Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is known as the heart of Hanoi, the most beautiful sight of capital as well.

Hoan Kiem Lake or Sword Lake (Hồ Gươm) has accompanied with the taking shape and historical development of Vietnam as well as associated with the spiritual Vietnamese’s life. From above looking down on the lake like a huge mirror with green water.

 

Hoan-Kiem-Lake-at-night

 

In the past, Hoan Kiem Lake used to called Luc Thuy Lake (Green Water Lake) because the water is green all the year around. Then, the name Hoan Kiem Lake was born from 15th century with the legend “The Golden Turtle claim sword”. The Legend mentioned that during the war against the Minh aggressors (1417–1427), King Le Thai To was given a precious fairy Sword by the Golden Turtle God. After 10 years of continuous struggling, the King finally defeated the Chinese and reclaimed the nation’s independence. After that, on a nice day, while boating on Luc Thuy Lake, a large turtle came towards him. It immediately grabbed the sword with its mouth and submerged. He realized that the God must have lent him the sword to drive back the enemy, but then that his nation was free, the sword must be returned. Hence, King Le Thai To named Hoan Kiem Lake or Lake of the Restored Sword.

 

Hoan-Kiem-Lake

 

Besides, Hoan Kiem Lake also associates with the well–known architectural works such as: Turtle Tower, Ngoc Son Temple, and The Huc Bridge. Tortoise Tower locates at the lake middle to remind Vietnamese people of the Turtle God about his great assistance. In addition, the red Huc Bridge, which means "where the sun light is absorbed", curves like shrimp and led into Ngoc Son Temple. Hoan Kiem Lake has two small islands: Turtle Island and Ngoc Island where Ngoc Son Temple is situated. In 1865, Nguyen Van Sieu, a famouse poet and researcher of Vietnamese culture, remodeled Ngoc Son Temple on the Ngoc Island. On the Ngoc Boi Mountain, he built a tower of brush and on the tower, there were three words: "Ta Thien Thanh" or "write on blue sky". That tower is called But Tower today.

Surprisingly, Hoan Kiem Lake owns a seasonal beauty with different colors: green in spring, red in summer, yellow in autumn and silver in winter. When the spring comes, the weather is warm. The trees come crashing buds and emerge. In the summer, it is hot but it is cooler in Hoan Kiem lake. The flamboyant trees bloom with red flowers. In June, many people come to see barringtonia acutangula trees blossom. In the autumn, the leaves change the color into yellow and it makes Hoan Kiem Lake bring a calm beauty. In the winter, the weather is very cold. Bare trees make a very own beauty for Hoan Kiem Lake.

 

Hoan-Kiem-Lake-or-Sword-Lake

 

Tourist can enjoy or even join in many activities around Hoan Kiem Lake. In the early morning (5am–6am), many Hanoians come here to do morning exercises and breathe fresh air. In the framework of a high profiled meeting in Hanoi, an Australian prime minister also joined the early jogging around the lake. In the afternoon, in the old quarter, many colorful clothes and shoes will attract tourist. In addition, the smell of street food also defeats anyone. In the evening, when the lights turned on, Hoan Kiem Lake is more sparkling beauty because of decorative lights on trees around lake. Many couples are hand in hand and walk side by side along the lake.

Tourist can sit down one of the stone benches, enjoy the view and have a good talk with some local friends. Surely, Hoan Kiem Lake is worth visiting repeatedly at different times of day and in any season in a year.

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