HANOI – Built in 1886, Tháp Rùa, or the Turtle Tower, sits on a small island in the middle of Hoàn Kiếm Lake in Hanoi.
Local legend say that the Golden Turtle God appeared before the 15th century Emperor Lê Lợi while he was boating on the lake. The turtle god asked him to return the magic sword, which the Dragon King had earlier give him to fight against the Ming Dynasty of China.
A species of large soft-shelled turtles seen in the lake was named Rafetus leloii to commemorate the emperor. Unfortunately, the last of its kind was found dead in January 2016.