A tour around Hoan Kiem Lake at the weekend!
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A tour around Hoan Kiem Lake at the weekend!

Hanoi : Vietnam | Jan 18, 2012 at 8:07 AM PST
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HANOI: A CITY FOR OLD PEOPLE - AROUND HOAN KIEM LAKE

Although I am not Hanoier, I have some feeling, emotion about Hanoi, especial in the Fall and Winter. And some time, I make a monolog tour to Hoan Kiem Lake to find my feeling and take pictures. Hoan Kiem Lake is heart of Hanoi capital, heart of country. Last weekend, I had a tour go on foot around Hoan Kiem Lake with some students.

We caught bus to Hilton Hotel and Hanoi Opera House on Trang Tien Street.

The Hanoi Opera House is an opera house in central Hanoi, Vietnam. It was erected by the French colonial administration between 1901 and 1911. It was modeled on the Palais Garnier, the older of Paris’s two opera houses, and is considered to be one of the architectural landmarks of Hanoi.

The Hanoi Opera House provides the name for the nearby Hilton Hanoi Opera Hotel which opened in 1999 and which, for historical reasons associated with the Vietnam war, was not named the Hanoi Hilton.

We started walking from Hanoi Opera house and taking pictures, then walked through Sofitel Metropole Hanoi.

Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi is a 5 star historic luxury hotel built in 1901 in the French colonial style. The hotel has a rich history and a century long tradition of welcoming ambassadors, writers, heads of state and entrepreneurs including Charlie Chaplin, Jane Fonda, George H. W. Bush, François Mitterrand, Isabelle de Valvert, Jacques Chirac, etc.

It was a beautiful day, and we met some couple were taking wedding photos around the hotel and Dien Hong Square.

Dien Hong Square has named Square Chavassieux under French colonial. In 1901, the French Colonial build a fountain. the fountain has a stone column with copper toads around. So Dien Hong Square also has name Toad Square(Vuon hoa con coc). Afer 1945 it was renamed Dien Hong square.

We also took some pictures infront of State Bank of Vietnam. After that we went to Ly Thai To park to take photos. It was a new park beside Hanoi Post office and the Hoan Kiem lake.

Ly Thai To is best known for relocating the imperial capital from Hoa Lư to Thăng Long (modern day Hà Nội) in 1010 AD.

Then we took pictures at the lake, Bao An tower, and Turtle Tower…

Bao Thien tower also called Đại Thắng Tư Thiên Tháp. It was built in 1057. The Bao Thien tower belongs to Sung Khach Pagoda in the East of Hoan Kiem Lake. The tower has 12 stages, and the top stage was made of copper. The Bao Thien tower is one of four values things of country. The Bao Thien tower is located on the East of Hoan Kiem Lake.

Hoan Kiem Lake (Vietnamese: Hồ Hoàn Kiếm, meaning “Lake of the Returned Sword” or “Lake of the Restored Sword”, also known as Hồ Gươm – Sword Lake) is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi, the capital city of Vietnam. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life.

Hoan Kiem lake is not only the heart of Capital, but also a lung of of city. Hanoier receive it by humble habits. They do exercise in the morning and evening around the lake.

We also saw some couples take wedding pictures around the lake and Ngoc Son temple (Temple of the Jade Mountain).

Ngoc Son temple was built on the Jade Islet and dedicated to Confucian and Taoist philosophers and the national hero Trần Hưng Đạo, the small temple was expanded in 1865. From the shore the Welcoming Morning Sunlight Bridge (Cầu Thê Húc) leads to the island. Buildings of the temple include the Pen Tower (Thap But), the ink-slab (Dai Nghien), the Moon Contemplation Pavilion (Dac Nguyet) and the Pavilion against Waves (Đình Trấn Ba), all of which have symbolic meaning. The temple is a popular spot for visitors to Hoan Kiem Lake.

Then we went to Đông Kinh Nghĩa Thục square. This place has Place Négrier under the French colonial. We took break to eat ice-scream at Thuy Ta ice-scream restaurant. The Christmas day coming soon, and Thuy Ta restaurant was decorated to welcome Noel.

After that we walked to Hanoi Cathedral at No.40 Nha Chung Street. It was built on the site of the former Bao Thien Tower, which was famous in the ancient capital of Thang Long under the Ly Dynasty (the 11th and 12th centuries). Hanoi Cathedral, also known as Saint Joseph’s Cathedral, was inaugurated on Christmas Day 1886, two years after its construction. Its design is similar to the architecture of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. Many catholic rituals have been held there. A ritual ceremony dedicated to Jesus Christ is held in this cathedral every year on March 19.

We took some photos there and finished at Hoan Kiem library. And we end the tour go on foot here. It took about 2 hours.

Source: http://beautifulvietnam.info/a-tour-around-hoan-kiem-lake-at-the-weekend/

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michaelhoan is based in Hanoi, Đồng bằng sông Hồng, Vietnam, and is a Stringer on Allvoices.
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