Best MonthsAll year
Rank10 out of 230 attractions in Hanoi
Places to stay near Hoan Kiem Lake
Reviews of Hoan Kiem Lake • 13
Hanoi to cover –The historic Opera House (it still runs with shows on most days). The night time view is vivid with the Viet traffic, noises and lights. Beside the Opera house you can see the actual Hilton Hotel and opposite it is the Hanoi stock exchange. Walk towards the Hoan Kiem lake from the Opera, on Fri and Sat the whole barrage of Hoan Kiem is closed for vehicles and reconstructed into a public recreation area with artists, talent groups, kids and parents taking part in various activities. We found this super amazing band of 4 youngsters who killed it on the instrumentals! As you approach OQ, head to the pub street Hàng Buồm where you should be lucky to find a place. This street runs long with many bars, pubs and eating places.
We stayed in Central Hanoi. So, we got to experience the street culture at its best - from restaurants to tiny street food joints serving traditional Vietnamese food, apparel stores, stationary, tourist markets, etc. It was a colourful experience altogether. A walk around Hoan Kiem Lake will give you glimpses of Hanoi's urban culture.
The Old Quarter, near Hoàn Kiếm Lake, is said to have the original architecture of the city. It comprises of almost 40 streets filled with households and street markets. Each Street originally had merchants specialized in a particular trade and the street was named after its chief trading commodity. Today you can simply walk around these lanes to distinguish the fine traditional layout of the city and spend some serene time by the lake.
Just show up. Apart from the Old quarter, there is the Ho Chi Minh Museum and Mausoleum. This is recommended for those who are interested in war history and the life of Ho Chi Minh. For the history junkies, there are loads of pagodas and temples around the city. You should get a map and just wander the streets to find them (a stroll around the Hoan Kiem Lake is blissful). Be sure to visit Halong bay before moving south.
The hotel was only a few roads away from Hoam lake so we thought we’d wander up there first…..easier said than done! We stood staring at the insane number of motorbikes flying in all directions with no break long enough to make our move. The pavements were no safer and were blocked with stuff, and people didn’t hesitate to drive on them either. We knew that we weren’t going to be confined to the hotel for the next few days, so we had to just go for it….the advice we’d read was to slowly keep moving across and let the motorbikes judge and go round you…..just do not hesitate….hmmm…Because the Vietnamese eat noodles for breakfast lunch and dinner, they assume we do the same, so the breakfast buffet comprised of chicken noodles (of course), spag Bol or chips with pancakes, insulation grade white toast, fish paste and cucumber.. The staff were all so nice, but there was this one woman who greeted us every morning like we were brand new guests, completely forgetting conversations we’d had minutes before and recommending the same thing every single time.
We had initially planned to also see Old Quarter & Hoan Kiem Lake as part of the tour but because of the hot weather we decided to cut short our tour and head back to the hotel. In the evening we headed to the Weekend Night Market. It takes places every Friday -Sunday in evening in the old town. It turned out to the best place for souvenir shopping - but you have to bargain really hard. In the same street we found Hanoi Rocks Hostel. It had a big bar on the ground floor. After shopping it was nice to sit there and relax. Nice ambience, cheap drinks and decent foodDay 3 : HanoiDong Xuang Market.Hang Dau StreetHang Gai street
Amid the hustle-bustle is the serene Hoan Kiem lake or the ‘Lake of the restored sword’ with a beautiful Turtle tower in the middle. It looks prettier at night with all the lights and the Hoan Kiem bridge lit up in red. Apparently, it is also a very popular destination for pre-wedding photography among the locals!
Walking around the lake we reached the very click worthy ‘red’ bridge – The Huc Bridge. And since it was particularly a very hot and humid day, we took a 15 mins AC break. Next, we headed to Ho Chi Mihn Mausoleum – a massive imposing structure. Five minutes away from the mausoleum is the presidential palace - a very regal and French pale yellow structure with mango trees growing all around.
Hoan Kiem lake is a picture spot... you may choose to visit the Ngoc Son Temple which is located along the lake or you could just stroll along the lake. It gets pretty crowded along the lake at night.
This was hands down my favorite place in Hanoi. To my fellow Seattleites it reminds me a lot of Greenlake. I went there every day I was Hanoi to escape the stimulation of the city and stare at the beautiful temple. The lake is the best place for people watching. Joggers make their laps, older women do tai chi, and men lift weights and do pull ups. At sunset couples line the lake taking photos of one another. The temple on the bridge at the North end of the lake is a peaceful place to sit and ponder.
Several times during our trip we visited Hoan Kiem Lake in the Old Quarter. There are a lot of nice cafes overlooking the water, and it's a nice walk around the shores as well, during the day or night. Many locals come here to exercise and do calisthenics - I frequently saw people, especially older folks, strolling around while swinging their arms and pumping their legs vigorously. There is a pagoda in the middle of the lake that can't be reached, as well as a temple that one can get to by crossing a bridge.
'Lake Of The Restored Sword' or the Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most scenic spots in Vietnam. Closely knit with its mythology, with a nice story about how the lake got its name (in the 15th century during the Ming Chinese invasion, general Le Loi was presented with a holy sword. With the help of this sword he expelled the Chinese from Thang Long, present-day of Hanoi and proclaimed himself as King Le Thai To.), this place is also a spot for most public celebrations in Vietnam. Situated in the Old Quarter this lake is a great place to stop by and gain a foothold in Hanoi. Much of the city's culture, fashion and food surrounds this lake.