Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi
Ho Hoan Kiem or Lake of the Returned Sword was once a part of the Red river (song Hong). Through thousands of years of changes in the geography, the lake moved eastward to its present position many kilometers from the river. The lake was once called Luc Thuy or Green Water because the water was green year round. In the fifteen century, the lake was named Ho Hoan Kiem, based of a legend that is quite similar to King Arthur and the Lady of the Lake’s legend.While fighting against the Chinese, King Le Thai To has in his possession a very valuable sword. After 10 years of continuous struggle, the King finally defeated the Chinese and reclaimed Vietnam’s independence. One day, while sailing on lake Luc Thuy, a large turtle appeared. The king drew his sword and pointed at the creature. The turtle immediately grab hold of the sword with its mouth and submerged. The king mourned the lost of such valuable sword, demanded that the lake be emptied and dredged. Both the turtle and the sword were not found. The king realizing that the gods must have lent him the sword to drive back the enemy, but now that Vietnam is free, the sword must be returned. King Le Thai To named the lake Ho Hoan Kiem or Lake of the Returned Sword.
Features of Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi
– Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi is one of the most enchanting spots in the city.
– The early morning misty air is energetic for people who throng the footpath that circles the lake for morning exercise, badminton and tai chi.
– The lake serves as a meeting point and performance venue during major festivals such as Tet and for holidays like National Day.
– The apparently unique species of turtles, known as Rafetus swimhoei, are sometimes considered as the largest freshwater turtles on earth.
– Sometimes, one of these near-mythical creatures appears on the surface of the water for air. According to scientists, this happens due to the increasing pollution in the lake.
– During the day, most of the people who throng the place, are either tourists or workers from surrounding government offices.
– Tour buses and taxis park at the North end of the lake, near the gates and foot-bridge which lead to the Ngoc Son Pagoda.
– You will find many young people selling post cards, maps, and paperback books here.
– You will find photographers eager to take your snap with their old-fashioned 35mm cameras and young boys offering shoe shin.
– You will be amazed by their fluency in English and it’s another kind of an experience to have a conversation with them.
Clip Hoan Kiem Lake Hanoi
Hoan Kiem Lake is a cultural and social focal point of Hanoi. People come from all over Vietnam and the world to visit the Lake and the nearby Old Quarter. Hoan Kiem Lake is associated with an Arthurian kind of legend about a king defeating invaders and throwing a sword into the lake. Ho Hoan Kiem in fact, means – Lake of the Restored Sword. Located near sights such as the Old quarter, the Opera House, the water puppets, the Citadel, and a slew of colonial buildings, Hoan Kiem is considered by many as the heart of Hanoi.
Galery Hoan Kiem Lake in Hanoi