Home > Vietnam Travel Guide > Vietnam Attraction >
Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple
Hoan Kiem Lake & Ngoc Son Temple
July 18, 2023
By Custom Asia Travel
Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple: Tranquil Oasis in Hanoi's Heart
Nestled amidst the bustling streets of Hanoi, the enchanting Hoan Kiem Lake and its crowning jewel, Ngoc Son Temple, stand as a serene and captivating haven, offering a respite from the city's vibrant energy. This iconic site is not merely a physical landmark but a cultural and historical touchstone that weaves together the tapestry of Hanoi's past and present.
Hoan Kiem Lake, often dubbed the "Lake of the Restored Sword," is steeped in legend and symbolism. The story goes that an ancient Vietnamese emperor was gifted a magical sword by a divine turtle, which he wielded to defeat foreign invaders. Upon victory, the emperor returned the sword to the lake, where the turtle reclaimed it. Today, a distinctive red bridge leads to Ngoc Son Temple, paying homage to this mythical turtle and its significance in Vietnamese folklore.
Crossing the bridge, visitors are greeted by the tranquil oasis of Ngoc Son Temple, nestled on Jade Island within the lake. The temple, dedicated to General Tran Hung Dao – a revered military leader – and the scholar Van Xuong, exudes an air of spiritual reverence. Its meticulously crafted architecture, intricate woodwork, and ornate altars are a testament to Vietnam's rich cultural heritage and devotion to its historical figures.
As you explore the temple's halls, a sense of tranquility envelops you. Ancient artifacts, delicate calligraphy, and intricate sculptures provide glimpses into Vietnam's history and its intertwining threads of valor, wisdom, and artistry. Ascend the temple's steps to the upper terrace, where panoramic views of Hoan Kiem Lake and the city beyond unfold in breathtaking harmony.
The lake's verdant surroundings invite leisurely strolls, offering a captivating blend of nature and urban life. Join locals in their morning tai chi routines, or simply relax on a bench and soak in the serenity. On weekends, the streets around the lake are closed to traffic, transforming the area into a vibrant pedestrian zone where families, couples, and friends gather to enjoy the fresh air and each other's company.
Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple symbolize Hanoi's enduring spirit, seamlessly blending the historical with the contemporary. They offer a haven of tranquility, a space where the echoes of ancient legends resonate amidst the bustling rhythm of modern life. This iconic site invites you to step into a world where past and present intertwine, where the shimmering waters of the lake reflect the city's vibrant soul, and where timeless tales come alive in the heart of Hanoi.
Most Popular in Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Want to Travel Vietnam?
Plan your tailor-made trip with a local expert
Book securely with money-back guarantee
Travel stress-free with local assistance and 24/7 support
> 500 reviews
We had an absolutely wonderful holiday and were really impressed with how smoothly everything went. The accomodation was high quality, the itinerary was interesting and well paced and everything went really well.
Tuan, our tour guide was terrific - knowledgeable, friendly but also respectful of our needs, flexible and keen to make sure we had a great holiday. The car was incredibly comfortable and our driver was reliable and friendly also - in fact everything was perfect, so thank you!