exercise.
Morning exercise by the lake
In the afternoon, young students come to Hoàn Kiếm Lake to hangout and relax, sometimes to make friends with international tourists and introduce with them about Hanoi.
People hanging out with friend in the afternoon
At the night, the old often gather at the lake to do some late-night exercise, whereas the young couple often come here to have some date
In the weekends, the road around the lake is blocked from traffic and become walking street for pedestrians. Many traditional games and live music are performed, promise to be an interesting site for visitors.
Hanoi Walking Street
As a benefit of location in the center of Hanoi, visitors are provided of a variety of choice for the next destinations.
Hoa Lo Prison
Address: 1 Hoa Lo Street
Old City Gate Hanoi (O Quan Chuong)
A view of West Lake