Hà Nội is the capital of Vietnam and the country's second largest city. From 1010 until 1802, it was the most important political centre of Vietnam. It was eclipsed by Huế, the imperial capital of Vietnam during the Nguyen dynasty (1802-1945), but Hanoi served as the capital of French Indochina from 1902 to 1954. From 1954 to 1976, it was the capital of North Việt Nam, and it became the capital of a reunified Vietnam in 1976, after the North's victory in the Vietnam war.
Hoan Kiem Lake is a lake in the historical center of Hanoi. The lake is one of the major scenic spots in the city and serves as a focal point for its public life. According to the legend, emperor Lê Lợi was boating on the lake when his magic sword, Heaven's Will, was grabbed by a turtle who quickly disappeared into the depths. All attempts to find either the sword or the turtle failed. Lợi concluded that the Golden Turtle God (Kim Qui) had come to reclaim the sword that it had given Lợi some time earlier, during his revolt against the Chinese Ming Dynasty. Lợi renamed the lake to commemorate this event, it was formerly known as Luc Thuy meaning "Green Water"). The Turtle Tower (Thap Rùa) standing on a small island near the centre of lake is linked to the legend.
The Hồ Chí Minh Mausoleum (Vietnamese: Lăng Hồ Chí Minh) is a large memorial to Vietnamese independence leader Hồ Chí Minh. It is located in Ba Ðình Square in Hà Nội. This is where his body is kept for people to pay our respects. President Hồ Chí Minh did not want a mausoleum at all. In his will, he said he wanted to be cremated and to have his ashes buried in the hills of the north, center, and south of Việt Nam. He said that he liked cremation because it was healthier than burial or a mausoleum and saved farmland. His successors did not let him have this wish. The government kept that part of his will secret. The government also pretended he died a day after he really did, because he really died on Independence Day and they did not tell anyone.