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November 15, 2012
Vietnam travel guide

Ho Tay Lake in Hanoi city, Vietnam

Located on the northwest side of Hanoi, Ho Tay or West Lake is one of the largest lakes in the capital. Ho Tay was originally a branch of Red River thousand years ago. However, this branch was later formed itself as a separate lake when the river changed its flow to another direction.

The origin of West Lake was linked with many legends. Of those the story about the golden buffalo is the most famous myth related to the West Lake. It was formerly told that there was a medicine man who made his appearance as a giant. His talented medicine practice was popular in nationwide. Therefore, he was called to move to the king’s palace to treat the members in the royal family. The reputation of the talented medicine man was finally spread to China. And then, the China king gave him an invitation to come to China and treat the King because all of doctors in China could not help him get well. When the king was successfully treated, he promised to reward the medicine man with lots of money and gold.

However, the medicine man rejected all the wealth that the king offered. Instead of gold, the giant recommend the king to give him entire black copper that the king owned in his wealth vault. The king apparently agreed with the giant’s offer and let him come back to Vietnam with a great amount of black copper. When the giant got back to Vietnam, he started molding a huge bell of black copper. This large bell made the very big echo sound that resonated all the war to China when the giant rang it. Meanwhile, there was a golden buffalo statue in the king’s vault, which became alive when he heard the sound of the black copper bell. He headed to the way where the sound came from because he thought that was his mother’s call. When the buffalo reached Hanoi, he trampled the land in the area near Red River.

For a long time, the water filled the place where the buffalo trampled and then made this area a lake callerd Ho Tay and West Lake. Due to many beautiful views, Ho Tay became a favorite destination for the royal family in vacations. At the age of the Ly and Tran reign, the kings built many summer villas along this lake. Situated in the north edge of Ho Tay there are several villages that famous for the planting flowers and fruits. Of those Nghi Tam village is the most famous nationwide because it is well-known as the birth place of Ba Huyen Thanh Quan, the very famous Vietnamese poetess.

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