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Vietnam travel guide

Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi city, Vietnam

Location : At city center, bordered by Tran Nhat Duat and Phung Hung sts, Hoan Kiem District

Located in the heart of Hanoi capital, Hoan Kiem Lake becomes a most popular indicator to identify direction in the city. When a visitor asks for direction, Hanoi citizens will give their instructions that related to this great lake. Therefore, it is pretty necessary for travelers to know the way leading to their hotels from Hoan Kiem Lake.

This beautiful lake also becomes a start position for visitor to discover the Old Quarter, the labyrinth of traditional craft streets in a sprawling maze on the north end of the lake. Besides, travelers can also easily find a bench in the lake side to take a short break in your long trip in Hanoi, spot the gorgeous view of Hoan Kiem Lake and taste a cup of cafe, particularly on the north end. You can also enjoy an ice cream and take time to stroll, or stop and watch the moon reflect on the surface of this beautiful lake. You might even spot one of the giant turtles that tool back the holy sword of Le Thai To that help him fight against the enemy from the North. Sightings of this rare breed of turtles are quite common. Willows hand over the lake and reflect in the ripping light of dusk.

Built in 1886 by an obscure Mandarin official, Thap Rua is a tiny tower located on a small island in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. When this temple was firstly built, it was once despised and related in a scandal that the official tried to collect his father’s bone laid to rest at the pagoda base. However, Thap Rua building timely become a universal combination of architecture features appeared in the world’s famous constructions such as Leaning Tower of Pisa in Italy, Statue of Liberty in USA, and Eiffel Tower, the symbol of France. Thap Rua tower has two tiers of window galleries crowned by a short tapered roof, and it commands great respect despite its recent construction. Moreover, this architecture tower is also a popular focal point for swooning lovers at the lakeside in Hanoi’s “Central Park” – the lung of the city. Living inside the Hoan Kiem Lake, the giant turtles can be sometime basking at the temple’s base. It has been told that these turtles have long age of up to 500 years. Legend said that the very species were the one that stole the holy sword and founded the fair city. The local citizens of Hanoi love this special construction. In fact, there are some recent activities to restore and preserve this old tower. The small stupa is mostly covered by moss and weeds, and this situation met the staunch disapproval from Hanoi citizens. Therefore, this unique tower will hopefully be restored to be what it used to be.

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