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Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

Hoan Kiem Lake - Hanoi, Vietnam
Hoan Kiem Lake
Pho Le Thai To, Hanoi, VietnamMap
+84 4 942 1061
Neighborhood: Hoan Kiem
Overview

This small lake between the Old Quarter and the French Quarter is central to Hanoian folklore. A ghostly shrine (the Turtle Pagoda) standing on an islet at its center pays homage to a golden turtle. In the 15th century, this heroic reptile is said to have returned a magic sword to its home in the lake after it had been taken. These days, the sculptured park along the banks plays host to postcard sellers, hawkers, old men playing chess, freelance money changers, lone photographers looking for a lucrative snap and, at about 5am every day, locals practicing tai chi.

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By Titaza | Posted 09/25/11
  The epicentre of old Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water. Legend has it that, in the mid-15th century, Heaven sent Emperor Le Thai To (formerly Le Loi) a magical sword, which he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam. Early morning sees Hoan Kiem Lake at its best, stirring to life as walkers, joggers and tai chi enthusiasts limber up in the half-light. Space is at a premium in this crowded city, and the lake’s strip of park meets multiple needs, at its busiest when lunch-hour hawkers are out in force, and easing down slowly to evenings of old men playing chess and couples seeking twilight privacy on benches half-hidden among the willows. The lake itself is small – you can walk round it in thirty minutes – and not particularly spectacular, but to Hanoians this is the soul of their city. Resource: http://www.hanoitravelshow.com/...   Read More
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By Titaza | Posted 09/25/11
  The epicentre of old Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water. Legend has it that, in the mid-15th century, Heaven sent Emperor Le Thai To (formerly Le Loi) a magical sword, which he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam. Early morning sees Hoan Kiem Lake at its best, stirring to life as walkers, joggers and tai chi enthusiasts limber up in the half-light. Space is at a premium in this crowded city, and the lake’s strip of park meets multiple needs, at its busiest when lunch-hour hawkers are out in force, and easing down slowly to evenings of old men playing chess and couples seeking twilight privacy on benches half-hidden among the willows. The lake itself is small – you can walk round it in thirty minutes – and not particularly spectacular, but to Hanoians this is the soul of their city. Resource: http://www.hanoitravelshow.com/...   Read More
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No | Report abuse
By Titaza | Posted 09/25/11
  The epicentre of old Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water. Legend has it that, in the mid-15th century, Heaven sent Emperor Le Thai To (formerly Le Loi) a magical sword, which he used to drive the Chinese out of Vietnam. Early morning sees Hoan Kiem Lake at its best, stirring to life as walkers, joggers and tai chi enthusiasts limber up in the half-light. Space is at a premium in this crowded city, and the lake’s strip of park meets multiple needs, at its busiest when lunch-hour hawkers are out in force, and easing down slowly to evenings of old men playing chess and couples seeking twilight privacy on benches half-hidden among the willows. The lake itself is small – you can walk round it in thirty minutes – and not particularly spectacular, but to Hanoians this is the soul of their city. Resource: http://www.hanoitravelshow.com/...   Read More
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No | Report abuse

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Hoan Kiem Lake General Information
  • Open Hours: Monday to Sunday from 12:00 AM to 12:00 AM
  • Type: Attractions & Landmarks, Beaches/Bodies of Water
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