Vietnam TravelThe Best Things to Do Around Hoan Kiem Lake

Kaylin6 months ago5

Most people know Hoan Kiem Lake as the heart of downtown Hanoi. But not many know what to do when they get there. That’s why I’m writing this article: to give you a few ideas about how to make the most of your time in the lake’s vicinity. Whether you’re a tourist or a local, I think you’ll find something on this list that interests you.

Take a stroll around the lake

hoan kiem lake stroll

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photo: HONG SON

Hoan Kiem Lake is beautiful any time of day, but I think it’s especially nice in the early morning or late afternoon when the light is softer. There’s something about strolling around the lake and taking in the scenery that just feels very calming.

Watch the sunset

If you stick around until dusk, you can catch a beautiful sunset over Hoan Kiem Lake. I recommend heading up to one of the bridges for a better view.

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Have a picnic

Hoan Kiem Lake is a great place for a picnic. There are plenty of trees and grassy areas around the perimeter of the lake, so you can find a spot that’s just perfect for you. Just be sure to clean up after yourself when you’re done!

Go for a swim

Ok, so technically you’re not supposed to swim in Hoan Kiem Lake. But I’ve seen people do it anyway, and it does look like a lot of fun. Just be careful not to get too close to the turtles!

Visit one of the temples

hoan kiem lake temples

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photo: Giang Nguyen

There are actually three temples located around Hoan Kiem Lake: Ngoc Son Temple, Quan Thanh Temple, and Ba Chua Thuong Ngan Temple. Each has its own unique features, so it’s worth taking a look at all three if you have the time.

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Feed the turtles

Speaking of turtles, there are actually quite a few of them living in Hoan Kiem Lake. You can buy some food from one of the vendors around the lake and then sit back and watch the turtles come to you. It’s really quite charming.

Take a boat ride

For a small fee, you can take a boat out onto Hoan Kiem Lake. It’s a great way to get a different perspective on the lake and its surroundings.

Play chess

If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, why not try your hand at chess? There are always people playing around Hoan Kiem Lake, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find a game.

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People watch

hoan kiem

photo: Harry Tran

Hoan Kiem Lake is one of those places that’s just teeming with life. There’s always something going on, and it can be fun just to sit back and watch the world go by.

Get some exercise

Hoan Kiem Lake is a great place to get some exercise. There’s a walking/jogging path that goes all the way around the lake, so you can get in a good workout while enjoying the scenery.

I hope you enjoyed this list of things to do around Hoan Kiem Lake. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments below. Thanks for reading!

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I love Hoan Kiem Lake! It’s not just a place to take pictures and see the famous turtle. There are lots of cool activities you can do there, too. I’ve been there a few times, and each time I go there’s something new that catches my eye.


Hoan Kiem lake is one of the most photographed places in Hanoi. It’s also a great place to enjoy the city’s famous street food, as well as its delicious coffee.


Hoan Kiem Lake is an amazing spot just for getting pictures. I have never been to this area but I am always seeing amazing pictures popping up on travel blogs I follow as well as travelers on Intagram. Such a beautiful place with amazing people. 


@1988tq You are right. It is a beautiful place for pictures. My parents actually went there for their honeymoon since it was close to an area where some family live. The pictures they got are beautiful. 


I love Hoan Kiem Lake! I’ve been there three times, and each time it’s been a really great experience. The lake itself is gorgeous, and the surrounding area is full of amazing food, shopping and nature. I would definitely recommend taking a boat tour around the lake. It will give you an entirely different perspective on this beautiful place.

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