I’m a huge fan of Vietnam since visiting a few years ago and It's official; the Brits love Vietnam! proves I’m not alone. So if you plan on making 2012 the year you explore Vietnam read our comprehensive Vietnam travel guide here and follow our updates on our dedicated Vietnam Facebook pageHoan Kiem Lake (Lake of the Restored Sword) is definitely a not-to-be-missed site. According to legend, Emperor Le Loi encountered a giant tortoise while boating on the lake. The tortoise gave him a gigantic sword and a set of directions he was to follow regarding this sword. After defeating his enemies and returning the sword to the tortoise, the emperor erected a pagoda out in the lake to honour the tortoise. While no visits are allowed at this particular pagoda, a similar site, Ngoc San Pagoda, is open to the public. This pagoda whose name means 'Bridge of the Rising Sun’ is entered by crossing a red wooden swinging bridge. Ngoc San Pagoda honours various Vietnamese forefathers. One place of special significance to Americans is Hoa Lo Prison, more familiarly-known as the Hanoi Hilton, dating back to 1896. Among many military personnel incarcerated at this facility was current Arizona Senator John McCain. Exhibits in the prison include McCain's flight suit and photos depicting his capture. One eerie, up-close-and-personal experience is afforded by seeing the guillotine where many prisoners met their death. History and military buffs must also see Viet Nam Women's Museum housing exhibits including feminine accounts of life in a tunnel located under the DMZ. Also on display are implements and outfits worn by women soldiers fighting alongside North Vietnamese male soldiers.