Travel Pics Theme: T for Temples. Turtle Tower

Hanoi Turtle Lake Temple

Hanoi Turtle Lake Temple


This week, we’ve been looking at temples – and for Saturday, it’s a temple shrouded in smog, in the middle of a lake, itself in the middle of Hanoi.

Well, strictly speaking, this photo was taken FROM a temple – but the image is of the “Tower of the Turtle”.

The legendary sacred turtle of Hoan Kiem is the custodian of the magic sword of Le Loi, a 15th century rebel leader who vanquished Chinese invaders.

And he has his own tower, in the Lake of the Restored Sword – which can be seen from the nearby Ngoc Son temple, or Temple of the Jade Mountain (A 19th century Confucian temple, where this picture was taken from)

It’s just as well the sacred turtle’s legend lives on – because the turtle itself does not.

In fact, his real-world equivalent (a Giant Yangtze softshell turtle) died in the lake a year ago last week. There were only 4 known to be alive in the world. Now its three.

But the temple-tower remains and locals and visitors alike flock to the Jade Island Confucian temple in Hoan Kiem lake to view it.

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