Hoan Kiem lake which had been considered the most beautiful lake in the city was in the 19th century added with another object to make it more beautiful and famous. That was the construction of a temple on the Ngoc (Jade) islet in the lake. Initially the temple was called Ngoc Son Pagoda. Later it was renamed Ngoc Son Temple because in the temple is dedicated to saints. Saint Van Suong was a person considered the brightest star in Vietnam's literature and intellectual circles. Tran Hung Dao was worshipped because he was the national hero who led the Vietnamese people to a resounding victory over the Nguyen aggression. The temple as it is seen today was attributable to the restoration afforts of Nguyen Van Sieu in 1864. A great Hanoi literature writer, Nguyen Van Sieu himself had a large pen-shaped tower (Thap But) built in at the entrance to the temple. On the upper section of the Thap but there are three Chinese characters Ta Thanh Thien which means literally that to write on the blue sky is to imply the height of a genuine and righteous person's determination and will. Behind Thap But is Dai Nghien (Ink Stand). The ink stand is carved from stone resembling a peach, which is placed on the back of the three frogs on top of the gate to the temple. Passing through Dai Nghien visitors are to tread on the wooden bridge called The Huc. The Huc is literally understood as the place where beams of morning sunshine are touching.
On the long way that leads to the temple there are several cau doi (parallel sentences) written on the wall. These cau doi are considered part of a traditional ward puzzle entertainment, a lifestyle literally educated persons of ancient Thang Long used to follow.