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Saigon Postcard No. 18: The Legend of Turtle Lake

The name "Turtle Lake" has more mythic origins than merely suggesting the presence of aquatic reptiles.

Rumor has it Chinese feng shui master once identified a great dragon resting beneath Saigon; its head located at the Reunification Palace, and its tail lying beneath a French water-tower turned monument a few blocks away. The creature symbolized the city's great strength and potential, but if unrestrained it could quickly run wild, destroying the metropolis in its pursuit of fortune and power. Therefore, it was suggested that a great sword be driven into its tail, with a metal turtle placed on top to weigh it down. The modernist tower, with its hilt-like top, remains at the intersection of Pham Ngoc Thach and Tran Cao Van to this day (click to flip):

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