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Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple (Hanoi)

The Ngoc Son Temple or Jade Mountain Temple is one of the most representative of Hanoi. It is located on an island in the middle of Hoam Kiem Lake, a very photographed place thanks to its red bridge and its entrance "The door of the Moon".


History of Hoan Kiem Lake

Hoan Kiem (Hoàn Kiếm) is a district of Hanoi, central and a very good area to visit the surrounding area and stay. The Lake with the Ngoc Son temple is its greatest attraction. On one side of the lake is Jade Island and Ngoc Son Temple (Jade Mountain Temple), which can be accessed via the red bridge to visit. And right in the center of the lake you can see the turtle temple.

According to ancient documents still preserved in the Ngoc Son temple, it was built in the autumn of 1814 and was dedicated to the war hero, General Tran Hung Dao, who according to writings dating back to the 13th century defeated an army of 300,000. soldiers sent by the Mongol emperor. Its last complete renovation was in 1865 by Nguyen Van Sieu, an eminent scholar from the ancient capital of Thang Long.

Hoan Kiem Lake, a place full of legends

Lake of the restored escape. Its name is related to an ancient legend of the city. "Legend has it that the emperor threw a magic sword into the lake which ended up turning into a golden turtle." That is why the turtle is so important in Vietnamese symbology. The turtle also represents a place of wise men, since this temple was dedicated to Taoists and Confucians.

What to see at Ngoc Son Temple

The red bridge

Hanoi's red bridge, known as The Huc (rising sun), almost unintentionally is one of the most emblematic places in the city. Also, it is one of the most popular images (appearing in many movies and postcards). This bridge gives access to the jade island where the Ngoc Son temple is located. Its intense red color stands out with the green of the trees and the lake.

Moon House

The house of the Moon gives entrance to the temple and is located at the beginning of the temple on the island of Jade. In it we can appreciate the Vietnamese architecture, but without a doubt, it reminds a lot of the Japanese toris-

This is where the "ticket office" to access the temple is located. You can not miss it!

Jade Island

Jade Island is located within Hoan Kiem Lake, which means the Lake of the Restored Sword. The temple includes several pavilions in red wood, where you can also see the tortoise of the legend. You will also have beautiful views of the lake and the turtle temple.

Tháp Bút

Also known as the pencil temple, this temple was built by the same architect as the Ngoc Son temple. This temple is shaped like a pencil, and as the engravings on its exterior walls say, “寫青天” writes for the Blue Sky.

What to do in Hoan Kiem Lake

Apart from visiting the temple, the lake is a very beautiful place in the city of Hanoi. It is a meeting place for Vietnamese who gather here to make life. Whether it's doing Tai Chi on its banks, eating and drinking with friends, playing a game of cards or board games, having a Vietnamese coffee, talking to people, singing at the top of your lungs at a K-pop concert (yes... they are quite fanatical and right at the entrance of the temple, on the great avenue, on Saturdays they close the street so that the children can play without traffic, at night the place fills with people, good atmosphere and lots of music).

The lake is in the center and walking you have many interesting places to see. I enclose a list of some articles that you can find on the blog:



I hope you enjoy your trip to Vietnam very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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