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Home >> Vietnam >> Hanoi >> Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan KiemLake, or Lake of the Restore Sword, is the most famous one among eighteen beautiful lakes inHanoi, and it can be physically and symbolically considered the center of the city.

Referring the name of the lake, there is a legend which is somehow similar to the story of King Arthur should be told. The legend goes that the Emperor Ly Thai To was occasionally given a sword by a tortoise, and there were two words engraved on it “Thuan Thien” (harmonious with heaven). With the power of the magical sword Emperor Ly Thai To defeated his enemies and achieved several victories in battles. When peace prevailed, on one of the Emperor’s trip to the Thuy Quan (now Hoan Kiem)Lake, the tortoise appeared on the lake and asked for the sword back. The Emperor Ly Thai To restored it to the tortoise, which then suddenly disappeared in the water. In order to remember this episode, the Emperor changed the name of the lake and it became theHoanKiemLakefrom then on.

Hoan KiemLake is not only a historical and legendary spot full of fairy and heroic stories during the past wars, but also a romantic and charming destination today. Filled with greenish water and situated inside a complex of sightseeing including theHucBridge,NgocSonTempleandPenTower,HoanKiemLakebecomes a popular stop for affianced couples' wedding photos and fitness buffs' morning workouts. The lake is also full of tortoise, which is considered a sacred animal inVietnam’s culture (along with dragon, phoenix and unicorn),HoanKiemLakethus is regarded to be a holy place that nurtures tortoise.

It is no exaggeration to say that Hoan Kiem Lake is the center for any distance measurement for it centrally located in Hanoi and only minutes walking from almost equally famous Hanoi's Old Quarter. Now it is one ofHanoi's key landmarks, a useful point of reference for getting your bearings around the city.

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