Hoan Kiem Lakefamous lake located in the Old Quarter, Hanoi

Last Update: 23rd October 2020
Lying in the center of Vietnam, Hoan Kiem Lake covers an area of around 12 hectares. It features an oval shape. Trees stand by the lake while the water is see-through. Formerly called Green Water Lake, the lake offers two building complexes in the lake to visit.

Hoan Kiem Lake Fast Facts

  • Name: Hoan Kiem Lake (Hồ Hoàn Kiếm)
  • Area: 12 x hectares
  • Things to do th​ere: Nature, Photography, Adventure, Urban Exploration
  • Who visits: Photographers, Nature Lovers, Adventurers
  • Time required: 1 – 2 x hours

What to expect at Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem Lake is one of the most popular spots among locals in Hanoi. They usually do morning exercises at the lake. The elder like to go fishing and chat with each other there in the daytime. In the evening, the lake is one of the favorite places for lovers to have a date as well.
Hoan Kiem means “Return a sword” in English. It is said that Lê Thái Tổ (1385 – 1433) got a sword from the earth near the lake. He resisted the attack of the army of the Ming Dynasty (1368 – 1644) with the sword. One day, when he visited the lake, the sword dropped into the lake. A tortoise returned the sword to him. This is why the lake is called “Hoan Kiem Lake”.
The lake is surrounded by local buildings and French buildings. In the west are Bating Square and Temple of Literature. In the northeast is the red Xixu Bridge connecting Ngoc Son Temple. If you want to explore the temple, you’d need to get an entrance ticket for it. The temple has a stone Chinese brush tower. At night, the lake is decorated with colorful lights, which makes for amazing views.

Best time to visit Hoan Kiem Lake

The best time to visit Hoan Kiem Lake is in the morning and at night.
The best months to visit are from March to November.


How to get to Hoan Kiem Lake

Several buses pass by the lake. Therefore, there are several options.

  • Rent a vehicle to the lake. This is the quickest and most direct option.
  • Take Bus 9, 31, and Bus 36 to the Stop of Ngã 3 Lê Thái Tổ – Hàng Trống. Then, walk to the lake.
  • Take Bus 14 to the Stop of BĐX Bờ Hồ. Then, walk to the lake.
  • Take Bus 8 to the Stop of Bưu điện Thành phố Hà Nội – Đinh Tiên Hoàng. Then, walk to the lake.

Additional Hoan Kiem Lake Travel Advice

  • Opening hours: 24 hours.
  • It is free to visit the lake.

Interested in visiting Hoan Kiem Lake on a Tour?

Wendy Wei Tours offers a variety of different packaged tours as well as custom tours including Hoan Kiem Lake, among other attractions and destinations. To find out more, please visit our Tours page or Contact Us directly to find out more.