Hoan Kiem Lake, also known as “Sword Lake” (which translates to “Lake of the Returned Sword”), is one of the most famous landmarks in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is steeped in history and legend.
According to a popular legend, during the 15th century, King Le Loi used a magical sword to drive out the invading Ming Dynasty forces. After achieving victory and independence, King Le Loi returned the sword to a golden turtle living in the lake. As a result, the lake became a symbol of freedom and national pride for the Vietnamese people.
Hoan Kiem Lake is not only a historical site but also a vibrant cultural and tourist destination. Along its shores, you’ll find beautiful architectural landmarks such as the Ngoc Son Temple, the Turtle Tower (Thap Rua), the The Huc Bridge, and the Hanoi Opera House. The lake hosts various artistic and cultural activities, including water puppetry shows, traditional music performances, and more.
It’s a place where locals and visitors alike gather for leisure activities like walking, jogging, exercising, playing chess, and capturing photographs. When you visit Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an essential stop. It offers not only a glimpse of the city’s beauty, history, and culture but also a chance to connect with the spirit and soul of the Vietnamese people.