Hoan Kiem Lake

The Lake of the Restored Sword or Hoan Kiem lake is about five minutes walk away from where we are staying. Legend has it that, in the-15h century, Heaven sent Emperor Le Thai To a magical sword which he used to drive away the Chinese out of Vietnam. One day after the war a giant tortoise swam out of the water and took the sword from his hand and disappeared into the murky waters.

Since then a few tortoises have appeared in the lake, the last reported sighting was in 2000. In 1968, one tortoise died and weighed 250 kilos and was 2.1 meters long! The remains of the turtle is preserved in a museum.

People come around the lake in the morning and late in the afternoon to exercise, bike, meditate or just hang around. We attempted to jog around the lake this morning too, it was a bit cold, as the weather today was hanging around 12 degrees. (that’s really cold for a tropical man like me)
Man and bike


That’s Johanna, she’s liking the cold.

This is the bridge that’s in the middle of the lake.

Tonight is New Year’s eve and they’ve prepared some elaborate fireworks show and have decorated the lake with these huge balloons.


That’s the Pagoda at the center of the lake.

Across the street is the famous Old District, where there is a large market that sells everything!

Let’s play spot Johanna.

It’s cold even for this guy.

There are flowers everywhere.

Halong Bay

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