Hoàn Kiếm - Ngọc Sơn and the Thê Húc Bridge

Temple and Bridge The Ngọc Sơn Temple sits on a small island reached by the red Thê Húc Bridge Morning mist on Hoàn Kiếm Lake Commonly a slight mistiness hangs over Hoàn Kiếm Lake in the morning At the north end of Hoàn Kiếm Lake, in central Hà Nội, is a small island, just large enough for a compact temple (Ngọc Sơn - Jade Mountain) and some trees. While the temple is interesting in itself, it is the bridge (Thê Húc - Welcoming Dawn) that catches the visitor's eye, for it is decked splendidly in vermilion, and draws thousands of visitors each day onto the island and the temple. Red flowers and red bridge Gardens by the water reflect the colour of the bridge Thê Húc Bridge and Jacaranda Key to the success of the red, in visitors eyes, are the green waters and the surrounding trees The splendid vermilion hue of the bridge has many associations. While clearly everywhere connected with blood, in the East it is also a symbol of the Imperial court, as well as having Daoist and Confucian connections. The colour was originally made from cinnabar, but the hue and its source has evolved over the centuries. Watching the Thê Húc Bridge Watching visitors enjoying the bridge is a favourite pass-time Go to another page. of local people Tourists on the Thê Húc Bridge Visitors enjoy the cooling air provided by the water and the trees Thê Húc Bridge in vegetation A shot from the island making the bridge rural... It is easy to forget that the bridge and the trees are in the centre of the bustling city of Hà Nội: images can hide the modern city or emphasise it. Thê Húc Bridge and Shark's Jaw Building ...and a shot with the near-by Shark's Jaw Go to another page. looming. The hubbub of the metropolis is so near Thê Húc Bridge and Gate The Thê Húc Bridge and Temple entrance gate - sumptuously embedded in green Ngọc Sơn from west The Ngọc Sơn Temple from the west shore of the Lake Ngọc Sơn from east The Ngọc Sơn Temple from the east shore of the Lake Entrance to the Bridge The entrance to the bridge leads from the four-lane throng of vehicles to the island refuge Entrance area of the bridge A view of the first courtyard, beyond to the left of centre, is the the entrance to the bridge Bridge Gate The gate that leads onto the bridge Turtle mural A ceramic mural, by the middle gate, shows the turtle bearing the gold sword which it reputedly returned to the god of the Lake. Hoàn Kiếm literally means 'Returned Sword' Doors within the temple Doors within the temple Temple courtyard The Temple courtyard Bonsai Bonsai are a regular decoration of such temples Pavilion and lake While the Ngọc Sơn Temple is thronged, on the other island in the Lake, against the trees few hundred metres away, is the Tháp Ràu monument where no visitors are allowed Visitors flock in their thousands each day across the bridge; foreigners to see the bridge and the exotic temple, Vietnamese to visit the memorial to a national hero - Trần Hưng Đạo. Also on display is a stuffed turtle of the species that lived in the lake, the last one died in January 2016. However, visitors can still often see the small ones (hand sized) in the water. Bonsai and lake The view down the Lake The bridge at night The bridge at night - in all its glory The next page takes you across the world to Scotland and another very famous bridge, that across the Firth of Forth. Forth rail bridge. line
Saturday 7th May 2016 Murphy

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