Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple - Hanoi's Most Popular Areas

Hoan Kiem Lake (Vietnamese: Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, Hán tự: 湖還劍, meaning "Lake of the Returned Sword" or "Lake of the Restored Sword"), also known as Hồ Gươm (Sword Lake), is a fresh water lake, measuring some 12 ha in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam.

  Thursday, 6/02/2020, 00:19
In the past, the lake was variously named "Luc Thuy Lake" (Vietnamese: Hồ Lục Thủy, meaning "Green Water Lake" - aptly named for the water's color) or "Thuy Quan Lake" (Vietnamese: Hồ Thủy Quân, meaning "Mariner's Lake"). The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.



According to the legend, after defeated the Ming China.In early 1428, Emperor Lê Lợi was boating on the lake when a Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui) surfaced and asked for his magic sword, Heaven's Will. Lợi concluded that Kim Qui had come to reclaim the sword that its master, a local God, the Dragon King (Long Vương) had given Lợi some time earlier to defeat Ming China. Later, the Emperor gave the sword back to the turtle after he finished fighting off the Chinese. Emperor Lợi renamed the lake to commemorate this event, from its former name Luc Thuy meaning "Green Water". The Turtle Tower (Tháp Rùa) standing on a small island near the centre of lake is linked to the legend. The first name of Hoàn Kiếm lake is Tả Vọng, when the King hadn't given the Magical Sword back to the Golden Turtle God (Cụ Rùa).



Large soft-shell turtles, either of the species Rafetus swinhoei or a separate species named Rafetus leloi in honor of the emperor, had been sighted in the lake for many years. The last known individual was found dead on January 19, 2016. There are three remaining turtles of the species R. swinhoei.

Near the northern shore of the lake lies Jade Island on which the Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple) stands. The temple was erected in the 18th century. It honors the 13th-century military leader Tran Hung Dao who distinguished himself in defeating the Mongol invasions of Vietnam thrice; the classic scholar Van Xuong; and Nguyen Van Sieu, a famous writer and official who undertook repairs of temple in 1864. Jade Island is connected to the shore by the wooden Thê Húc Bridge, painted vermillion red. The bridge's name is poetically translated as "Perch of the Morning Sunlight".





Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island.

The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty.

Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.



Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi attracts tourists and locals looking to get away from the noise and frenetic pace of the city. Peaceful and quiet, the lake surrounds Ngoc Son Temple, a pagoda sitting in the centre on a small island.

The temple attracts many visitors and was built in commemoration of the 13th century military leader Tran Hung Dao who was renowned for his bravery in the battle against the Yuan Dynasty.

Homage is also paid to scholar Van Xuong and Confucian master Nguyen Van Sieu. The island on which the temple is built is known as Jade Island and is accessible by the iconic Huc Bridge or Rising Sun Bridge which is a charming scarlet-painted wooden bridge of classical Vietnamese design. The pagoda is also guarded by two towering posts decorated with Chinese writing. The lake and temple are probably the most famous places in Hanoi city in which to rest and enjoy the view and are a great place to sit back and watch the locals.

The Huc Bridge is a beautiful construction built to connect the Ngoc Son Temple located in the heart of Hoan Kiem Lake and the lake bank.

Being an indispensable part of Ngoc Son Temple, a splendid symbol of the Buddhist architecture and a famous tourist destination in Hanoi, The Huc Bridge is well-known as “the bridge where light is absorbed”. Constructed mostly by fine wood and painted with the bright red color, The Huc Bridge is has an elegant beauty and sophisticated architectural features.

Standing from this bridge, you can see spacious and beautiful views of the Hoan Kiem lake, Ngoc Son Temple and the Tortoise Island. Located in the midst of Hoan Kiem Lake, the Tortoise Island is a small construction where there is a unique tortoise living in. For years, this tortoise has been living in the Tortoise Island as the only host of this small island. Unfortunately, this individual is deceased and its body is used by a taxidermist to be respectfully presented in the Ngoc Son Temple as a symbol of this famous Lake.

Nowadays, visitors can easily see this tortoise when visiting the Temple. Locally well-known as sacred destination for the Buddhists, Ngoc Son Temple is always filled with the atmosphere that full of smoke from traditionally lit incense throughout all of time. Therefore, Ngoc Son Temple and the surrounding area always have the atmosphere of a holy place.
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