Hoan Kiem Lake – Lake of the Returned Sword


Maybe, you do not know which country to visit. The options are countless, but if you are looking for an exotic nation, you can think on Vietnam. This amazing territory offers many unique attractions to its visitants. One of the most beautiful is Hoan Kiem Lake, Lake of the Returned Sword. This lake is located in the core of Hanoi, Vietnam which holds the honor of being the capital city of this nation. If you want to visit a relaxing destination where a bond between history and nature is created, do not hesitate on traveling to Hanoi and definitely it’s Hoan Kiem Lake.

The history of Hoan Kiem Lake is as amazing as the nature kept in this place. According to specialists, the Lake of the Returned Sword was connected to the Red River, but throughout thousands of years, this lake has suffered great geographical changes. Now, it is located miles away from the Red River. Aside from its geographical origin, this lake became a famous place in Vietnam due to the legends that surround it. It was first known as Luc Thuy Lake (Green Water Lake), but this name was changed when the legend of Le Thai To took place. After that story, the lake began to be known as the Lake of the Returned Sword. The legend about Emperor Le Thai To started six centuries ago when this important character was committed committed to defeating the Chinese that were established in Vietnam. He only achieved it because the Golden Turtle God gave him a magic sword. The power of that precious object was unparalleled, and it made the Vietnamese regain their territory. After the Emperor Le Thai To won the war, he went to Hoan Kiem Lake where a turtle took away his sword. The Emperor could not believe it, so he sought the sword and the turtle, but he found nothing at all. After analyzing the unpleasant event, he considered that the turtle that grabbed his sword was the Golden Turtle God. It is believed that the divine creature reclaimed the sword because although it was used to destroy the Chinese rulers, it belonged to the divine world of the gods.

After the legend of Emperor Le Thai To, all rulers belonging to the Le dynasty improved the Hoan Kiem Lake. They made of this lake a majestic destination where all people would like to spend their leisure time. These kings generously contributed to the embellishments of this place, as a sign of admiration towards the Emperor Le Thai To for he made Vietnam a free nation.

Around this majestic place, some astonishing constructions were built. Some of them were the Ngoc Son Temple, The Huc Bridge and the Pen Tower. We cannot forget that in the middle of this marvelous lake is located the Turtle Tower. This structure was built by the King Le Thanh Tong. It is said that this ruler used to fish there, and he also built the tower as a sign of respect and devotion towards the Golden Turtle God that saved the Vietnamese people from the Chinese invaders.

Nowadays, the Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword) still keeps those tourist attractions. Aside from being places that any person should visit, they constitute the historical origin of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi and Vietnam. For instance, the Ngoc Son Temple is an important destination found on the Lake of the Returned Sword. It was expanded in 1865. The Huc Bridge links it to the shore. This majestic bridge as well as the Ngoc Son Temple is a place that cannot be missed by visitors. Both constructions are evidence of the rich history that surrounds this exotic destination. We cannot forget that the Turtle Tower is still located in the middle of the lake, and it is considered by many people to be one of the most astonishing constructions in Vietnam.

Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Returned Sword) is a place that you cannot miss. If you are going to travel to Hanoi, Vietnam, you will probably be recommended to visit this exotic lake. Remember that the Lake of the Returned Sword as well as its multiple attractions is a place where tourists can learn more about the Vietnamese culture and nature. You will not regret about going to Hoan Kiem Lake because aside from learning some of the stories and legends that surround this majestic place, you will be able to spend some time with your loved ones in a relaxing location. You can visit it by yourself, or you can look for excellent tours guided by Vietnamese people that know everything about this spellbinding place.

Do not let this opportunity vanish away, go pack your stuff, and get ready to travel to one of the most beautiful places on earth. The pleasant moments that you will live there will become incomparable events that you will always want to recall.



ZhongshanXiangshan a county established back in the year 1152 A.D was renamed to Zhongshan in 1925 paying homage to one of the greatest leaders of China’s republican revolution, Dr. Sun Yat-sen also known as Dr. Sun Zhongshan. Having a blooming population of above 1.4 million people, the city is one of the major attractions in the Pearl River Delta. It lies in close vicinity to Hong Kong, Macau and another tourist attraction of the delta, the city of Zhuhai, making the geographical region a hub for Chinese tourism market.

It is an impressive fact that the city that was crowned as a sister city to Honolulu, Hawaii in 1997 did not exist as a dry land before the 2nd millennium B.C after which it emerged from the sea along with the majority of South-eastern China. It inherits the typical tropical humid weather which is in a contrast to what most of the west faces -many of the tourists who visit Zhongshan are westerners. Once you are there, you will be welcomed by a typical feeling of an underdeveloped oriental city that has experienced steep changes in the past few years.

Filled with mesmerizing landscapes typical of a delta Zhongshan has an air of peace to it. With various parks as evidence of the aforementioned, it surely does justice to its second former name; Heing-San which literally means fragrant mountain. The spacious boulevards and impressive monuments that fill up this prefecture level city do justice to the reputation it has.

One of the most visit-worthy boulevards would be the Sunwen Lu West which is specifically popular for the aura created by its lit shops at dusk –try going for a walk between its restored markets that smell of the 1920’s. Included in those buildings is the seven story tall Fufeng Pagoda built more than four centuries ago. Apart from the fact that the structure itself is a breathtaking piece of architecture; it lets you look over the whole of the city from the top story! If you are a bit more interested in history than that; you will certainly have a good time at the Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall that pays tribute to the Zhongshan. Apart from exhibits regarding his role in the revolution, it has some of the most exquisite artifacts dating as back as the Neolithic ages!

Tired of all the ramblings about history? Have ago at the Chung Shan Hot Spring Golf Club, the first golf club of China! But that is not everything; the golf club is accompanied by the Zhongshan Hot Spring Resort that tourist love for a leisure time. Tired of cruising around the city, a cozy time between spas, outdoor bathing, swimming pools, Chinese and western cuisines and some of the most cozy guest rooms can surely soothe your nerves.

Other than that, spare some time for a visit to the Jin Ju City; also known as the Xiolan Town –that is if you are interested in garden pavilions and would like to be inspired by breathtaking plantations gardened professionally on virtually everything from roofs, balconies, streets and lanes –and this goes literally. And if you’d prefer a hike in your heartbeat, try the Happy Valley where tons of roller coasters await you. The Monte Carlo Racetrack, Hidden Anaconda or the exhilarating and probably the most impressive ride at the resort; the Dauling Dragon all would be a treat for you and your family. It is a scenic spot that has something for everyone ranging from entertainment, gyms, conference halls, natural attractions and of course the aforementioned roller coasters!

Once you are well into the city of Zhongshan, make sure that you get well acquainted with the locally famous Black Hill; one of the local celebrity mountains through it is not really known in the outer world. The Black Hill, known as the Five Shan peak stands at a mere 531 meters above sea level but is regarded honorably for the natural beauty that it has. It sits near the Five Ridges Xiqiao Mountain which is comparatively more known internationally, but that is for another article. The signature marks of the Black Hill that any nature lover would date are the rock formations and the scattered rocks which give it a sublime look. But that is not all; even the awe-inspiringly different feathered birds that regard the hill as their home give it the feeling of being different from its surroundings. The natural beauty of Five Shan Peak can be directly attributed to its two gardens; the bigger one being more popular, whereas the smaller one might give you a walk alone if your timing is right and your luck in the right place.

A few words cannot do justice to the compelling natural beauty of Zhongshan’s surroundings, the scenic charm of its riverside townships can only be experienced rather than described -a must visit for western and oriental tourists alike!