Turtle Tower in Hanoi Vietnam

The first time I saw the Turtle Tower in Hanoi when I was a student and moved from the outskirts to living and studing in the center of Hanoi. At that time, I thought it is a temple or pagoda which located in the middle of Hoan Kiem Lake and it looks really sacred, mysterious.

Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake
Turtle Tower in Hoan Kiem Lake

Turtle Tower - a specially symbol of Hanoi

Over many years, Turtle Tower still remains its original architecture. However, it has been repeatedly repainted so sometime it looks as be new constructed.

In fact, Turtle Tower is not a pagoda like many pagodas in Vietnam, but it really is a temple to worship to the God Turtle, who had awarded the treasured sword to Le Loi king to fought invaders from the north.

Turtle Tower in Hanoi Vietnam
Turtle Tower in Hanoi Vietnam

Well, Spirit Turtle may not be true, the story of given the treasured sword just is a legend, but the turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake is real. It's exactly true.

Until the present time, the Hanoian we still do not know how much of the turtles are living in the bottom of Hoan Kiem Lake. Someone think that there is only a turtle but someone believe and said that may have many turtles are living in this lake.

Turtle Tower
Turtle Tower in the winter. Photo: Ngoc Anh

We all usually call it is "cu rua" (it means turtle ancestor, thousands of years old turtle). But no one knows the exact number. Most people believe that only a single turtle.

Read more: Best places to visit in Hanoi Vietnam

This is a very large turtle varieties. Every year it surfaced on the water a few times or several years just to appear once.

Thousands of years old turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake
Thousands of years old turtle in Hoan Kiem Lake. Photo: Ha Dinh Duc

Turtle Tower is where turtles often crawl up to lay eggs.

When was Turtle Tower built?

So far, there are not any document to indicate the exact time that this tower was built. However, it is associated with the operations of King Le Loi, so many people believe that it was built in about the 15th century.- Hanoi Weather

If you want to view the Turtle Tower, you should come to City View Cafe on Dinh Tien Hoang street or Four Seasons Coffee Shop (Best coffee shop Hanoi), Hoan Kiem district, Hanoi.