If you have chance to visit Hanoi, do not forget to visit Hoan Kiem Lake. The lake is considered the center of Hanoi, not only physically but also symbolically. In fact, the more you spend time learning about the lake, the more special it becomes.
Hoan Kiem Lake (also known as Sword Lake) is a freshwater lake located between Hanoi. Hoan Kiem Lake has an area of about 12ha, length is 700m North-South, East-West width is 200m. Surrounding the lake are Le Thai To Street, Dinh Tien Hoang Street, Trang Tien Street, Hang Khay Street…The name given to a district of Hanoi: Hoan Kiem District.
About 6 centuries ago, Hoan Kiem Lake twofold running from Hang Dao Street, across the street, Hai Ba Trung, Ly Thuong Kiet to Hang bananas, with the Red River. Blue water lake all year round to Hoan Kiem Lake also called Luc Thuy lake. Legend has it that in the fifteenth century, the lake was renamed the lake Hoan Kiem, associated with the god sword legend returns to Golden Turtle: When Le Loi declared himself King took the reign of Le Thai capital in Thang Long. In one king boat ride on the lake Luc Thuy, suddenly appeared a large tortoise. Le Thai To stretch out the sword flying towards the tortoise. Turtle sucking sword dive to the bottom, and since then Luc Thuy Lake has a new name: Hoan Kiem lake (pay sword) and Sword Lake.
If you can wake up early in the morning, at about 5 a.m., you will see many of oldies and teenagers doing exercises: from running around lake, yoga to tai-chi to aerobics … It looks as if the whole city was up and running for morning exercise. Here you can see a matrix of motorbikes twisting along the lake. Blending in is a group of “cyclo” – the famous three-wheeled carriers that take tourists with cameras handy around. Besides, an influx of colourful clothes and shoes will dazzle you, together with the smell of trees and coffees. If you have time and really want to observe Hanoi’s life, sit down on one of the stone bench, enjoy the view and have a good talk with some local friends over an ice-cream cone….
How to get there
Hoan Kiem Lake is centrally located and minutes walking from Hanoi’s Old Quarter, where most hotels gather. From Noi Bai Airport, it takes about 40 minutes to get here.