Lake of the Returned Sword


The historic center of life in Hanoi surrounds the area of Hoan Kiem, a fabled lake known for its scenic visitas, the critically-endangered large soft-shell turtles, and temples including the 18th century Temple of the Jade Mountain. Additionally, Turtle Tower situated on a small island, and the impossibly red wooden Huc Bridge (Huc means morning sun)connecting the Temple of the Jade Mountain to land, share the lake.

The fable of the sword comes from a story of an aforementioned giant turtle leaping up and stealing a magic sword from an emperor who was boating at the time. After failing to find the sword or the slippery-flippered turtle, the emperor concluded the Golden Turtle God has come to reclaim his sword.

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