A couple of blocks west of the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake—meaning Lake of the Restored Sword—is one of Hanoi’s anchors. It contains a number of sites worth visiting, like Ngoc Soc Temple and the picturesque, red-lacquered Huc Bridge. The greatest fun here is people watching, from men and women jogging round the perimeter to retired folks doing tai chi or dancing. Many locals come to socialize or just take a few moments to escape the city’s chaotic roads and traffic. Visit in the morning as the city is waking up and the air remains blissfully cool.
Photo by Binder.donedat/Flickr.