All Things You Need To Know About Hoan Kiem Lake

By | April 7, 2022

Hoan Kiem Lake is the center of the Hanoi capital, so you cannot miss visiting Hoan Kiem Lake (also known as Sword Lake). The following article will provide you with complete information about Hoan Kiem Lake.

1. History & Name of Hoan Kiem Lake

Legend has it that in the 15th century, the lake was renamed from Luc Thuy Lake to Hoan Kiem Lake, associated with returning the magic sword to the Golden Turtle Kim Qui. The story tells that when Le Loi ascended the throne, the emperor took the reign of Le Thai To and established the capital in Thang Long.

Once, the king was sailing on Luc Thuy lake, suddenly a giant turtle appeared. Le Thai To raised his sword, and the sword flew towards the turtle. The turtle took a sword and dived to the bottom of the lake, and since then, Luc Thuy lake has been called Hoan Kiem lake (returning the blade) or Sword lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake

2. How To Go To Hoan Kiem Lake?

If you stay in the hotel area in the old town, you can easily walk to Hoan Kiem Lake on your own. Or use vehicles such as motorbike taxis, bicycles rented at the hotel. You can ask for a map of the hotel or ask for directions to the lake.

3. What To Do at Hoan Kiem Lake

Around Hoan Kiem Lake, there are many attractions that you should also visit when coming here. Hanoi trip will introduce the highlights of other points. If you have time, you can go more. The magnets are in order of priority from the first to the following:

Ngoc Son Temple

Ngoc Son Temple is located on an island to the north of Hoan Kiem Lake, connected to the shore by The Huc bridge, painted in red. Here you will have a panoramic view of Sword Lake, take souvenir photos and learn about the temple’s culture, as well as historical stories associated with the temple.

Especially the architecture of the temple is unique. The main temple consists of two connected temples, the first temple to the north is dedicated to King Tran Hung Dao and Duc Van Xuong De Quan.

The statue is placed in the harem on a stone pedestal about 1m high, with two stone stairs on both sides. Statue of Duc Van Xuong standing, holding a pen in his hand. There is Tran Ba ​​communal house (the breakwater). The square communal house has eight roofs; the two-story roof has eight supporting columns, four outer columns are made of stone, four inside are made of wood.

The characters worshiped in the temple, besides Tran Hung Dao, Van Xuong De Quan, La Dong Tan, Quan Van Truong, also worship Amitabha Buddha. This represents the Vietnamese concept of the Three Religions.

The Huc Bridge

The name The Huc bridge means retaining the beautiful light of the sun. The Huc Bridge leads to the gate of Ngoc Son temple, also known as Dac Nguyet Lau (floor with the moon) under the shadow of an ancient banyan tree, in the middle of a luxuriant area of ​​trees, looking like it was emerging from the water. The bridge was built by the famous artist Nguyen Van Sieu in 1865.

The bridge’s name means “the place where the morning sun shines.” The Huc Bridge is made of very rudimentary wood and painted red. Legend has it that when the bridge was broken at the end of the 19th century, people rebuilt the new bridge with reinforced cement legs, wooden floors, and railings. The bridge has a curved design and bends like a shrimp.

Ly Thai To Flower Garden & Monument

The statue of King Ly Thai To is located at Ly Thai To flower garden, Dinh Tien Hoang street, Hoan Kiem district, the center of Hanoi capital. The monument is a beautiful cultural and architectural work to honor King Ly Thai To (974 – 1028), who openly founded Thang Long citadel.

This is a public entertainment place of Hanoi people, located next to Hoan Kiem Lake. This is also where rallies and big stages of many significant domestic and foreign events occur. And on weekends you can come here to join dance or roller skating classes.

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater

Thang Long Water Puppet Theater is quite famous; this is a puppet theater located in the central area, convenient for travel, serving the needs of domestic and foreign tourists to visit and learn about Poison Water Puppetry. Unique in Vietnam and the World.

Daily: 15h00 – 16h10 – 17h20 – 18h30 – 20h00
Sunday morning 9.30
In addition, Thang Long Puppet Theater serves performances on request.
Ticket price: From 60,000 – 100,000 VND/ticket

4. What to Eat Near Hoan Kiem Lake

Around Hoan Kiem Lake, there are many delicious restaurants. Most will be entertainment, coffee shop, and Pho restaurant.

Ham Ca Map Building: You will not ignore the Ham Ca Map building at the beginning of Hang Dao and Cau Go streets. This is a building with a beautiful view of Sword Lake. There are many stylish restaurants and cafes on it; the prices are high because they serve tourists.

Old Quarter Cafe 11 Hang Gai: go deep into the alley climb the winding stairs; you will come to the high seating positions to see Hoan Kiem Lake. The shop is quite old and has a unique egg coffee dish. The shop does not have a place to park motorbikes, so you must park your car at the lakeside near Ngoc Son temple.

Thuy Ta Ice Cream: both a restaurant and two ice cream parlors outside serving tourists to eat ice cream when coming to Hoan Kiem Lake; this is also one of the exciting dishes when visiting Hoan Kiem Lake. This is the second most famous ice cream brand after Trang Tien.

Read More: Top 8 Hotels in Hanoi

Category: Ha Noi


Currently, I'm the founder and responsible for the content on Explore One Vietnam travel website. After many trips, I have accumulated a lot of experience in traveling to Vietnam, so I want to share these things with international tourists.

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