One of the key features of Hanoi is Hoan Kiem Lake. A large body of water in the centre of the city with a small temple in the middle.
Meaning Lake of the Returned Sword or Lake of the Restored Sword, it’s a fresh water lake in the historic centre of Hanoi.
Near the northern shore of the lake lies Jade Island on which the Temple of the Jade Mountain (Ngoc Son Temple) stands.
The temple was erected in the 18th century. It was built in commemoration of Tran Hung Dao, a 13th century military leader
Centuries old rituals are played out in the temple every day, including the ritual sounding of bells.
Alters groan under the weight of offerings including fruit, cake and incense.
Colourful carved painted wood and sumptuous fabrics adorn the temple.
There’s intricate murals to the entrance of the temple, before you pay for a ticket, cross the bridge and head over the water.
Jade Island is connected to the shore by the wooden Thê Húc Bridge, painted vermillion red.
The bridge’s name translates as “Perch of the Morning Sunlight”.