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Restore Sword Lake - Hanoi
Lake of the Restored Sword, is located in the center of Hanoi. The name Lake of the Restored Sword is derived from a legend. Emperor Le Loi, worried about advancing Chinese, was boating on the lake when a giant tortoise rose from the murky waters. The tortoise presented him with a magical sword with which he could strike down all foes. The tortoise made Le Loi promise to bring back the sword upon the defeat of the Chinese. The tortoise rose again to take back the sword following the success of Le Loi's campaign, and since then the lakes has been known as the Lake of the Restored Sword.

A solitary pagoda on an islet to the west side of the lake has been built in the tortoise's honor.The pleasant surroundings of the lake make for a perfect break to much out on a baguette or finish off a book. There are park benches all around the lake, though the east side is nicer and slightly quieter. Around sunset it is difficult of find a free seat as young couples congregate to spend tome in each others arms. There is also a plethora of shoe shiners and food vendors here, but be warned, some of the cute children selling postcards have very light fingers so watch your pockets at all times around this lake. Early in the morning the lakeside is a popular venue for Tai Chi and exercise. At the northern end of the lake is Ngoc Son Pagoda, or pagoda of the jade mountain, located on Jade Island. The access to the island is by an old red wooden bridge, the Bridge of the Rising Sun. Built during the 19th century, this pagoda honors Van Xuong, the spirit of the intellectuals, and Tran Hung Dao as well as others. At the entrance to the bridge there are two monuments constructed in 1864, one representing an ink brush (a tower of 9m tall) and the other an inkwell (a hollow rock held by tree frogs). In the early morning of the festival of Doan Ngo, held on the fifth day of the fifth month, the shadow of the brush is positioned at the center of the inkwell. The pagoda is a great place to escape the chaos of the Hanoi streets.

It is said that when visiting Hanoi, if the visitor does not see the Restore Sword Lake, then they would not have actually been in Hanoi. The Lake is an endless topic and inspiration for painters, poets, writers, music composers, etc, and innumerable works about the Lake have been produced.
The Sword Lake is really an emerald jewel of Hanoi capital. For generations, the Vietnamese people believed that deep in the green water of the Sword Lake, there is a sacred sword of their ancestors, which is carefully safeguarded by the golden tortoise. When the weather changes, the tortoise emerges on the water surface to take a sun bath, seeming to prove his existence and remind the young generation of their national history of defending their country from foreign invaders.

Other tourist sites of  Hanoi & Halong travel guide
Yen Tu Sites
Tuan Chau Island
Bai Tho Mountain
Hanh Hanh Grotto
Ti Top Beach
Sung Sot Grotto
Bach Dang Stockyard
Dau Go Grotto
Thien Cung Grotto
Halong Bay
Around Hanoi handicraft villages
West Lake
Fine Arts Museum - Hanoi
Temple of Literature - Hanoi
One Pillar Pagoda - Hanoi
Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum
Ho Chi Minh Museum - Hanoi
Flag Tower - Hanoi
Hanoi overview
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