The lovely Hoan Kiem Lake. This pagoda memorializes the spot where a 16th-century king once accepted a mystical sword from one of the lake's famous giant tortoises and went on to defend the city successfully. After the battle he returned the sword to this spot, and the tortoise rose up out of the lake to accept it. A few years ago what is supposed to be the last giant tortoise in the lake died, age estimated to be . . . yes, just about that age.