THE CENTER OF LIFE IN HANOI
To me Hoan Kiem Lake is a little piece of calm in the craziness of the city of Hanoi. One of my favorite places to spend time in the city. I loved the lake from the first time I visited it on my first day in Hanoi. But I fell in love with it on Christmas Eve, when all the roads around it were shut off and it became the center of celebrations in the city. With locals and tourists gathering around the lake.
Christmas Eve was one of my favorite days in the month I spent in Hanoi in December. It was also the day I decided not to go back to my job, so I could extend my stay in Vietnam. It was when I decided the 6 weeks I had planned to stay in Vietnam for wasn’t enough.
When I returned to Hanoi after 2 months visiting the rest of Vietnam one of the first things I did was go for a walk around the lake, and it felt good to be back. It was during Tet “Vietnamese New Year” and I could feel the vibe of celebrations centering around the lake.
THE LAKE AT NIGHT
Hoan Kiem lake is a great place to spend some time during the day wandering around or sitting down for a coffee. Which coincidently is one of my favourite things to do in Hanoi. [Check out my post on my favourite coffee shops in Hanoi] However at night it really comes to life. The people of Hanoi gather around the lake, and if you go for a walk around it there is always something to see. From musicians playing and people dancing. To locals showing off there skipping skills and people building 6ft towers from wooden blocks. I’ve seen it all around the lake…. and this was just in one night.