Turtle Tower stands out in the middle of the gentle Hoan Kiem Lake, while the surrounding foliage seems to enhance the sight. This place is not only regarded as the soul of the capital but also a tourist destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. If you are interested in Hanoi travel, do not miss out on this tower in Hanoi.
1. About Turtle Tower in Vietnam
Turtle Tower is a small tower built on a floating mound in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake, which is situated at a prime location right on Hang Trong Street, Hoan Kiem District, Hanoi. Therefore, it is very easy to find and reach the lake.
Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake was built in 1886 to bury the remains of the father of Nguyen Ngoc Kim, an intermediary between Vietnam and France during the French colonial period. After the French colonialists were defeated by the Vietnamese army, the tower was renamed Turtle Tower in honor of the hero Le Loi.
2. What’s special about Turtle Tower in Hanoi?
According to legend, a holy turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake gave Le Loi a magical sword, which gave him power and strength to gather his soldiers against the Ming army. After winning his battles, the Vietnamese hero went back to the lake, where the holy turtle reclaimed the sword. Hence, Le Loi named the lake Hoan Kiem, which means “Lake of the Returned Sword”. Turtle Tower was named after this legend.
Turtle Tower was constructed on a 350-square-meter-large mound in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake. Its architecture is a blend between the French and Oriental architectural styles. The tower has three floors, and each upper floor is smaller than the one under it. Each side of the tower has many arched doorways. The words “Quy Son Thap” (literally: Tower of the Turtle Mountain) is engraved on the third storey of the tower. The roof has many curves, which is a typical feature of Oriental architecture.
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3. Where to explore near Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake
After you have contemplated Turtle Tower, it is a good time to explore other Hanoi attractions in the surrounding area. Only a few-minute walk away, they are places that you should visit to get a genuine understanding of Hanoi.
3.1. Pen Tower – Ngoc Son Temple
Ngoc Son Temple is in the northeast corner of Hoan Kiem Lake. Coming here on the weekend, visitors will have a chance to experience a variety of activities on the walking street around the lake. And do not miss out on seeing the Pen Tower and The Huc Bridge. They are all well-known cultural works in Hanoi that should be visited on your journey to see Turtle Tower – Hoan Kiem Lake.
3.2. Ly Thai To Flower Garden
Ly Thai To Flower Garden is the place to hold a monument dedicated to King Ly Thai To, who founded the ancient Thang Long citadel. The flower garden, thanks to its close proximity to Hoan Kiem Lake, always receives gentle breezes from the lake, bringing a fresh and pleasant atmosphere. Ly Thai To Flower Garden not only is an exciting place for people to gather but also preserves many heroic historical anecdotes of the country.
3.3. Hanoi Post Office
As you stroll around Hoan Kiem Lake, you will definitely notice the Hanoi Post Office, which was built some 100 years ago. Standing on Dinh Tien Hoang Street, this 5-storey building has a large and modern structure. The highlight of this work is a four-sided clock on the top that measures 4.5 square meters on each side.
3.4. Hanoi Old Quarter Night Market
Hanoi Old Quarter Night Market is one of the city’s best-known night markets. This is a pretty awesome market to stroll around, especially on weekends when it is packed with locals and tourists. This special market, spread across several main streets in Hanoi’s Old Quarter, provides customers with nearly 4,000 stalls selling all kinds of products, from clothes, toys, souvenirs to crafts and food, etc. All of these are offered at very affordable prices.
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3.5. Trang Tien Ice Cream Shop
Trang Tien ice cream is a dessert specialty of Hanoi. It comes with a variety of flavors such as coconut milk or chocolate. The ice cream can either cool you down in the hot summer or melt you into the breezy winter of Hanoi. The ice cream costs only VND 10,000 (about $0.4), an affordable price for anyone coming here.
Along with Turtle Tower and the above-mentioned attractions, you should also take your time exploring other tourist destinations, such as Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum, Hanoi Old Quarter, and VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium Times City, etc.
Vinpearl Aquarium is one of Vietnam’s largest aquariums, covering an area of approximately 4,000 square meters and housing over 30,000 animal specimens from around the world. Meanwhile, VinKE offers a play-and-learn environment that helps children gain more knowledge while also nurturing their future aspirations.
>>> Book tickets of VinKE & Vinpearl Aquarium to enjoy a wide range of cheerful experiences with your loved ones!
4. The best time to take a sightseeing trip to Turtle Tower
You can visit Turtle Tower at any time of the year, because the tower has a unique beauty in each season. Especially, if you come in autumn, you will feel the fresh and cool weather of Hanoi along with the passionate fragrance of milkwood pine flowers everywhere. Moreover, the yellow leaves falling down and covering the streets will bring you an extremely peaceful feel.
Turtle Tower is one of Vietnam’s most well-known tourist destinations. This is a historical site that can show you a part of Vietnam’s history and offer you a chance to take in the quiet and solemn atmosphere. Do not miss out on seeing this unique architectural work. Hopefully, you and your beloved will have a nice trip here!