Hoan Kiem Lake is also known as Ho Guom (in the map of Hanoi in 1886, this lake is called Hoan Kiem Lake – Lac de Hoan Guom), is a 12 hectares natural freshwater lake of Hanoi. In the past, the lake had called Luc Thuy (because the water is green all year round), Thuy Quan Lake (used for training Royal Navy), Ta Vong and Huu Vong (during Le Mat dynasty). The name Hoan Kiem appeared in the early 15th century associated with the legend of King Le Loi returned the sword to a Holy Turtle. Hoan Kiem District – central area of Hanoi – was name after this lake.
According to the legend, in early 1428, Emperor Lê Lợi was boating on the lake when a Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui) surfaced and asked for his magic sword, Heaven’s Will. Loi concluded that Kim Qui had come to reclaim the sword that its master, a local God, the Dragon King had given Loi sometime earlier, during his revolt against Ming China. Later, Loi gave the sword back to the turtle after he finished fighting off the Chinese. Loi renamed the lake to commemorate this event, from its former name Luc Thuy meaning “Green Water”. The Turtle Tower standing on a small island near the center of lake is linked to the legend. The first name of Hoan Kiem lake is Ta Vong, when the King haven’t given the Magical Sword back to the Golden Turtle God.
Some famous sightseeing place around Hoan Kiem Lake:
– Thap Rua (Turtle Tower)
– Ngoc Son Temple
– The Huc Bridge
– But Tower
– Ba Kieu Temple
During weekend (from 7PM on Friday until 12AM on Sunday), streets around Hoan Kiem Lake are close, all traffic is banned to become walking street.0