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Lake Hoan Kiem

Spent a quiet, drizzly morning at Lake Hoan Kiem in the Old Quarter of Hanoi. Legend has it that the Vietnamese Emperor, Le Loi, defeated the Chinese in 1418 with a magic sword. After the victory, the sword was returned to the lake by a golden tortoise. Hence, the name "Lake of the Returned Sword" and the beautiful Turtle Pagoda in the middle of the lake (shown below). Lot of locals doing Tai Chi in the morning mist.

Am off to Da Nang this afternoon. Will spend a week or so in the region doing rattan inventories in several protected areas.

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