Recognized as one of the most picturesque areas in the city, the Hoan Kiem Lake is a beautiful and tranquil body of water which lies at the heart of Hanoi. Due to its rich historic legend, the Lake has a unique name which when translated into English means ‘The Lake of the Returned Sword’. The Lake reflects the heritage of Hanoi and is considered to be at the heart of the city’s public life. Streams of locals and tourists visit the Lake to explore the colourful culture and history of this scenic area.
It is reputed that Le Loi, a resisting leader against the invasion of the Chinese Ming Dynasty in the 15th century, happened to net a splendid sword whilst fishing on the Hoan Kiem Lake. Folklore says how the power of the sword led him to succeed in his revolt against the Chinese. After becoming emperor, he went back out on the lake to return the sword to its original place. It is said that a gold tortoise suddenly appeared from the depths of the Lake to retrieve the sword from his hand. Thus the Lake became known as the ‘Lake of the Returned Sword’.
A structure known as the Tortoise Tower lies on a small island at the heart of the Hoan Kiem Lake in commemoration of the spectacular legend. Today, the sightings of turtles and tortoises when visiting the Lake are rare. However, if you do spot one, it is considered to be a sign of good luck and good fortune. Another attraction of the Lake is the Ngoc Son Temple which is situated on an island in the north-eastern part of the lake. Dedicated to one of Vietnam’s famous war heroes, the temple is connected to the mainland by a bright red bridge.
Searching for comfortable and centrally located Hanoi accommodation? Look no further than the Somerset Grand Hanoi residence which is sure to make your business stay or leisure visit to the city a memorable and relaxing one. This stylish residence offers guests spacious and elegant Hanoi apartments in Hoan Kiemthat are within walking distance of many restaurants, attractions and recreation venues.
Pushpitha Wijesinghe is an experienced independent freelance writer. He specializes in providing a wide variety of content and articles related to the travel hospitality industry.