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Hoan Kiem Lake – Today

As the day goes on, the lake changes and that is the beauty, as anytime you want to visit from 5am to 9 or 10pm there is something to see.  Also at other lakes around town, it is like a magnet where people get drawn to.  The color of the lake changes, the seasons change, festivals are celebrated and reflection of the city lights at night is just beautiful.

 

5am to 7am

Traffic Update . . . congestion around Hoan Kiem Lake 6am every day. Hundreds of people take to the streets for a walk in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Traffic Update . . . congestion around Hoan Kiem Lake 6am every day.
Vietnamese man does early morning exercise routine. - lakeside Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi !!
Early morning exercise routine. – lakeside Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi !!

Early morning gym workout which is set up every morning near the ANZ Bank on Le Thai Tho, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

Early morning gym workout which is set up every morning near the ANZ Bank on Le Thai Tho, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.

One of the aerobic classes available - starts at 6am if you are interested in joining. Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi
One of the aerobic classes available – starts at 6am if you are interested in joining. Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi

The whole area turns into an exercise arena, groups of all descriptions walking, running, playing badminton, doing Tai Chi, practicing ballroom dancing,  aerobics, hackie sack, praying and even a gym can be seen.

The Huc Bridge - means rising sun, Hoan Kiem Lake bridge to Ngoc Son Temple, Hanoi, Vietnam
The Huc Bridge – means rising sun.

Gates to Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam
Gates to Ngoc Son Temple, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi.

Daily ritual - at Ngo Son Temple .
Daily ritual.

7am to 9am

There's enough room for everyone - 3 children share one bike beside Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi.
There’s enough room for everyone !

A few late comers exercise; plus the visitors who got out of bed too late for the real action.

 

10am to 4pm

Hapro Alfresco Lakeside Cafe, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi - perfect place on the lake front, a great place to sit, have a break and a coffee; and people watch any time of the day.
Hapro Alfresco Lakeside Cafe, Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi – perfect place on the lake front, a great place to sit, have a break and a coffee; and people watch any time of the day.
A Vietnamese man enjoys a beautiful day, behind him the poster says: 'Voting Day is Festive for the whole country'. Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam
A Vietnamese man enjoys a beautiful day, behind him the poster says: ‘Voting Day is Festive for the whole country’. Hoan Kiem Lake.

 

Before smart phones tourist enjoy sitting by Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi, Vietnam reading a book.
Before smart phones tourist enjoy sitting by Hoan Kiem Lake reading a book.
Nice place for a date - lakeside Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi !!
Nice place for a date – lakeside Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi !!
Ebony and Ivory - friends sit and enjoy the weather.
Ebony and Ivory – friends sit and enjoy the weather.

Still lots of people walking around, in the late afternoon men are playing chess; some drinking Vietnamese tea out of a glass, people reading the newspaper, having a smoke and even sleeping (even though it’s not permitted).  If you need a rest especially in the heat of the summer, it is time to go and sit in the café by the lake and people watch.

4pm-ish till after dark

Cruising around on motorbikes in Hanoi + Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in the background, at the North End of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi.
Cruising around Hanoi + Thang Long Water Puppet Theater in the background, at the North End of Hoan Kiem Lake, Hanoi.

It’s a great place to exercise again or go on a date, have a snuggle up with such a romantic back drop, almost makes you want to write some poetry or practice your latest hip-hop moves under the watch of Ly Thai To statue.  Hanoi is very safe and the lake and surrounding buildings are lit beautifully, depending on the season and festival, so go and enjoy the evening, eat some ice cream and take a wander.

 

Hanoi city logo lights the streets at night. Vietnamese man walks around town with hundreds of Hanoi logo in neon lights.
Hanoi city logo lights the streets at night.

On a Friday or Saturday night go up to one of the restaurants at the North or top of the lake and watch the street from above.  I love it !! Traffic watching !!  I can’t get enough of it, cars, buses, 1 million motorbikes (ok a slight exaggeration, but it feels like it), people, couples, tourists, bicycles, taxis all maneuvering themselves around each other.  Plus you get a great view of the lake.

Night view looking at Ngoc Temple on left and The Hoc Bridge. on right Hanoi.
Looking at Ngoc Temple on left and The Hoc Bridge on right, Hanoi.
Hanoi By night - building corner Hang Trong and Le Thai Tho Streets.
Hanoi By night – building corner Hang Trong and Le Thai Tho Streets.

 

 

 

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