Hanoi Old Quarter, part I: Sword LakePosted: July 25, 2012
Debbi and I went to Hanoi’s Old Quarter on Monday. To avoid a photo-heavy post, I’ll just concentrate on the Sword Lake today. The lake, officially called Hoan Kiem Lake (Lake of Returned Sword), is the focal point of Hanoi. It was so named because there was a legend of a king in 15th century Vietnam, who returned a magic sword which helped him defeat the Ming army to the Golden Turtle God in this lake (it’s actually quite Arthurian when you think about it.) There is at least one large soft-shell turtle in the lake still, though we see less and less of him each year. My dad actually did a study on this specie a while back.
The bridge, The Huc (meaning “Morning Sunlight”), leads to Ngoc Son (Jade Mountain) Temple, where a preserved turtle is on display. Debbi and I, on the other hand, only had eyes for this cute kitty:
Debbi remarked that this was the first time since she got here that she saw young (and unusually attractive) tourists. It’s understandable, considering we’ve only been to museums before this, and you’re more likely to run into old people and families there. Anyway, that’s it for today. I’ll be back tomorrow with more snapshots of the Old Quarter.