Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple
Surrounded by the rustling sounds of modernization, locals and tourists alike can escape the havoc of the city and find sanctuary in Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple.
Surrounded by the rustling sounds of modernization, locals and tourists alike can escape the havoc of the city and find sanctuary in Hoan Kiem Lake and Ngoc Son Temple. These local gems, located in the heart of the city, serve as the focal point for the country’s public life.
Hoan Kiem Lake
Visitors who arrive during the early hours of the morning will get a chance to see young and old participating in meditative aerobics (such as tai-chi and yoga) by the shore. In the afternoons, this Hanoi lake becomes the perfect spot to observe locals zoom through the streets on their motorbikes.
During the evening, however, Hoan Kiem Lake falls silent as it is lit up with dazzling lights, making it a perfect spot for late night strolls. There is no bad hour to visit, as coming anytime of the day is never far from ideal.
Ngoc Son Temple
Ngoc Son Temple or, as it is known by its local name, Đền Ngọc Sơn, can be found at the center of Hoan Kiem Lake. Getting to this Hanoi temple is a journey itself, because before visitors can even step on this sacred ground, they need to cross the red-painted bridge known as The Huc Bridge (Morning Sunlight Bridge). Entrance fee is VND3,000; Ngoc Son Temple is open from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
How to get there
It’s is best to get to these sites by foot. Not only is it a few minutes’ walk from Hanoi’s Old Quarter, it also gives you a chance to explore the city’s local scene.
You can also opt to join this Hanoi walking tour of the Old Quarter, which includes a visit to the Ngoc Son Temple as well as the Temple of Literature.