Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake), Hanoi: Hours, Address, Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) Reviews: 4.5/5

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
4.5
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
About
A rare breed of turtle enjoys this popular lake almost as much as countless locals and tourists. Hoan Kiem Lake is a dynamic daily tableau, from morning walks amid locals doing exercises on the shore, to young couples water-gazing on park benches, to the multiple shopping and sight-seeing opportunities in the vicinity. Centrally located in the city, Hoan Kiem Lake serves as a massive home base, and provides endless people-watching and recreational opportunities on the edge of the Old Quarter.
Suggested duration
More than 3 hours
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Admission tickets
from $12.00
All you need to step foot in the door.
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Top ways to experience Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)
Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
13,534 reviews
Excellent
6,005
Very good
5,445
Average
1,853
Poor
180
Terrible
51

Clevelang
Cleveland, Australia44 contributions
Couples
Steamy, hot but lots of fun. July is perhaps not the best weather window for Hanoi but the lake can provide a cooler environment.
Early mornings see locals enjoying exercise with dance, tai chi or just a relaxing stroll. Evenings are the same. Plenty of large shady trees and often a cooling breeze means even in the heat of the day this is a great place to have a cool drink, an ice cream and watch the world go by.
Weekends are special as the streets around the lake are closed to traffic. People replace vehicles. Laughter replaces horns. Groups of students seek out tourists to practice the language they are learning at school or university. These make the most wonderful and engaging conversations where you experience the incredible friendliness of the Vietnamese people.
If you are near the old quarter on the weekend don't miss it.
Written July 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

LivingThe Q
Colorado Springs, CO793 contributions
Located in the heart of Hanoi’s old quarter is Hoan Kiem Lake or Lake of the Restored Sword. It is a popular place for locals and tourists to stroll around and enjoy the beautiful scenery in the otherwise hectic streets of Hanoi. There is a small, tree-filled island on the lake where the Ngoc Son Temple with a red bridge spanning from the shore to the island. There is another small island on the lake that is home to Turtle Tower, which is a focal point as you walk around the lake.

The lake gets its name from the legend of Emperor Lợi who received a magical sword in order to defeat the Chinese. After defeating the Chinese armies, a Golden Turtle God, Kim Qui, came to surface of the lake and asked Emperor Lợi to return the sword to the Dragon King who had given it to him. So Emperor Lợi gave Kim Qui the sword and renamed the lake Ho Hoan Kiem, which means Lake of the Restored Sword or Lake of the Returned Sword. Turtle Tower stands near the center of the lake to commemorate that event. There are still a small number of turtles in the lake although they are rarely seen.

Ngoc Son Temple, or Pagoda, is mostly dedicated to General Tran Hung Dao who defeated the Mongolian armies of Emperor Kublai Khan in the 13th century. The name of the temple translates to Temple of the Jade Mountain and the island itself is called Jade Island. The is a nominal fee in order to go to the island and visit the temple and it is open from 8:00 to 17:00 daily. It is one of the most visited sites within Hanoi’s old quarter, so expect plenty of crowds.

During the week, the lake attracts tourists and locals alike in order to walk the tree-lined sidewalk that surrounds the lake. It is an oasis of tranquility in the otherwise bustling streets of the old quarter. On weekend nights, however, the streets around the lake are converted to walking streets with a market and stages with live music. People gather to play games, eat, listen to music, and generally have fun. It is very lively and very crowded with lots of families coming to enjoy the festivities.

Our hotel was only a couple of blocks from Hoan Kiem Lake and we walked by it several times. Seeing it at sunset is quite beautiful as well, but it is worth visiting at any time of day. It is also worth paying the small entrance fee to see Ngoc Son Temple with its golden turtle statues and beautiful architecture. There are also a couple of touristy restaurants on the shore of the lake, which are worthwhile, but be sure to explore the old quarter and getting street food there as well.
Written January 14, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Chris M
5 contributions
In the summer, locals walk around this lake at night. It was Friday, Saturday, Sunday while we were there. It is very family friendly with lots of activities. During the day it is nice also. We saw the the Temple in the center of the lake with a Free Hanoi Walking Tour. There is a small fee for access, but we were happy to pay.
Written July 9, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Liz
Seoul, South Korea37 contributions
This lake has a super interesting tale involving a turtle and a king. Any ideas what it could be? Apparently the turtle who lived in this lake gave a sword to the king to defeat the enemies in the war. So, the king built a temple to honor the turtle.
Written July 29, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jeri F
Tulsa, OK251 contributions
The lake area is a busy park with people doing tai chi in the mornings. On Friday afternoons, the streets is closed for pedestrians. There is a shrine with a large preserved turtle that lived in the lake for decades. We had a guide who explained the story and why it was so important to Vietnamese culture.
Written January 13, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Anda A
Slovenia242 contributions
If you only have a day or two to spend in Hanoi, I recommend you to walk around the Hoan Kiem lake. This way you will be able to see it all: the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter with milions of crazy motorcycles, beautiful and well maintained parks and gardens, temples and monuments, local people and tourists, old and new buildings... it is really hard to describe it, you need to live it. The walk around the lake takes about 30 minutes, but add at least 30 for photo stops. I can't wait to go back.
Written January 21, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Z1125XOjoanneh
10 contributions
It was an extremely hot day so large trees around lake provide a sheltered walking zone. We visited the Temple across the bridge. Open bus city tour would have been better than trying to walk in the heat. Very busy but interesting area.
Written August 2, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

markllydselby
Cardiff, UK27 contributions
At any time of day or evening you'll find a lot of citizens relaxing around the lake with impromptu tai chi, games, dancing, and singing. The lakeside cafe bars are both very good and during our stay we ended most of our evenings with a walk around the lake. It's also a useful landmark in terms of orientating yourself when out exploring the city on foot
Written August 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

sasaw409
Penang Island, Malaysia22 contributions
we took a walk around the lake during the weekends, a great place to walk when the road around the Hoam Kiem Lake is closed. Egg coffee and Thang Long Water Puppet Theater are nearby.

At night the area is prettily lighted up, we enjoyed the beautiful night view and street shows. Vietnamese teenagers like to hang around dancing K-Pop there.
Written January 2, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

digitalroc
Calgary, Canada1,323 contributions
The lake makes a nice getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Old Quarter. The Ngoc Son Temple and the Huc Bridge is located on the lake as well. Many vendors selling their products at a high cost, I witnessed a few tourists paying twice as much as I did for the same product.
Written January 11, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake)

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) is open:
  • Sun - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Buy tickets in advance on Tripadvisor. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund.

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) admission prices can vary. Entrance tickets currently cost $12.00, while a popular guided tour starts around $5.00 per person. See all 229 Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) tickets and tours on Tripadvisor

Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) can be crowded, so we recommend booking e-tickets ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel at least 24 hours before the start date of your tour for a full refund. See all 229 Lake of the Restored Sword (Hoan Kiem Lake) tickets and tours on Tripadvisor


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