Trúc Bạch Lake
|Trúc Bạch Lake|
|Max. length||ca 400 m (1,300 ft)|
|Max. width||ca 300 m (980 ft)|
|Surface area||ca 9 ha (22 acres)|
|Surface elevation||ca 15 m (49 ft)|
|Islands||a 20 m (66 ft) in the northwest|
Trúc Bạch Lake (Vietnamese: Hồ Trúc Bạch) is one of the many lakes in the city of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. It is known outside Vietnam as the site where future United States politician John McCain landed during the Vietnam War after being shot down.
Trúc Bạch Lake is located northwest of Hanoi's Old Quarter, immediately adjacent to the eastern shore of the city's largest lake, the West Lake (Hồ Tây), a former branch of the Red River whose west bank is nearby. Trúc Bạch Lake was separated from the West Lake by the construction of a narrow dike (Cổ Ngư, "reinforcement") in the 17th century to allow raising fish. The inhabitants of the Truc Yen Village, located on the south shore of the newly formed lake, were in the business of making bamboo blinds and hence cultivated a small variety of bamboo. In 1957 and 1958, major Thanh Niên Road was built between the lakes. In 1730s, the Trịnh Lord Trịnh Giang had Trúc Lâm Palace constructed on the lake shore. The building first served as a pleasure palace but was later converted into a prison for royal concubines found guilty of crime. The silk they produced, known as "Bamboo Village Silk" became famous for its beauty.
The lake front is open only along Thanh Niên Road, the other sides are occupied by houses and residential streets. The lake is among the most seriously polluted in Hanoi. Nearby historical sites include: Quán Thánh Temple to the southwest of the lake, Châu Long Pagoda to the east, An Trì Temple (dedicated to the worship of a hero from the war against the Chinese Yuan Dynasty) on Phó Đức Chính Street, and Cẩu Nhi temple on a small hill near the northern corner of the lake.
On October 26, 1967, during the Vietnam War, US Navy aviator John McCain was shot down by an anti-aircraft missile on a mission against a Hanoi power plant and parachuted wounded into Trúc Bạch Lake, nearly drowning. He was dragged out of the water and beaten by city residents angry at having seen the area laid to waste by previous U.S. attacks. He was later taken away as a prisoner of war. A monument celebrating the downing of "Tchn Sney Ma Can" was erected at the western shore on Thanh Niên Road; McCain saw it on his first journey back to Vietnam in 1985.
- Article on the lake's history at Hanoi municipal website
- The role of aquaculture in pollution-remediation in Tay Lake and Truc Bach Lake of Ha Noi, University of Vietnam (Microsoft Word document)